Saturday, February 13, 2016

Five Years

Last month, we celebrated Eliot's fifth birthday! It's one of those big birthdays because it sounds so big and means that school is just around the corner. However, I feel like we eased into it because Eliot is in his second year of preschool anyway. When he turned four, I said that he had seemed that old for a long time anyway. As it is with five.

Eliot has done so many really big "kid" stuff this year. He's doing great at soccer. He plays (and beats) video games on his own. Sometimes he seems like such a teenager because he wants to watch Youtube videos of other people playing video games, but I don't let him indulge in that much. Eliot ran a few races this past spring and fall, and is an amazing swimmer.

Eliot is doing well in school. When he gets to class, he is always a bit shy, but the kids excitedly greet him and set up games. He tells me all about the games they play at recess. Sometimes I don't even realize how much he is learning until he surprises me with his new knowledge. His teacher has been assessing and making recommendations regarding school, and they said he is doing awesome and is definitely ready for kindergarten. His teacher is especially impressed with how well he can write his name.

Eliot's favorite thing in the world is still dinosaurs. He loves watching Jurassic Park, playing with dinosaurs, writing stories about dinosaurs, impressing everyone with his dinosaur knowledge, and more. He knows the names of so many dinosaurs and facts about them that I can't even keep track.

He also really likes to play outdoors, dig in the dirt, swim in the pool, and go to the beach.

Eliot always has a plan or a design or an explanation for something. He has clear preferences and will strongly tell you how he thinks it should go. One thing we have been working on is getting him to accept that we can't always do his plan right away and sometimes no just means no. Although Eliot can be difficult to work with at times, he truly is the sweetest kid. He is so kind-hearted and gentle. He is always happy to cuddle me. He is sweet and empathetic. He just adores Jack and happily plays with him. They tease each other sometimes, but they're so good one another.

He has learned some tough lessons about sports and soccer lately. While he had a rough season in the fall at first and kept giving up too early, he really turned it around and has developed into a team player. Most of the fall season, he would complain that he didn't have fun if he didn't get goals. Some kids were being pretty tough bullies, but I told him to keep trying. At the end of the season, he got a few goals and was really excited. He had a much better attitude and would hang in there instead of quitting. This winter, he played indoor soccer with his team. He stopped talking about "his" goals so much and started trying to help his team get goals. The whole "team player" concept finally sunk in. I'm excited to see how spring outdoor soccer will go. Then next fall, he will step up an age group.

To celebrate Eliot's birthday, we had a Jurassic World birthday party. I made a cake with an edible t-rex image and also a fossil dig cake with crumbled up nilla wafers as sand. Birthday parties honestly stress me out because I'm not good at directing activities and the kids all ended up wanting to play video games. Arg. I caved and let them, but I wish we could have gone outside or something. Oh well. He had a good time.

I can't wait to see what "five" has in store for him. Eliot tells everyone that he meets that he is "five now" and that "Jack is two and calls all drinks 'juice.'"