I know it's impossible to summarize a person in just one blog post, but that doesn't stop me from trying. I just want to try to capture everything I can about Joseph in this moment in time, knowing he's going to change so much. Plus, it gives me an excuse for our annual alligator photo shoot!
If there's one thing to start off with about the past year, it surely is
that Joseph has GROWN. He started out the Spring with an entirely new
wardrobe that he outgrew halfway through Summer. He jumped from a boy's
small to a boy's large in no time at all! His clothes are nearing the same
size as Brent's, and his shoes are so big that Mimi fits into them!
His appetite is insatiable, but his diet is really good. He wants to
try everything and will eat almost anything now. Except green beans.
I don't know what he has against green beans, but he won't even look at them. He loves sushi and all Asian food, but Mexican is probably still his favorite. He adores peanut butter and thinks chocolate is a religion, and insists that dessert is a right rather than privelege. He has unfortunately discovered lemonade and other sweet and sugary drinks, but then again they can be used as powerful bargaining tools when need be.
In terms of his personality, Joseph is a generally sweet and gentle soul. I still find him to be somewhat naive, but he is slowly maturing and becoming more assertive. He is certainly a kind and considerate friend. He has such amazingly good manners and people are often impressed with how polite he is, but don't worry, we get to see him be pretty bossy at home. Especially when he has to wear a shirt with a collar. It is all sorts clothes all the time now.
We've finally reached the point where Joseph will play independently, and his world is dominated by battles. He's still into knights and dragons, but we now have more army men than we know what to do with, and all the various Lego minifigures collected over the years are constantly at war with each other. Not shocking then that his favorite card game is War as well. He really likes a nice board game too, and although he's horrible at it, he likes to play charades.
If JT had his way, every single day would be movie night and a sleepover. School would be cancelled forever and there would never be homework. He could play until whatever hour he wanted. And he would have his own iPad. (Not likely, son.)
Joseph essentially never stops talking or singing, even when playing by himself. He is just as likely to spontaneously burst into a song from Mary Poppins as he is the Star Wars theme. And really, will he ever tire of "What does the fox say" or Gangnam Style? He makes up his own silly lyrics to pop songs and is terribly off key, but it still brings me joy to hear him belting out "a spoonful of sugar" or "let's go fly a kite."
School has proved to be continually challenging, and Joseph still prefers to be read to, but that little guy worked so hard this year and advanced in reading so much that it's hard not to sing his praises. He essentially improved 2 grade levels in less than 1 year, and finished out just above grade level! That being said, he is full of blatantly incorrect and completely useless information. I know I'm in for it when its quiet for a second, and then comes "Did you know...?". Like, did you know that all of the street lights are all red or all green at exactly the same time? Did you know that they use food dye to make the lights the different colors? Oy. Sometimes this is preferable to his storytelling, which goes so far off on tangents that after 10 minutes I just have to stop and redirect him.
Joe Joe still has these wonderfully endearing little quirks that I can never quite figure out the root of - like, why will he never use the word turn? If he tells you how to get somewhere, you have to "curve" this way or that way. Instead of saying "I don't know" or that he doesn't remember something, his response is always "I'm not telling you." It's lovely that he wants to hear about how our day at work went, but he says "tell me about some of your conversations today."
Of course, my favorite thing in the world is that he hasn't totally grown up yet. He'll still gladly hold our hands and kiss us goodbye. He still sleeps with his Peter Rabbit, but the bedtime menagerie has expanded to include Seal from the National Zoo, Philipe the French frog from the MFA in Boston, Black Ink the squid from Rehoboth, and now Penny the penguin from Vancouver, in addition to the small quilt I made for Bear so long ago. His response when we say "I love you" is still "I love you the most!" Please, please don't ever let that change!