Saturday, February 27, 2016
Four--AND A HALF!
My boy is four and a half! He loves having a half birthday cake every year, and after his very modest celebration (we light candles, sing, and eat cake--that's it), he feels very important and much older. "Four and a half!" he tells everyone when they ask his age. Half birthdays are a fun and easy tradition, so I'm willing to make them happen. (Plus, let's be honest, I like an excuse to eat cake.)
He has become quite a builder and spends his hour of quiet-time every day creating elaborate worlds out of Legos, train tracks, and Magformers. I am often amazed by his creativity and ingenuity when he's building. Here he is making a pirate face as he shows off his Lego ship, looking pleased with himself about his triple decker train track, and giving me a thumbs-up about the world of water that he created.
He loves shoveling the driveway when it snows, and I hope to encourage that habit. He thinks it's fun to be outdoors as a family, and he often asks to shovel the neighbor's as well. I have to work a lot harder to get him to help out with chores in the house, but he seems to enjoy the chores outdoors.
He loves skiing. For the past three years, he has gone with his dad and mostly just cruised between Ryan's skis--going super fast and hopping over jumps in Daddy's capable hands. Unfortunately now that he's old enough to ski on his own, he thinks that he should be going as fast as he goes with Dad. It is frightening! He is reckless and hasn't really learned how to stop on his own. Just this past weekend, we finally got him to start turning on his own instead of just bombing straight down the hill. He took a few nasty falls, including one that ended up with me crashing into a net fence as I tried to stop him. Ha!
I realized the other day that Noah is a snuggler. I don't know why this just dawned on me, because I think he's always been this way, but with his high-energy and spunk, maybe I haven't thought of it as one of his primary characteristics. But he is always so willing to give me hugs, and he loves to climb into bed with me in the morning and cuddle for a few minutes. He often asks me to lie with him at night, and when he is upset or angry, a hug and some snuggle time usually calms him down. I absolutely love his cuddles, as is evidenced by his comment the other day when I was hugging him too tightly, "M-om, can we stop with the snuggles?" "You don't want to snuggle me anymore?" I asked, pretending to be sad. "Mom, I do want to snuggle you. I just want to take a two-week break!"
He is learning how to read--just really simple words, but it's exciting for both of us. He's known all of his letter sounds for a while now, and I've thought that he could probably sound out easy words, but he would protest and say, "Oh, Mom, just read the story!" when I would point to a word and ask him to sound it out. One day I realized that the way to get Noah to do what I want is to make him think that he's defying me. We have an ongoing game where I tell him that he's "not allowed to grow up!" and he thinks it's hilarious. So one night as we were reading our bedtime story, I told him, "You better not learn how to read! You better not even try to sound out this word--because you are never allowed to grow up!" With that, he quickly sounded out the word, and I made a big scene and tickled him, saying, "Noooo!" Now he wants to sound out words all the time. Sneaky mommy.
He is as spunky as ever, making all of us laugh on a daily basis with his grown-up and hilarious comments. Here are a few from the last couple of months:
When I asked him to go get his coat, he shouted, "Aye aye, Mother!" (I could get used to this response.)
One evening Ryan fell asleep on his bed while Noah was playing on the floor nearby. All of the sudden I heard Noah say, "Nice tooter, Dad! I haven't heard you toot for a long time!" Ha! Someone must've been gassy in his sleep.
When he was showing off his toy alligator to a friend he said, "I got this from Katie. She's my birthmom and my birthday cake maker. She always makes my birthday cakes! And guess what? Now she is married to a man named Drew!"
When we play with Legos together, he always gives me the pinks and purples, and he takes the blacks, greens, and browns for himself. He says, "These are more boyly, Mama. I only play with toys that are boyful."
Out of the blue one afternoon he said, "Mom, doesn't Annie want to make anyone happy?" Confused, I said, "Who is Annie?" His reply? "The lady who makes that gross macaroni and cheese!" Hahaha! Apparently he's not a fan of the famous organic brand!
Noah does not like to be scolded or forced to do things. After he's been in a time-out, I take the advice from the parenting books and say, "What did you do wrong, and what are you going to do differently next time?" He refuses to answer these condescending (and, frankly, annoying) questions. He says, "Mom, I do know what I did wrong, but I really don't want to talk about it!" Touche, Noah!
I overheard him playing alone during his quite time, and he was saying, in the most dramatic voice imaginable, with long pauses between each phrase, "And then the Titanic was never ever seen again. Because it sunk...to the depths...of the ocean."
When we were snuggling in bed one night, going over the events of the day, he said, "I really liked those brownies that we had after dinner." I agreed enthusiastically, "Me too!" And then he got quiet and turned to me with a sneaky look in his eye, "Mom, are you thinking what I'm thinking?" Ha! I think he wanted me to become his accomplice in sneaking brownies off the top of the refrigerator.
Noah says his "th" sound like an "f" sound. It's subtle and adorable and I love it. So what he really said that night when he wanted to sneak some brownies was, "Mom, are you finking what I'm finking?" ;)
One day he came bounding out of preschool wearing a ridiculous mustache sticker. I burst out laughing and said, "Hey, nice mustache!" He smiled slyly and said, "Thanks! I grew it for M-day." He truly thought he had me fooled.
He absolutely loves preschool, and his teachers are the best--planning fun events like Pajamas and Pancakes Day (pictured above). The other morning he told me, "Mrs. Stevens is pretty good at everything. She somehow knows when it's just the right time to clean up, and do book time, and go outside to play. She really does know everything!"
I'm glad he has his beloved Mrs. Stevens in his life, teaching him all sorts of life lessons. The other day I was encouraging him to get his shoes on so we could run errands. He was distracted by a toy and ignored me the first three times I asked. I finally went over and took the toy out of his hand, and he got very angry. "MOM! Mrs. Stevens told us that we are never supposed to take something out of someone's hand when they are playing with it!" I explained that I had asked him nicely several times and he had ignored me, but he was unconvinced. He said, in all seriousness, "Mom. You really need to go back to preschool." ;)
Finally, Noah is quite the comedian at church and makes everyone around us laugh. We recently had a broadcast as our Sunday service so several different congregations could listen to the leadership at once. When we got into the pew and Noah looked up and saw the screen with the projector, he gleefully announced, "Oooooh, TV time!"
When my dad was visiting us this past week and we were at church, Noah said to him after the passing of the Sacrament bread, "I wish I could have two pieces of that bread, Bapa. It was sooooo tasty!" And later in the service, he suddenly said quite loudly, "I'm just meditating, Bapa. It's good to meditate when you're at church." The people in the pew behind us couldn't stop chuckling.
Noah makes me happy. He fills my life with laughter, snuggles, and love. Although I tease him that I don't want him to grow up--and I do often feel nostalgic about the years and phases that have passed--I also love getting to know him better and better and seeing his personality and talents emerge as he gets older. I love that motherhood allows me to be a part of every phase of my children's journeys. It is a blessing and a privilege for sure!