Well, it's here...my tiny baby is now a 5-year-old!! Unbelievable.
In some ways, it has not sunk in at all. He can't possibly be 5. And in other ways, it's hard to believe that he was recently just 4...he's been so big and smart and awesome for so long.
It has been really amazing to see his development lately. The last few months have been good for him. For a while there, he was growing a lot emotionally, which was good, but also made him prone to tantrums, demands, and melt-downs, and left me walking on egg shells a bit...always trying to give him just the right amount of warning before any possible battle that might set him off...especially about things like getting dressed in the morning, or stopping a highly preferred activity.
But thankfully we have survived this round of development, and have moved on to better days with MUCH greater independence, a generally easy going and wonderful temperament, and with so many new strengths and skills popping out every day. 3 months ago, I couldn't imagine him being able to handle Kindergarten next year, and now I can't believe we still have 9 months to go until he starts. (Though I intend to do my very best to enjoy every bit of the next 9 months!!)
He is zipping his own jacket now, brushing and flossing his own teeth (though we still do a follow up just to be sure), dressing himself well, (when I don't get all cranky-mama on him and just do it for him to get it over with more quickly...bad mama!!), recognizing letters and numbers very well, reading a variety of early sight words (Ben, mama, dada, nana, molly, zoo, and a bunch of other ones that he knows from preschool activities), counting as high as he can (which, oddly, varies from day to day!), and even working out some early adding and subtracting of numbers. Really, the number thing has just been in the last week or two. But it is so wonderful to see him work out all these preacademic skills, and to grow more confident as a mom that next year will be well for him. He rides a bike with training wheels well, and rides a balance bike well, too. I don't think it will be much longer before the training wheels are off. He also learned to pump his feet on the swing to swing himself, though that was back in summer.
One thing we have been doing more of is playing games together, like Candyland and Hi Ho Cherry Oh. He is really enjoying the game aspect of it, though I do have to share one sweet story. I realized recently that he likes to win, but he doesn't like me to loose. If it is a close race to the finish, he is fine with winning, but if the color cards just aren't falling my way on Candyland, and he is WAY ahead of me, he will start saying things like "Oh, Mom, that blue card means you get to have an extra turn...I read it in the rules." So sweet and empathetic for such a young guy!!
He has also been really introspective about Christmas gifts this year. He has been questioning me a lot recently as to why Santa doesn't always bring you exactly what you say you want...why it's not a "place an order" kind of deal. And then this week, he told me that he had decided to not ask Santa for anything specific. He said that he would just let Santa decide what he thinks Ben's gift should be, and then Ben would be happy with that, instead of wishing it was something else! Such an awesome kid!
I will post some recent pics/birthday pics as soon as I get them uploaded, but in the mean time, here are 2 pics I have been meaning to post since August.
Ben's first day of preschool this year.