Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Joseph at 5 years

I say it every time I post this annual update about Joseph - he has changed so much in the past year!  The thing about him now that still takes me by surprise so often is how much of a little person he is instead of just a kid.  He is truly conversational, he has opinions, he makes decisions, he understands and accepts consequences, he is capable of being entirely independent.....what happened to our baby?!

As you saw in the post about his check up, Joseph is clearly growing well.  He's dwarfing that stuffed alligator we gave him the day he came home to us, and he is surely going to be one tall drink of water.  Even though he's just turned 5, we're way into regular kid sized clothes.  No more trying on 6's or 7's to see how thy fit, just give him a boy's small.  And forget about toddler shoes, he's into a kid's size 1.  At least he was in the beginning of the summer.  They've probably grown a full size by now!

Joseph is (still) fun and funny, sweet and affectionate, and has the greatest laugh in the whole world. He has tons of friends and makes friends easily, but is interestingly expressing a preference for hanging out with the big boy posse.  But that's not to say there aren't a few girl friends he still loves to play with.  I think it's because he's gotten significantly stronger and more agile, and subsequently braver in his endeavors.  He's more rough and tumble and into sports.  He can hit a tennis ball pretty well, makes more shots in basketball, and has become a fish in the water.  He'll climb much higher, go on bigger slides, ride crazier rides, play tackle, and take more risks than he ever would have even just a few months ago. He's become a speed demon on his bike and will ride any chance he gets.  As his balance improves he's also more interested in giving his scooter another go.

Joseph's big interests these days include Hot Wheels and monster trucks in addition to every boy's enduring love of the Disney Cars franchise.  Virtually all of his independent & imaginative play involves cars and races.  He is interested in everything about outer space and planets, rockets and robots.  Out of nowhere he's been loving games of any kind (Candyland, Zingo, Connect 4, even pick up sticks!) as well as playing cards (especially Crazy 8's and Go Fish).  Preschool fostered his love of art and he is now nonstop drawing elaborate pictures and coloring like crazy.  He's really into building with everything from Lego's to blocks to magnetic tiles.  He actually loves and asks to do "homework" every day, which is a few pages of some KUMON workbooks on kindergarten skills.  He knows a small number of sight words and asks how to spell everything so he can write out the word.  He also seems to have taken a genuine interest in learning Spanish.  We do what we can but hope to enroll him in a language enrichment program when school starts.

The trouble is that our boy feels the need to be occupied and engaged by us at all times unless there is another kid around.  He has already started the "I'm bored" routine.  The 1st words out of his mouth in the morning are "what do you want to play?"  If we're not playing a game or doing a craft with him, we're reading him books.  He still adores being read to, but chapter books on CD have been entertaining recently too.  Amazing how he can't ever remember a single thing he did all day at school or camp but he can reenact or tell you the entire plot of a book (or TV episode) he saw or heard once.

As for the everyday kind of stuff?  

Sleep patterns are about the same.  He's generally down at 8:30pm and up at 6:30am, although wake up time can vary from 6:00 to 7:00.  He's truly a morning person and I will not hesitate to remind him of that in his teens when he tries to sleep until noon.  He got so challenging to feed for a few weeks when he refused many of his staples, but it was just a brief phase and he's overcompensating now by trying and actually eating new foods left and right.  Even green things!  It took 5 years for him to eat a single raspberry but now he loves them.  Joseph has always loved milk and dairy products.  He could eat his weight in strawberries and peanut butter.  He says I make the best pork quesadillas and barbeque chicken. He just loves going to restaurants.  His favorite is Mexican, even if it's just Chipotle.  He could eat rice and beans every day.

What's quirky and endearing?  

He's a backseat driver and absolutely loves to give directions!  He asks if you remember how to get somewhere - and expects you to say no - so that he can tell you which way to turn. 
He loves to sign on credit card purchases.  Yet he hates to go shopping.  Go figure.

Joe Joe may be growing up fast, but he'll always be our baby boy.  As big as he's getting, we love that he still sleeps with Peter Rabbit lovey every night and asks to be carried around sometimes.  He'll still kiss us good bye every time and he still says "I love you" to us every day.  

That about sums up Joseph for now!  Take a look back at how much he's grown and developed since he was:

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