Five. A whole hand. Guys, my little man is really growing up.
He informed me that he got to do whatever he wanted to do today since it was his birthday. That included eating three donut holes for breakfast, wearing his pajamas to school, going out for dinner at Pizza Street and getting two desserts there, going for a walk to the neighborhood pond, and ending the day with a Nerf Gun war.
I genuinely enjoy his company. He’s still my silly little boy, who makes up languages and does the naked dance and giggles every time he farts. But I see that young man in him. I see it when he shares something he really wants. I see it when he pauses to carefully select his words. I see it when he furrows his brow, thinking of just the right thing to make for someone he loves. He’s the coolest kid and I love him so much!
Maclin, here are the things I want to remember about right now:
You love to create. Sometimes you spend hours at the dining room table, painting and drawing and writing. Then you get scissors and scotch tape and hang your masterpieces up all around the house; the other day I was surprised to not only find drawings on the inside of the cabinet but also in the bathtub.
You also like to create games. All kinds of games. Recently you were very excited about a board game you drew. You insisted the entire family play, and sat us down and explained all these nonsensical rules that resulted in you winning the game. Lord have mercy on your older siblings who mostly humor you (at least, after they receive our evil glances silently threatening punishment if they mess up your games).
Every night at bedtime you stay in your room entertaining yourself. When you’re ready for bed you holler “FIVE MINUTES IS STARTING!” This is our cue to check on you in five minutes; if you’re asleep we’re to leave a small snack in your closet. You wake up in the middle of the night to eat said snack, then go back to bed. One time we forgot and you woke us up at 3AM screaming as if you had seen the devil himself.
Speaking of nighttime- for the past two years you’ve snuck into our bed nearly every night. We finally decided to do something about this, so we bribed you…if you stay in your bed at night, you get a sticker. Five stickers earns you a selection from the “Treasure Chest”, filled with goodies from the Dollar Tree and Mimi’s work. It worked like a charm; we’ve been doing that for maybe a month now and you’ve only been in our bed twice.
A friend gave us a hand me down bike and you’ve been riding it (without training wheels) for six months now. You just figured out how to use the brakes and you are very excited about this. You like to walk to the neighborhood pond, where you throw rocks and watch the geese.
You’re finally wiping your own butt. This is fantastic.
I’m hoping you get the musical genes I always wish I had. I have the piano keys labeled, and I’ll write the notes on sheet music. You love to play the songs. You also like to make up your own songs. Sample lyrics: “This thing in your heart, it might be true, or it might be fake, but you’ve got it in yooooooouuuuuu”. I make up my own songs but you always remind me that “the moves matter just as much as the song, mom.”
You started swimming this summer and man, you are a fish. And you have no fear.
You’re extroverted and talk to people wherever we go. For the last month, every time we run into someone (the parent at the park, the checker at the grocery store, people at the table next to us) you tell them: “My name is Wiggles. W-I-G-G-L-E-S. I’m 4 and a half. I’m going to be 5 on April 18. That’s X days from now.”
You’re such a good big brother. Sassypants is not an easy little sister to have, but you’re always willing to share with her, are so patient with her, and are the first to try to calm her when she’s upset. Which is often.
Your best friend at school is Veda. You had me write her name on a piece of paper, tape it to the wall, and then write “Marry her” underneath it so that you wouldn’t forget. Then you told me that when you’re 16, you guys are going to get married, live in the woods behind the school, and get guns to kill animals for food.
You get really into games. Earlier it was Trouble, you would play it at Supersonic speed by yourself constantly. Then it was Go Fish. You can play this for hours, no matter where we are. I keep a deck of cards in my purse.
You’re my little buddy. You love to do things with me, and I love your company. You love to help in the kitchen (and actually, you love to create your own concoctions in the kitchen as well, which you say are delicious but actually aren’t edible). You are always volunteering to run errands with me. One time I asked you if you liked to go to the store and you said “No, I just like being with you.” Queue heart swoon.
You’re going to kindergarten in the fall. I’m not a super emotional person, and I always thought the fact that I would be saving thousands and thousands of dollars a year would far outweigh any sad feelings I had about you growing up. I was wrong. It’s really bumming me out that you’re going to elementary school, that you’ll be riding the bus with those rowdy big kids, that you’ll have lots of unhealthy lunch options to choose from, that you’ll be out of our protective little utopia of home and a montessori-esque school. But you’re ready. You’re so ready. You’re going to kill it.
You’re a little ornery and when I act sad about you growing up you giggle and tell me that you’re never going to stop growing until you’re a grown up. But then you tell me that you’ll always be my baby, even when you have your own kids. What else can I ask for?
I love you Wiggles. Happy fifth birthday!