Tuesday, March 6, 2018

3.5 and 5.5

  The times, they are a changing.  Bennett will be three and a half next week and Orelia has already gleefully celebrated her half birthday (she's now five and a half, as she will proudly tell you).

One of the fascinating things I've found through parenting these two souls is that while every month and year brings new habits and behaviors and accomplishments (and setbacks), each kid still seems so very much themselves.  Bennett is starting to really like numbers and really like KNOWING the numbers, so he adores a hopscotch board.  On this particular day he drove his butterfly-winged car over to the hopscotch board to dutifully recite the numbers he saw underneath his feet.

 And while Orelia has stopped (mostly) wearing costumes to school (she wore one every day to school for two years, I think), she still gets dressed every morning with such excitement and flair.

 In or out of a costume she receives compliments and smiles everywhere she goes for her "style."  And she is always dressed for the "occasion" that exists (either in her head or real life) - leotards for gymnastics, shorts for cooking ("working clothes," as she calls them), or dresses for a dinner out. 

 At five and a half she's still loving princesses and all they embody, but she has a lot of other interests as well.

 She loves the idea of horses recently, and would very much like one for a pet please and thank you.

I will never forget the time we did a pony ride at a harvest carnival and the pony in front of her pooped.  Afterward she very disgustedly said "That did NOT feel very much like a princess!"

 Life can be like that sweetie, but no matter where you go in life, I'm sure you will bring some regal flair.

 Both Orelia and Bennett love "weeding" our garden with John.  I sit on the front porch, occasionally with my camera, and am content to sit out the labor thank you very much.  I had to capture Orelia weeding in an Elsa gown, however, because it cracked me up too much.

 Something about this weeding chore makes both kids excited, and I am hapy to hand them their buckets and tell them to get to work.

 Bennett will very rarely pass up an opportunity to "help" with anything, especially if his sister is already helping Mom or Dad.  He has always had a strong work ethic in many ways, as well as an extremely strong desire to do things himself.  Much to our chagrin. 

 Harper is seven and continues to be herself as well, sweet and playful and full of love for everyone she meets (save for a few barky dogs on the street).

 Bennett loves feeding Harper and loving her in his rough little way.  Orelia likes to make sure Harper is never left out when we do things as a "family."

We have had a recent schedule change in our house.  Orelia who has napped every day of her life (almost) for 5.5 years has finally dropped her nap.  I always expected her to slowly drop it where she would fight nap and skip nap every other day or so.  But instead, she kept on napping every day and we decided to just tell her nap was over and we stopped putting her down for nap.  This means she is going down  to sleep earlier at night, at least.

 Bennett was the real impetus for this change, because he was napping for three hours a day and driving us crazy (to put it lightly) when it came for bed time and he wasn't sleepy enough.  So we have cut his nap down to an hour and are dealing with slightly less shenanigans at bed time. 

 During the day he's as cute as can be, and has amped up his charm to new levels.

 He's been connecting more with kids at school and is playing with Orelia and her friends more than ever.  Just yesterday he was the teacher in a game of school and Orelia's friend said "Bennett can you teach us about trucks?"  He sure can! 

 He is full of laughter as well as full of food because he almost never stops eating.  He weighs himself every night to "see how much [he] ate."  I have every expectation that he will be eating more than the rest of our family combined during his teenage years.  I better keep my Costco membership.

 Not only is he playing more with kids, but he also is seeking out more play time with Mom and Dad.  He doesn't want to play trucks or Duplo by himself anymore, but he wants us to be by his side and playing with him.  He would truly like me to race around the house on my hands and knees pushing a car/truck around (like he does), but my knees aren't really capable of that, so I slowly walk around the house carrying the vehicle he has deemed most important for me at that moment. 

 He still has that physical and aggressive side (like many boys, I'm told), that I really struggle with - especially since it is so different than Orelia's nature.  Just this week, he finally started remaining calm enough to push his hands together and grunt "I'M SO MAD!" when his sister (or I) upset him badly enough that previously would have made him lash out physically.  He may forget this newly acquired skill any day, but it is nice to at least see a little improvement on something we have been working so hard on.

 Orelia, too, has matured a lot and she is definitely looking striking lately.  She has also matured a lot in her behavior at school lately.  She still has perhaps a tinge too much to tell the teacher during circle time, but she's sitting still and being a little calmer as she waits to be called upon. Her handwriting and interest in letters and numbers is getting better, and I think next year in kindergarten she will have a great year.

She is as social as ever and wherever she goes is surrounded by new and old friends.  She would prefer to have a play date every single day, but since I don't quite have the energy for that, she is thankfully able to take some quiet time to herself these days and play "pet shop" in her room (where none of the pets are sold, mind you, they are all owned and loved by her).  She still shows her love for people by giving them things, and she is constantly making us works of art that John dutifully takes to work.  Bennett also has gotten in on this "game" and dutifully churns out many "long snakes" (scribbles) or pieces of paper covered in glue or car stickers. 

Our house generally looks like a tornado has blown through (unless Bennett ha had a stint of organizing), but it is a house filled with two very busy and silly kids whom we love with everything we have. Three and a half and five and a half are pretty fun, albeit tiring, ages. 

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