5 years

dear august,

you like to tell folks that’s your name, now. “august shenk is my REAL name. gus is my NICKname. call me august.” so your pediatrician and bus drivers and any other grownup who asks thinks that’s what you like to be called. but you tell your friends you’re called “gus.” i like that you are differentiating between people who you’d like to know you more intimately and strangers or mere acquaintances, even if i think you’re not quite doing it completely consciously yet.

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you’re getting so BIG! i can’t believe the kinds of conversations we can have with you. real, live, actual discussions in which you take a very active role, telling us about your thoughts and feelings on thinks. this is so very exciting and different than when you were smaller. you are more perceptive than you were at 3 and 4 (obviously) and your insights and opinions are so interesting. sometimes. sometimes, also, i just need you to be quiet for 5 minutes so my brain doesn’t explode from the chatter overload. some things are still the same.

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you are taking on more responsibilities — you bring the garbages to the kitchen on trash day. you earned $2.99 in feeding the cat and other chores so you could by angry birds space. you put your clothes away after i have folded them. you said, “why should *i* have to put my clothes away?” i said, “i put my own clothes away AND cal’s away. why should i put yours away too?” for once, you didn’t have an answer.

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you continue to be an incredibly loving older brother. sure, you are a snot, too, but generally you like to give him kisses and hugs and you will read to him and with him and find ways to play with him (and secretly push him around) when i ignore you both to do housework (or sneak in some computer time of my own). you will sometimes let him crawl up onto your chair at mealtime and the two of you will share your food. you get a kick out of this and so does calum. you genuinely like each other, and that is a delight to watch. 

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you got taller too — 41 inches now — and gained some weight — 37.5 lbs. and that’s just since your pediatrician’s appt in february. since then you have outgrown shoes, socks, pants, and shirts. it’s a little bit ridiculous, this growing: you outgrew the socks twice! but you are catching up to some friends in height and that is interesting to see. you’re still a little bit of a peanut, 15th percentile for height and 25th for weight, but we know quite a few peanuts, so you don’t seem especially small overall.

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we registered you for kindergarten this winter. we don’t know where you’re going yet — most likely the school where you got placed (the hennigan), although there is a small chance you could end up at a few other places. you are definitely interested in “school”, although you still seem to think kindergarten means you play computer games all day long. i really need to start getting some books about going to kindergarten to disabuse you of that notion before it’s too late. you will probably be taking the bus. you will be gone for over 6 hours a day 5 days a week and i am really just trying not to think about it at all. you are tired of hearing it, but i can’t believe how much you are growing so fast.

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you learned to swim this winter.. passably well. we have more work to do, but at this point i know you can fall into the pool and swim to the ladder before you drown. that is important! you like the beach but not if there is seaweed (ok, fair enough). you are afraid of bugs because this fall you got stung by a wasp (partly my fault, we walked a little too close to a nest someone had smashed. i should have realized the wasps would be out for blood). it hurt a lot (of course!) and now you are nervous about anything that buzzes.you are learning to ride a pedal bike, but the one we bought is a *little* big and so it frustrates you that you couldn’t pick it up right away. we are working on that too.

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you still love to play board games and you love star wars. you used to watch the clone wars tv show episodes, but now that you are understanding so much more about life, they are starting to get a little scary for you. so right now we are watching charlie and lola — they are adorable and hilarious and not scary at all and we LOVE them.

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you had your first friend stay over — lucas. he is your most very favorite friend and you tell us this all the time. you both really enjoy each other’s company so much and it’s so lovely to see you play together. you also tell us that “wil” and “wyatt” are your “best friends” from our pre-school co-op, although you seem to play with all the kids equally. you make friends quickly after you get over being shy (which is usually not for very terribly long). it’s another thing about kindergarten that i am excited for you about — the making of new friends and negotiating getting along with new people. 

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you really seem ready for kindergarten too. you’ve started to take an interest in doing worksheets and you are often telling me what this plus this plus that equals — math you’ve learned all on your own. i’m excited to see what you find interesting in school.

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you enjoy chatting on skype or ichat with your grandparents. you get along well with your cousins. you love getting and giving presents, but so far seem to do okay with other people having birthdays too. you don’t *love* to be dropped off without me or papa, but you always do fine once we’re there.

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you were disappointed in this winter — not enough snow to sled much or throw snowballs — but you are game to outside in just about any weather. we spend as much time as possible outside, and although you are a bit bored at playgrounds these days, you can often find a way to entertain yourself if left at it long enough. still, you’d prefer that someone give you a “quest” if possible.

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my sweet, sweet 5 yr old, your year of being 4 was wonderful, and so far 5 looks like it’s going to turn out that way too.

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i love you always!

love,

mama

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