Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Nate's Monthly Newsletter, Six Years Old!

Dear Nate,

You are six. You started first grade. Every single day when I head to the "first grade" area outside school to pick you up, I second-guess myself because there's no way I could have a first-grader. None. And yet...


Somehow you ended up with 3 parties; a school party (goody bags and rainbow fruit salad), a family party (Grandma, Grandpa, Deborah, a scavenger hunt, and your requested meal of Costco pepperoni pizza, caesar salad, and mini ice-cream-cookie-sandwiches for dessert), and a friend party. We took the friend party over to Kennedy Rec and played some games out in the big field. Then back to the house for munches and juice, then you all played some insane game in the basement. I have no idea what was going on down there; nobody was crying so I stayed as far away as I could.


Among my many excuses for not keeping up with this blog very much is the fact that you're not changing as much as you did when you were a wee baby so there's not as much to record. But since I've slacked off for so long, there really are some changes I want to make sure to remember.

Your bottom middle right tooth was loose for forever and I kept asking Daddy to pull it out but he wouldn't go for it. I think you liked freaking me out by flipping it completely down (90 degrees from where it should have been!) and actually got a little offended when I was too disgusted to look. Sorry kid; I'm only human. And of course Mommy was right to ask Daddy to pull it out; I got a call from you when you were headed out to Charlottesville that your tooth had finally fallen out! And you'd swallowed it! Of course.

So you and I took a few pictures of the hole and wrote a note to the Tooth Fairy explaining the mishap. She took you at your word and left you a Bionicle. She's a good one.


Your reading has finally blossomed. Tonight you read a whole book to me (Charlie & Lola, I Can't Stop Hiccuping) and other than a few weird words you did the entire thing yourself. Your teacher came up to me about a week after school started to say that you were doing great in class; having fun and participating a lot. She said she really enjoyed having you in her class. When I hear things like that I see this future spooling out ahead of you like a red carpet; doors open all the way. You make me so proud.

Every day after school you put your lunch in the sink and your lunchbox away. Then we check on your homework packet and decide how many pages you have to do to keep up. Today you had to do two pages; you decided to do three. Then you have to spend 10 minutes reading alone; today you decided to do 15. You like to work hard and accomplish things. And good gracious what a change in attitude from last year when I was tempted to just put the darn homework packet down the disposal rather than face our daily battles. Ugh.


Did I forget to blog about our homework battles last year? It was probably my subconscious putting it's fingers in it's ears and chanting "nah nah nah nah nah nah" over and over trying to forget about it. It went mostly like this:

I was patient, you were defiant, I was less patient, you were whiney, I was irritated, you were obstinate, I yelled, you cried, and then we finished one page of homework. Repeat 793 times. Excellent.

During our time traveling around this summer we got to spend a lot of time at hotels swimming pools and you really took to the water. I try to be pretty honest about your skills and when you're actually good or if the Mommy sunglasses are clouding things, and I think you truly have an affinity for the water. At Peepa's house late this summer you started diving off the stars - absolutely nobody had taught you how or encouraged you to even try it.


You also turned flips under the water - three times in one go! Even I find that hard to do. We just enrolled you in a swimming class at the JCC and after Daddy took you once he said that you were so much better than the other kids he was afraid you'd be ignored. And your Daddy doesn't say things like that lightly; he's usually a "go along to get along" kind of guy. You told me that they'd had you float on our back for 10 seconds and you did it the first time. Needless to say, you'd never done it at all before, let alone for 10 seconds. Very impressive. I think we'll be bumping you up a level.

Six is much, much better than 5 was. Six is joking around, almost like friends. Six is you trying new things all on your own. Six is you starting to really take care of Jack; turning the light on for him in the bathroom and helping him out of his booster seat. And the best thing about six is that you're starting to be affectionate with me for really the first time. We have a kissing routine at night, and you sometimes sleepily hold my hand or let me rub your back. I went away this past weekend to do a 60-mile Komen walk and when I saw you and Jack at a pit stop you both ran to me, both held onto me, both wanted to sit in my lap. Driving home after the walk, you said "I'm glad you're back." Coming from you, it meant so much.

I love you insanely.