Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Bean is Seven Years Old!

Today The Bean is seven years old!

Guys... we have a seven year old! When did that happen?! When did he go from being a cute little toddler into a proper KID? And not even a little kid. A big kid. Crazy.

Grade One is off to a good start. The Bean sometimes complains that he doesn't like school, but I think it's because it's work. His teacher is more firm than in kindergarten and he's started having to try a bit harder. Things still seem to come easy for him, but he is having to put in more effort. He is excelling with Literacy, an doing well in Math and Science, LOVES Phys. Ed. and Drama but, somewhat surprisingly, seems more or less indifferent to music. That said, he was in choir during the fall term and shone in the school concert where they sang a lot of really fun songs like, I'm Still Standing, and I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.

He seems to know everyone in the school. It seems his preference is to play sports with older kids and recess, and while he isn't excluded, but he's not exactly "one of them" either. In class, he still socializes with a group of kids he's known since Junior Kindergarten. There are five of them together this year. (And he as a crush on one of the girls! Eek!)

He LOVES to be outdoors and be active. He has taken a huge interest in sports. We enrolled him in Soccer in the fall and he has excelled. He even won an award for "Most Improved Player" which he was incredibly proud of. His swimming has also come a far way. Like with Sprout, the lessons at the private swim school seemed to make a big difference to his capabilities in the water. He can now swim the width of the pool and has been working on various strokes. He would most certainly do any sport we allowed him to, but so far two seems to be keeping us busy enough. He has been asking about basketball though, and told me just today that there might be a ball hockey club starting at school. I guess we'll see what comes of it all...

One of the few times he's not moving is when he's reading. This child devours books. He will sit and read an entire chapter book in one go. Between Christmas and his birthday he must have gotten about 25 new books and I'm fairly certain he has read them all. I can't keep up anymore! Magic Treehouse Merlin Missions, The Kindgom of Wrenley, Little Legends, Rahl Dahl, Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary are favourites. Anyone with suggestions of great kids books feel free to comment! Nothing too scary though, he gets nightmares from those.

Board games have also been a growing pass time. He's taking an interest in games with more complicated rules. Monopoly Jr. is a new favourite for our money-obsessed child. Sorry!, Connect Four, and Uno are other "classics" that he enjoys. He got a cool cooperative game called Cauldron Quest for his birthday and we've probably played it a couple dozen times so far. He's not the best loser, but the repeated message about enjoying playing being the goal may slowly be sinking in.

The Bean does not like being alone. I feel like he's actually taken a step back in this regard. We live in a small apartment, yet still he does not like to go into a room without anyone else there. That means he asks us to sit with him in the bathroom, go with him into his bedroom whenever he wants to change/get a book/play in there, and we always get his company, even when we might rather have two minutes alone. And aside from the time when he's reading, he pretty much always wants someone to be interacting with him. He and Sprout play well together most of the time, but their interests are quite different, so that can be a struggle.

This also has been making bedtime hard. He always asks if we will lie with him, or at least sit in his room. I've instituted a routine that if they are in bed on time (7:30pm), that I take turns lying with them until 8pm. So, about half the time I'm in there snuggling. It's hard, because by that time, I'm often just done; so I try to remind myself that this phase will be over all too soon and that I'll miss cuddling these sweet, needy children.

Speaking of sweet, The Bean has become quite the little writer and every so often will gift us with little love notes. He also likes sending emoji-heavy text messages and emails. He adds things to the grocery list in our kitchen, which is pretty adorable... kid writing requesting "bagals" up there on the white board. He's written several books and I'm thinking he might enjoy a diary sometime soon. (He often has things he wants to talk to us about --his crush, an interaction from during the school day. He'll preface it by saying, "You won't laugh at me, will you?" or "If I tell you something, you wouldn't tell anyone else, right?" So I've been thinking a place to record and process these thoughts might be of interest to him.)

Health-wise he's been doing pretty well. He had a stomach virus before the holidays and is fighting a cold now after having gotten his flu shot last week. I'm always worried that with his asthma a cold is going to morph into bronchitis which is going to morph into pneumonia. We've been dosing him with multivitamins and elderberry and probiotics in the hope that we'll be able to keep things at bay. His digestive system is still an issue, but a managed issue. His pediatrician suggested putting him on a low FODMAPS diet just to see if it would help, but I can't imagine trying to get him to stick to that. His favourite foods are carbs. The aforementioned "bagals", cereal, crackers, etc. He's not an adventurous eater by any means, but he eats a bit of a variety from each of the food groups, so I can't complain (though he's trying to veto certain things he used it eat, so maybe I can/will complain...). We tend to rotate the same dozen or so dinners... usually a meat and a veggie, though both kids like rice, pasta and potatoes too.

He's gaining weight. Still on his own little growth curve. Somewhere around the 20th percentile, I believe. He is almost 45lbs and 3'10". He mostly wears size 5 clothes, but is moving into 6s mostly for the length. Shoe size is about a 12.

We've been having a challenge dealing with angry outbursts from The Bean. I'm not sure why it is, but he has developed a tendency to yell or snap at us when things aren't going as he would like. I find it frustrating and exhausting. It's not the way that Jen or I typically interact, so I'm not sure where he's picked it up from, or if it's just something that's innate. I'm trying to be more aware of my tone and to give him my undivided attention as much as possible in the hopes that that improves things. As far as I know, it's just something that happens at home, which is a good thing overall, though still hard on us.

The Bean seem to be going through a lot of changes lately, overall positive, but still challenging for him to navigate, I'm sure. Higher expectations being placed on him, more independence, a greater recognition of the outside world and the way that people interact in it. We're learning how to parent him through these changes. To have patience and listen and provide both the support and space he needs. Seven is bound to be an exciting year!

1 comment:

  1. Cutest big kid photo ever!!!!

    Happy Birthday, Bean!!!! What a great little dude you have on your hands. Aside from not feeling the music class, what is up with that??

    The adventures of WedgieMan and House of robots are huge reading hits over here with Little Monster.