Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Our 5 year old

My first baby is officially a big boy! The last page of his baby memory book will be filled when I tape his 5th birthday picture in place and write in the details of that milestone day.
By the numbers, Rylan weighed 38 lbs and was 42 inches tall at his well visit, between the 25th and 50th percentile for both. It is hard to believe he is the same guy who was off-the-charts and covered with fat rolls as a baby. I am thankful for his good health and that his development is on track, except for needing a little extra practice with his fine motor skills. He had no cavities at his dentist visit either and despite having to fish him out from under a cabinet when his name was called, he relaxed, let them take X-rays, and generally had a positive experience. The doctor's visit was not so much fun since it entailed 4 shots. The poor boy limped for 2 days and begged me to get him a wheelchair so he wouldn't have to walk on his sore legs.
Rylan has started giving up his afternoon naps. I know I have been extremely blessed that he has napped for this long. We have had some rough evenings with an overly tired boy, but I know eventually his body will adjust to doing all the sleeping at night. We have quiet play time in his room while Caroline naps and so far, he thinks he is doing something really special because he doesn't have to go to bed! Another big change is that Rylan has pretty much stopped sucking his thumb. At the promise of permanent damage to his mouth, we got really serious about quitting a few months ago, and it doesn't seem to be a major temptation for him anymore. I still use the bitter liquid, "fire ants", on his thumb as a reminder, just in case.
Rylan started preschool twice weekly this fall. I love hearing about his day when I pick him up and he is usually full of news about his activities, the helpers for the day, snack, and songs he learned. He loves his teachers and is making friends with his classmates. He has learned how to use scissors and write his name, "mom", and the first half-dozen letters in the alphabet. He asks to work on his "homework" and likes practicing writing, something that never held his attention before. I hope he never loses that enthusiasm for learning and am glad preschool has been such a fun experience for him. Oh, and Rylan already has a "girlfriend" at preschool, a real cutie-pie with strawberry blonde (orange, in his words) hair, and he gets embarrassed when we ask about her. He recently asked if he could draw a picture for her of the two of them holding hands. I asked Rylan if he was holding hands with her at school, and he replied no. So, I guess he just has some big hopes!
Rylan favorite toys are his superheros, Bakugans, and Hero Factory guys. He has also been playing with his train set, Charlton's old Star Wars figures, and a new magnetic building set he got for his birthday. Rylan got a Go Fish game as a party favor and I have really enjoyed playing it with him. (I was never a big fan of those board games where you end up having to backtrack and go in circles and it feels like the game will never end.) We usually manage a few games after breakfast and again in the afternoon while Caroline is napping.
Whenever we play at the park, he almost always manages to gather a few other kids into starting some kind of superhero game. I am amazed at his imagination and this newer confidence in making new friends. He is very sweet and gentle with younger kids, and has been enamored with babies lately!
Rylan just earned his yellow belt in karate at the end of September. Having a higher rank also means he can be sargeant at arms for the prayer and lead jumping jacks. He sometimes has trouble following verbal instructions and translating that into the movements, but is getting more coordinated all the time. Some of the physical exercises are really tough, not to mention the actual karate moves, so I am especially proud of his hard work and perseverance.
Rylan is eager to follow the rules and avoids getting into trouble outside home. I wish he was as sensitive to pleasing his parents as he is his teachers, but I am glad he is on his best behavior for them at least. :-) Rylan plays with his action figures every day on our living room chair and he does not like to share that space with anyone. He likes to wear his Ironman costume and will dance with Caroline in her princess dress, but otherwise the "princess" better watch out if she comes near his toys. Words like "swollen" make him squeamish, as does watching Caroline eat yogurt. He still likes to cuddle with me and I love snuggling with him when he climbs in my bed in the mornings. I wish it wasn't 6am sometimes, but one day I will be able to sleep in again.
Happy 5th Birthday to my imaginative, tender-hearted, playful little man. I am thankful to be your mama and so excited to see you grow and develop over the next year.

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