A month and a half has passed since your birthday and so many things have changed in your world. You now go to kindergarten, you have a little brother and you turned five, all in the span of a few weeks. It has been a bit of a whirlwind, but I finally have a moment to share a little of what you mean to me and how you
have helped me to grow both into a parent and as a person.
A few days ago, this was posted on Facebook, and it is exactly our relationship. We not only help each other balance out, but we are a place for each other to explore the other, less dominant, side of our selves.
WHO YOU ARE
Between your Dad and Grandpa, there was no way that you were going to miss out on this trait. You are always ready to sneak up on some, give them a wet willie (thanks Uncle Derran), a wedgie (thanks Auntie Carrie) or close the book they are reading in a way that they can't find their page again (thank Grandpa). When you get that twinkle in your eye and grin on your face we all know to be ready for a prank.
Going hand in hand with your mischief is your sense of humour. You are always ready to laugh with others and take a special interest in making others laugh. In the past year this has been especially apparent with your cousin Austen. He finds you hilarious and you will do anything to make him laugh. You are even trying to help Nico understand your humour, but at two months it is still a little beyond him. Keep it up, buddy and soon he will catch on and reward you with all the laughs you so love to hear. You have also been working on understanding knock-knock jokes, although your punch lines still need a little work. In the past few months you have been working on using this wonderful skill as a way to smooth things over when you are getting in trouble from Mommy and Daddy. Sometimes it is 'too little, too late' and we worry that you do not understand that we are upset, but more often than not we have to hide our smiles as we turn our backs to you so you still take our reprimands seriously. Oh Kai, I hope life continues to be so entertaining for you and us.
Hidden behind your confident, outgoing personality is a sensitive side. You hate when we are upset with you and when you know you really did something wrong, you hide away in embarrassment. Often you go under my desk or in the closet and have to be gently talked out. You don't like getting things wrong and are using 'That makes me sad.' a lot when things don't go your way. I am so glad you are learning to use your words, buddy, and I hope you always feel comfortable expressing yourself to us. However, I also hope that you understand that everyone makes mistakes and they are important to learning.
You are also very aware of behaviour in school or on the playground. When someone does something you don't like, you are good at asking them to 'Please stop', but when you are feeling left out you get so sad and cannot understand it. As you grow and are now at a school with bigger boys with whom you so desperately want to play, it is sometimes difficult for me to watch when you aren't included, but this too is a part of life and I know that in a few minutes you will be laughing and making new friends again. I am thankful you like to talk to us about what is happening still and we can work these things out together. We love you so much.
Full of Life
Since you first came into our lives, there has not been a dull moment. You always have a need to be on the go, and the first thing you ask me when we get home from a day at daycare or school is, "Can I have a play date?", as if you haven't had one all day. Your energy level is admirable and seemingly endless. This has been really good for me as you remind me how good it feels to get out and explore, and it has challenged me to find new parks and activities. This summer was exceptionally special for me as I got to hang out with you every day. We made a trip to the cabin up at Comox Lake with Grandma, Grandpa and Lizzie, spent time in Chilliwack and did day trips in the city. You even went down your first waterslide at Granville Island all by yourself. I wasn't sure you were going to do it as you have never been a big fan of water, but you walked up those stairs bravely by yourself and came out with a smile on your face and told me you did not want to do that again.
You also had some defining moments for me when you attended Pedal Heads bike camp and swimming lessons. The first day of Pedal Heads we were going down a hill on the way there and your feet fell off the pedals. You panicked and started screaming but luckily stopped without an accident. You were so scared and were adamant that you hated biking and would not go to camp. It took half an hour of watching and a great teacher until you joined, but by the end of the week you were showing off your new moves and biking with so much more confidence. I was so proud of you to keep trying in spite of your fear.
As I mentioned before, you have never been a great fan of water, but for some reason this year you turned a corner. You went to swimming lessons every day for two weeks and I could not believe how brave you were. Last year it took days to get you into the water before the lesson was half over and this year you just couldn't wait to get in. You put your face in, you kicked off the island to blow bubbles and kick your feet, and your body finally relaxed when laying on your back. Perhaps it was the new goggles, but I think you just made up your mind that this was time to start and you were ready. A huge step for you and it made me smile every day.
You are such an easy going, well-rounded boy. You love everything from art and baking to bike riding and building Lego. You share both the qualities of your Dad and me. You have your Dad's sense of fun and mischief mixed in with some of my caution. You share both of our love of activity and sports, as well as the willingness to give almost anything a try at least once. Some of the crazy stunts you and your Dad like to pull and the wild games you play make me want to put safety pillows all around, but I don't because even if you get hurt I know you'll handle it well and when asked how you are, you'll respond, "Never better!" You are an amazing kid and I can't wait to see what else we will learn about you in the coming year.
Happy 5th Birthday, Monkey!