Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Big Kids

Em started 2nd grade today. SECOND. You know, like not even close to being the youngest and littlest kid in school any more. Like, a grade where California requires standardized testing. Like, her classroom has its desks in ROWS rather than cute little we're-really-only-playing-at-being-in-school groupings like in kindy and 1st.

She got the teacher she wanted, and two of her best friends are in her class, plus a girl she's only previously known through the aftercare program, and who she really likes. She got right in line this morning, and the teacher came and basically dismissed all of us picture-taking, anxious parents and told us, in nicer terms than I'm about to use, to get our asses out of there, because we sure as shit weren't getting to go into the classroom with the kids. Who, to be honest, didn't need us to follow them in anyway because, you know, they're big now. Second graders. Very, very grown up school kids who don't cry on the first day like they did in kindergarten. Unlike their moms. Sob.

But really, I'm here to talk about N, who's made these totally astounding (to me) leaps in the past few weeks. N, who at 3.5 is now writing his name--and three out of the four letters are totally recognizable! N, who is now playing Candyland with actual rules, and following the actual trail, and stuff like that. (He cheats, of course, but what self-respecting 3.5-year0old doesn't?) N, who yesterday stood several feet away from me with a plastic bat in his hands, and swung at a ball I pitched at him and not only connected, freaking me out, but hit that sucker way the heck over my head. And then proceded to do it several more times. Did I mention he's 3.5? Ha! Tee-ball be damned, I'm sending this kid straight to training camp. Of course, there's that little problem of his being 3.5. And the other literally little problem of his predicted full adult height being around 5'3", if we're lucky and he grows to his full potential. Sigh. Damn those ever-pervasive short genes. I'd'a had me a baseball prodigy who could buy me houses and cars and keep me in the style to which I'd like to become accustomed, if not for them.

But that's not all. He's also taken a number of very significant steps toward the ultimate in Big Kid-dom: He's potty training. In fact, yesterday he wore underpants to school for the first time ever (though he had to be changed into Pull-Ups after nap time because he'd had a few accidents), and over the weekend, he was in undies the whole time. Plus, today, for the first time ever as well, he demanded underpants when given a choice of undies or Pull-Ups to go to Em's soccer practice. When he made that momentous choice, Baroy and I looked at each other with wide eyes, as it hit us both: We're just moments away from not having a child in diapers...for the first time in SEVEN YEARS. (Yes, my children are slow potty trainers. Do the math. If N trains in the next month or so, he'll have beaten his sister's record by a full two months.)

Another Big Kid Breakthrough these days is clarity of speech. My mom recently commented that she can almost understand everything he says to her on the phone, even if she has no idea what it means. My sister and stepfather said similar things. And I've noticed that not only is he easier to understand, but his comprehension is soooooooo much better. He's starting to understand concepts of time and sequence, and to even deal with some semblance of abstract thought. The other night, he asked me to tell him the story of "when N borned" which I had told the night before when two of Em's best friends came for a sleepover. He laid there and just grinned with that sort of "she's telling a story about ME" pride that he's just never had before. He'd never shown any curiosity about himself as a baby. Now he wants me to tell N stories all the time.

And to wrap up this child-centric post (which is hopefully banal and level enough to show that I am leveling out a little myself), just a cute little conversation between N and I this afternoon. (We kept him home from preschool today so that he could walk Em to her first day and because he's kinda sniffly...not that that's unusual. Preschool, after all.)

Me: Hey, N, you must be hungry. Would you like some lunch?
N, looking up from his Maisy viewing/idolizing: Um...sure. That would make me very happy if you do dat, Mommy.
Me, amused: Well, then I will. Do you know what I want?
N, looks up again: Um...yeah. Macawoni and cheese. Because that's my very favorite.

Hee! Check that out, folks. Vocabulary. Responsiveness. More than a one-word answer. Absolute cuteness. That's my boy. My Big Boy.

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