Monday, October 04, 2010

The Big Kid

Limelet really turned the corner developmentally in the past six months or so. I wonder about ethical issues in maintaining a blog about him as he gets older--sooner than we think, he'll have his own online identity; he's not "my baby" any more in that way (though of course he'll always be my baby!)

His speech became suddenly more grown-up between spring and summer. He can tell and understand jokes involving word play now. He still uses "w" for both "r" and "l" sounds, but I've heard him trying them out. He now says "j" instead of "dz," too.

Around the same time he got the potty thing down. That was a really big deal (for us at least). Now he has his own little potty, with his bookshelf next to it. I put that there after the night he carefully carried his potty into our library room so he'd have something to look at while going, which was both cute and pitiful. I think he got the idea from the Potty Power DVD, which shows children playing with toys and reading books on the potty. He also frequently sings the theme song: "I can do it myself, I'm a big kid now!" Very catchy tune, it was.

Limelet's little friend--whom we'll call Olaf though that's not really his name--was visiting recently, and as they sat in small chairs happily having dinner and watching a cartoon, Limelet turned to his friend and said, "I love you, Olaf!" And Olaf replied, "I love you, too." It's so cute. In a year or two, they'll be too cool to be so affectionate, no doubt, so I'm enjoying this while I can.

Limelet has the same territorial issues about sharing that his peers do (i.e. No one else should play with my toys! Sharing means I get to play with your toys!), but he has a generosity of spirit that I'm proud to see. For example, when other kids try to impress him or even shame him (which I've seen) with how much better a toy/drawing/whatever they have, he happily tells them that it's great! He loves their toy/drawing/whatever! He seems totally immune to the one-up, which is nice. It also means one less way for him to potentially feel bad about himself.

As Limelet just turned four, he got a shiny new silver astronaut outfit, which he then wore for several days in a row. Happily, this coincided with Picture Day at day care, so I am looking forward to seeing the class photo with all the nicely turned out children--and one astronaut. Well, if you can't have formal portraits taken in your astronaut costume when you're four, then when can you?

Limelet's birthday party went really well. I invited just a few kids from class after asking the teachers for the names of a few kids he plays with frequently, as well as Olaf, a couple neighbor children, and the hairdresser's kids. So we had maybe seven or eight all told, including a couple babies, but mostly kids his age. I made it a morning party and told parents to leave the kids in their pajamas, and I served breakfast. That went over pretty well, because if you don't have to dress the kids or feed them before you come over, it's a lot easier.

I kept it as simple as I could and served items with little or no prep (though it always ends up more complicated than you think it will, even so). I served grapes and cut-up fruit, donut holes, brown-n-serve sausages, tater tots, coffee & tea, and milk & juice (of course). Well, I did make homemade cinnamon rolls, which are fiddly and time-consuming, but I made them ahead of time and froze before their second rise, then thawed them out the night before and just popped them in the oven that morning.

I also got about seven bales of straw (only about $3-4 each) and stacked them in the back yard so the kids would have something to climb on outside. And a few cans of silly string, naturally. And we have a swing on the apple tree. After breakfast they went out and played, and the parents wandered in and out to keep tabs on them.

I got a half-sheet cake from the grocery bakery with no decoration, and had the kids decorate it after they'd played outside for a while. First I had Limelet write his name on it (under the candy "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" I'd applied), then each child got to put on some sprinkles, or gel, or colored sugar. It actually looked pretty cool, and the kids had a great time doing it. And then eating the cake, of course.


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