Five seems like such a big age, you know? I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around it. Silas keeps saying, “I still feel four. I don’t feel any different!” But the difference since he was Petra’s age is unreal. I’m liking five a lot! We can have actual discussions about things. It’s huge.
At five, Silas:
- Loves super heroes, bad guys, fairy tales, adventure.
- Has a great imagination.
- Is a little director, but also a good collaborator.
- Needs a lot of downtime, but also loves being with friends.
- Is an amazing artist.
- Loves musicals, especially Wicked and Frozen. Also enjoys making up his own. (Silas singing: “Now I’m a viking, / a viking that’s strong, / as a giant monster!” JC: “Silas, what are you doing?” Silas: “Writing, ‘How to Train Your Dragon The Musical’!”)
- Is the king of similes: “Petra, I love you as much as a bad guy loves to fight.” “I can run as fast as a Wildebeast, and Petra can roar as loud as a squirrel can jump!”
- Can read, but it’s still one word at a time. There’s nothing I can do to teach him at this point—he gets the concept. He just needs to practice, and he’s a bit lazy about it. As has been the case since he was an infant, if he can’t do it perfectly, what’s the point in doing it at all? And, I’m sure, as has been the case with everything, he’ll get it in one big leap. I’m trying to be super chill about it.
- Totally can count to about 100, divide things into groups of various sizes, and recognize numbers.
- Loves audio books so much that all he wants for Christmas is “my own iPod with a lot of new stories on it.”
- Favorite toys are little plastic or wooden figures that he can “make sets” with.
- Can finally sit through me reading a chapter book!!!! I’ve been waiting so long for this day.
- Is still obsessed with China, for four years and counting. Even speaks some Chinese!
Stuff I never thought would change, but has:
- He’s awesome at sharing with friends and also with Petra. Just today, I took them to the book store to spend some birthday money “for books” from my uncle. Besides the actual book books, they both bought sticker/activity books. Silas realized that he’d chosen a much better one, with many times the number of stickers that hers had. I was upstairs and I heard him say, “Petra, would you like some of my extra stickers?” She’s still awful about sharing, but so was he at that age. Having an older child is great because it’s giving me so much more perspective. I never made Silas share, and I got so many dirty looks from moms everywhere for it, but I think it lets big-kid-him share out of a generous heart, when I’m not looking. Seeing how he’s turned out, post-toddler, gives me the strength to endure the dirty looks on Petra’s behalf, too.
- He’s very brave. He had to have a blood draw done at the doctor’s office (long story), and he hated it, but I was able to talk him through why, and he did great. He cried, but he didn’t fight it. Being big enough to understand the larger context of things has allowed him to deal with them.
- He can finally choose more-or-less appropriate clothes and put them on by himself. Socks and shoes are still a struggle, but we’re getting there. I’m so ready to just say, “Go get your clothes on,” and have him be done the next time I think to check on him.
- He can (not the same as does, always) clean up his toys and things properly, putting them where they actually belong.
- 100% potty independence. Still needs to learn to shut the door behind him, but other than that…I’m hands off.
Stuff I’m hoping changes this year (not a ton, really. He’s a super good kid!):
- Awareness! Of his body in space, of other people’s bodies in his path, of how much time/effort/love adults put into stuff for him.
- Helpfulness! He’s finally big enough to be useful, but he’s not always into it. “Can you feed the dog, please?” “Not right now.” “Can you help me unload the dishwasher?” “No thanks.” He does, at least, help with the laundry.
I love him more and more as he’s growing. He’s someone I genuinely like hanging out with. The baby stuff was tough, the toddler thing was a challenge, but this is fun. Last Tuesday, while Petra was at Play School, I took Silas to a coffee shop, and we had a snack and I read Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (a birthday present from Bethany) to him (which he described as “The best book you’ve ever read to me.”). It was…perfect. So pleasant. So easy. So wonderful. This is what I sort of hoped parenting would be like.