Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dear Noah 4 years 11 months

Dear Dear Noah,
Wow - you're this close to five. It's so so unreal. It makes me smile because I remember last year when you had your third and final birthday celebration you said: "Oh good! I've always wanted to be five!" Well, now you're really finally almost there!

We've been busy anticipating our move (that we keep reminding you comes before your birthday). You're excited. You've forgotten, I presume, that this means we'll be leaving familiar things behind. The biggest thing we're leaving behind is playgroup and it's really really hard. You love "Playgroup Family Dinner Nights". We have one more official one - the night before we move and it's going to be hard. So hard. I doubt you'll realize but I hope you enjoy it to its absolute fullest.

After much research we converted your bike to a balance bike. You have always been a kid who doesn't want to do something until your confident in your ability. This, in hindsight, is what we think happened with talking. It's definitely what happened with walking. And it's happening with bike riding too. The switch to balance bike mode has been perfect. You were fast with training wheels but you're more confident with no pedals or training wheels. I bet by the end of the summer you'll be ready for your pedals to go back on. And if not, the balance bike mode is exceptionally enjoyable. You're very very proud of your balance bike and have told friends and strangers alike that you have a balance bike now.

You have surprised me a lot this month by coming out of your shell. I know some people call you shy. I don't really see it - but that makes sense - you're not shy with me! But now I'm shocked when you confidently engage in conversation with adults - the librarian, the man at the bed store where we got your new mattress, strangers at the grocery store. You'll gladly tell them about books we're reading, your balance bike ... or show them your newest and greatest physical accomplishments (jumping super high like a frog). I think you're following your sister's lead but then she follows yours to one-up whatever trick you just showed. I turn to Daddy full of questions about his childhood because I assumed your personalities were similar. He says he was nothing like this. So extroverted after all? It's so fun to watch your transformation over the years!

I heard from a friend that boys who are five have a hormonal surge (testosterone in particular) that leads to big emotional swings. I'm not sure if hormones are to blame, Mommy's anxiety, or the anticipated move or a combination or none of those - but you are one big ball of frustration at times. It started about a month ago and generally seems to be around when we need to leave someone's house. You yell: "NO! I DON'T WANT TO LEAVE!" and this is often followed by a run to the couch where you can bury your head in the couch to hide tears. I'm sorry that you're having such big emotions. It's hard, really hard. It's hard not to rise to your level of frustration and hard to help you articulate the words you need to explain how you're feeling. It might be even harder when you do manage to put words to feelings when those words don't change the outcome. Sometimes we need to leave before you feel ready. This is a new day for us because historically when I've given you a 5/10-minute warning you've said: "I'm ready to leave now, let's go" - and often I haven't been ready to leave! So a switch of roles that we're trying to figure out.

As much as we're on an unschooling track I think there's a lot of unit study fun thrown in. You've been very interested in knights so we've been reading about knights a lot! We've also continued our chapter book love and have been reading for hours on end. So fun to enjoy these stories with you and I'm so surprised at your patience for these stories. There's piles and piles of books that we're both excited to read in the future!

I love this life with you Mr. Man.

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