this one snuck up on me a little bit. i mean, obviously i knew it was coming. you’ve been talking about your 5th birthday party since about two days after your 4th birthday party. your having a birthday has been on my mind most days for about 11 months. but five. for real, man, that’s getting up there in years.
it was your first really tough one. 3 was hard for your big brother and 4 was considerably better if not easy. but 3 was pretty ok for you. 4, not so much. your stubborn streak really came into its full glory this year. you are almost definitely willing to almost cut off your own nose to spite your face. it’s very trying. you were a pain in the butt. i am proud of your ability not to back down in the face of injustice and that will serve you well in about 20 years but i seriously can’t wait for this developmental phase to move up and out. one night you spent 45 minutes taking 1-2 minute breaks on the basement stairs because you weren’t interested in cleaning up some legos. it was only when i promised you that if you didn’t take this last chance to clean them up i would send you to bed without dinner and you would not get breakfast until you cleaned them up in the morning that you finally relented. and then it took you about 4 minutes to clean up, tops. stubborn.
you have also been working on your whining this year. there are a lot of “but i want..” in your arguments for why you should get to do or have things. it’s trying and wearing. and then you have a breakdown when i still say no. you are having a hard time learning how to say “may i please have” instead of “mama i want.” we talk about how your parents are not your servants and that we don’t wait around all day waiting for your orders, but so far it’s not sinking in.
eating with you is a real trial. you take FOREVER. you do end up eating pretty much everything you are asked – and believe me we give you reasonable, calum-sized proportions – but it takes all damn day. i’ve tried all of the things, snacks, no snacks, with chocolate chips, without, you choose, i choose. it doesn’t matter it all sucks. we’ve just whittled it down to what protein and fruit/vegetables you have to eat and then you can have whatever carbs you want pretty much and often we have to put on a timer to get the last bit finished. i’m not asking for the moon here, but you are exhausting. you will be hungry a lot this coming september, i am certain.
it’s not all narrow misses from being sold to the nearest traveling circus, though. you’re mostly really sweet to your baby brother. you are learning how to get along with your big brother. you took swim lessons this fall and really learned a lot! you started taking speech in october and you’re made huge amounts of progress in articulation and confidence. you learned how to count to 10 all on your own. you are really growing and becoming and funny and interesting person.
you are as big a star wars nerd as anyone in this family now and have even seen most of the movies. you do find them a little scary at times but not too scary to watch. you all have a star wars blaster and there are many imaginary star wars games played in and out of the house.
you’ve started to make your own friends. for the longest time you were just too shy, and i am guessing that your speech may have had something to do with it, but you will even sometimes introduce yourself to other children (usually with prompting, but i think you just need the extra little confidence boost). and you have friends you ask after and work hard at getting together with. for most of the year you liked the idea of seeing these friends more than the reality, but now at just 5 you have started to figure some things out.
like every child with the opportunity, you love the ipad. you especially like tiny thief, a sort of role playing game where you have to solve puzzles to complete quests, but you also like fighting games and sports games and mostly games you can play with gus. you get about an hour or so many days of the week while i work and hugo naps and then about 30 minutes on the weekends. a lot more time than i think is probably best, but i also feel like it’s your last few days of ipad glory before school starts in the fall, so i’m okay with it.
you like card games and board games a lot, and i am sorry that i don’t have more time to play them with you. you especially like sleeping queens and you will play just about any board game that you can. you really enjoy playing and you don’t seem to mind losing – as long as you get to play you really have a good time.
this winter was crazy. after awhile even you were sick of the snow. but for the longest time you really enjoyed climbing and jumping in the snow especially. we really suited up well and you didn’t seem to mind the cold – at least for a long time. it was hard, though, being cooped up inside so much. as soon as spring came and the snow finally melted, we were all so relieved to get back outside again.
your soccer skills really improved this fall. you’re still so small, but you work so hard. you needed papa to be with you a lot at practice, still, but you love to play a lot and you are always so excited to go.
it was hard for you to be left behind this past year when school started. we did a few special things – boston nature center classes, swim classes and speech school – and for the first few weeks your wore your backpack everywhere and all of that helped. and you were so proud that you had so many schools! the winter ruined all of that except for speech school, but i think you are really going to be ready this fall. i can’t believe it is happening so soon!
you’ve done so much growing this year (38.5″, 31.5 lbs!), calum! you were a challenge and crazy making, but you were also still a lover and a snuggler too. we’re all so lucky to have you, thanks for being you.