Five

On Sunday, my dear sweet Ferris, my now middle child, turned five. Aside from being super mad that he can’t go to Kindergarten now, and didn’t magically overnight learn how to read and write, he’s pretty excited.

He’s as hilarious as he is cute, and he’s pretty darn cute. And he’s so unique, and not afraid to let his personality show. And a unique boy needs a unique celebration. The day started off with some birthday pancakes at Denny’s. Then, we took him on a shopping spree at Toys R Us, mainly because we forgot to get presents until the last minute, but if he asks, we thought it would just be more fun!

birthday pancakes

Then it was off to Golf N Stuff with friends. It’s a place here in Tucson with mini-golf, bumper boats, go karts and an arcade. It’s basically the best place to spend a kid’s birthday. After that, we headed to Dairy Queen for ice cream, and then at bedtime he got to play with his new toys in his for a while before going to bed. All in all, a good day had by everyone.

putt putt

 

birthday ice cream

He’s becoming his own little person in so many ways. Of course, anything his big brother loves, he loves too. But he’s always putting his own little spin on all of it.

He mispronounces like, a million words. I don’t have the heart to correct him, it’s just way too sweet. Some examples: kitty glitter (kitty litter), sprinkle water (sparkling water), Pandaspress (Panda Express, his favorite restaurant), flip flaps (flip flops), roaster coaster (roller coaster), Golfing Stuff (Golf N Stuff) and scream time (screen time). He also likes to tell us how he’s feeling using the infinitive. “I feel like to poop.” “I feel like to sleep.” “I feel like to have cereal.”

Favorite things: Scream time (see above), Minecraft, Legos, cats, dogs, dinosaurs, robots, knock knock jokes, salami, dirt, horsepower (when we are driving and the engine revs), Jeep adventures, arts and crafts, root beer, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, McDonald’s Playplaces, and making poop and fart jokes.

Least favorite things: not getting a turn during Scream Time, having his picture taken, the fact that his car door is still child locked, bedtime, leaving school, chocolate (weirdo), and apparently, riding in someone else’s car (we tried a carpool thing with friends and it did NOT go over well).

It’s amazing to watch him grown and become his own little man. So much of him reminds me of when my younger brother was a kid, which is very heartwarming. I’m just thankful he hasn’t needed stitches yet, very much UNLIKE my younger brother.

Happy fifth birthday to my dearest Ferris, I’m sorry you’re the middle child now, but being sandwiched between siblings has got to have some benefit to it, right? I vow to make sure I remember to douse you with as much mom love as I can. I hope you have a great year, even though you don’t get to go to Bowie’s school quite yet. Here’s to 5 and all the exciting stuff to come.

Five.

Bowie crawled in bed with us at 4 a.m. on his birthday, something about bad dreams. And when he woke up, he turned to look at Brien and the first thing out of his mouth was, “Am I five now?”

He has been looking forward to being five since the day after he turned four. And the day finally came. It was a bright, sunny day, perfect for celebrating a birthday. AND for graduating from preschool. Yes, these happened on the same day. After graduation, we skipped grad parties and drove around in Brien’s VW (aka Daddy’s Race Car) through the park and past the beach. Then we took him out to his favorite neighborhood restaurant for a cheese quesadilla, spanish rice and refried beans–his ultimate meal. After that, we walked to the beach, played with one of the two sets of stomp rockets he got as gifts, and caught a gorgeous sunset. It was a whirlwind of a day for all of us, but in the end so, so joyous and amazing.

Saturday we had his birthday party at our house. It was a rock and roll themed party, so things got fairly hectic. If anyone reading this was around to witness my Mommy Meltdown, I have to apologize to you. Retrospectively, it was a really awesome birthday party, but to have to deal with messes and preschooler arguments and where the pizzas will go and when we will do the cake, all while kids are hitting drums and cymbals as hard as they can, well it can really take the wind out of your sails.

Sunday was The Big Show for his second session of Rock Band Land. He killed it. All the kids killed it. So awesome. I’m actually sad that Bowie won’t be taking it again until September, it has an amazing effect on him. We went to pick him up after rehearsal and he was as chipper as can be. And he sat (mostly) quietly in my lap for the whole show until his performance. I can’t remember the last time he willingly sat still in my lap. And because he loves music and his rock band so much, we decided his big present this year would be this:

Dearest, sweetest Bowie,

I look at you today and I am amazed. You’re so far from baby or even toddler. You’re a bona fide kid now. You’re all limbs and smiles and blonde hair.

You’re super sensitive, and the world doesn’t always understand you. On top of that, you have been through a lot in the past year, but your moxie is still shining through.

You were diagnosed with SPD, just over a year ago. Which on the one hand was so helpful for all of us to know, and we are working to get past it. But on the other hand is so difficult to know and to deal with. I never wanted you to have the sensitive childhood I had, and it breaks my heart to see you dealing with too much sound, too much light, too much touch. Life is hard enough without the extra troubles. But, I can tell you’re a lot more resilient than your mama. And now that we know what’s going on, we can tailor your world for you.

This year, you also became a big brother. Which I know was very difficult for you. To go from being the center of everyone’s world to having to share that spotlight with someone else. But you’re a champ. And that little brother is already looking up to you with some mega admiration. I hope you can and want to set great examples for him in all of your life.

This year you also started Rock Band Land! You have been having SO MUCH FUN making music with Brian and Marcus, and performing at the Big Show. We’re going to look into getting you lessons for any instrument you want–even drums! It was one of the best moments of my life to see your reaction when you first saw your new guitar. You had an amazed and bewildered look on your face, and you turned around and gave your daddy a giant hug, and then gave me a giant hug. And you said thank you over and over all day. You also ran to your room and hand selected a toy for each of us from your collection to say thanks. It was so sweet!

There’s a very, very sweet boy inside of you that I wish the world could see as much as we do. I wish I could walk by your side for the rest of your life to help explain your “bad” and “erratic” behavior to people, but I won’t be able to. But today, I remind myself, you’re only five, and I can still help out for now. We’ll keep working on it, and we’ll get there someday.

My litte rock star. So excited to turn five, so excited to start Kindergarten. Excited to grow up to be “an astronaut. Or a race car driver.”

Future’s so bright, you gotta wear shades.

Five is climbing the dunes at the beach by yourself. Five is not always having to hold hands to cross the street. Five is electric guitars and remote control cars. From where I sit, five is going to be pretty awesome.

Have a great year buddy, I love you.

Mama

 

Prologue

I’ve been putting off drafting Bowie’s fifth birthday blog post for some time now, knowing full well it will make me cry. No matter how I try to frame it–I’m sad you’re turning 5, I’m happy you’re turning 5, I’m indifferent you’re turning 5–I’m going to cry.

MY BABY IS TURNING FIVE.

AND THEN MY BABY IS GOING TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.

And it’s all happening very soon.

This past weekend, we bought Bowie a new bed. He was still sleeping in his toddler bed, which was just his crib turned into a toddler bed. So, we got him a proper bed for a kid. Because he’s not a toddler anymore, he’s a kid. (Sniff.)

In the spirit of things, we also got him a booster seat for the car, and gave Ferris the car seat. Ferris was of course still in the infant seat, the kind that snaps into the stroller. The stroller that, devastatingly enough, Ferris is big enough to ride in sans infant car seat. So, he’s in the big seat now. And Bowie is in a booster. The kind where he wears the regular car seat belt.

(SNIFF.)

I’m hoping these small graduations are going to somehow prepare me for the upcoming big GRADUATION.

Though I know I will be a puddle of tears on that fateful day. I have cried at all of the preschool graduations that my son was not a participant in. Our preschool is a coop, so we really get to know the kids, and watching them all graduate and move on is just too much. So, when it’s my own kid…

…UGH.

Parenting is hard. So hard. But by far the hardest part about it is watching them grow so fast right before your eyes. You have a baby, then you blink and you have a Kindergartner.

It is also really fun to watch them blossom and change and become the little individuals they are inside. And you watch them do something amazing, like write their own name or play the drums or apologize without being asked to and you’re dumbfounded: I made that.

So when I’m scrubbing peanut butter out of the couch, or picking up the same toys for the 100th time, or nursing the baby for the 4th time in one night, I keep reminding myself: this will all be over someday. It will all be a distant, blurry memory. But I’ll miss it.

The first night as a teenager that they miss curfew. I’ll be wide awake, waiting to hear them come in. And I’ll miss holding that soft head against my cheek at 3 a.m. I’ll miss hearing them sing preschool songs with their tiny voice. I’ll even miss potty training. Yes, even that.

So, as we settle into May here at the Wankel homestead, Bowie’s last month as a preschooler, I am just reminding everyone to slow down and enjoy this. They’re only little once. And for such a short time.

 

Five For Friday

These always feel like cheater posts, but people seem to enjoy them. And, it’s Friday, what do you expect?

1. Bowie went to the dentist on Wednesday. He always does so great there. But, that’s not the point of my story. When checking out, we scheduled his next appointment for 6 months from now. The woman asked, “How’s September 21st?” And, I about had a mini heart attack. I managed to babble out the words, “Ummm, I’m having a baby that week.” At which the whole desk staff at the dental office when nuts. So, we made an appointment for early October instead, and as we were leaving she said, “Next time we see you, you will be a big brother!” And I was all, “HOLY CRAP.” Ok, it’s starting to get REAL up in here.

2. When I was pregnant with Bowie, I couldn’t get enough sweets. Which is pretty uncharacteristic for me normally. I would inhale a whole box of those mini brownies from Whole Foods in one sitting. It was terrible. This time around, I do crave sweets. And I don’t know if it’s just less of a craving, or if I’m better at limiting myself this time, or if I’m just too distracted this time to drop everything and eat my weight in chocolate chip cookies. But, I’ve been pretty good about not going overboard with the sugar. So, yay me! We’ll see how long this lasts though.

3. Today Bowie’s preschool will have their Spring parade and egg hunt. Last year, that day was a month later, in April, as they have it near the Easter holiday. That day last year was the day I found out we’d lost the baby. And we had to plaster on smiles and fight through tears while we were there celebrating with the kids. And since my husband came with to school that day, a couple of people I had told about the baby came up to congratulate him, and it was just so…awkward. And painful. And on that day, I literally thought I’d never be happy again. So, to be where I am now during the celebration this year is particularly poignant for me. It’s a sort of threshold that I’m glad to be moving through. Of course, the actual day is still a month away, and I think that day will be hard, but I will get through. I wish I could go back and tell myself that day last year, yes, you will be happy again. And give myself a hug, I was in dire need of hugs back then (not that I wasn’t getting them, but sometimes there just can’t be enough of something, ya know?). If a woman tells you she’s miscarried, don’t say a word, just give her a hug.

4. On a lighter note, I’ve found something to do with Bowie’s Twitter account that I’ve left stagnant for a long time. I used to post cutesy baby stuff, but then there was less of that as he became a running, screaming, bouncing Tasmanian devil. So, I finally figured it out: he’s going around saying some of the funniest stuff these days, and what’s a good 21st century blogging mom going to do with all of that? Publish it on the Internet of course. Enjoy.

5. Sunday is by birthday. Which a month ago I truthfully just shrugged about. Now, as it edges closer and closer, I do care. Why do we women do this to ourselves? Birthdays are going to come and go, year after year, and getting older is inevitable. And really, I should be celebrating that I’m 33. Still in my 30s. Still young. Having fun. The kiddo(s) still little. Things are good. Ok 33, buh-ring it.

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!