Saturday, June 27, 2015

half is a four-letter word

Ten days later than last year, I have come to post my annual lamentation and reminder that half-ages are kind of awful. Nico's back-and-forth mind changing, defiance, and generally ugly behavior have returned to keep our summer from being too perfect. It's very much like a switch flipped and transformed my strong-minded but generally pleasant child overnight, but at least this year my reaction was less "WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?" and more "Oh. This again. Time to eat some chocolate." I've been reminding myself a lot lately that the tags in his clothes still have a T on them, as in toddler, as in he was a little baby dude not that long ago. As one of my coworkers puts it quite aptly, great big emotions, very small body. It seems being five and a half is really damn hard. The horrible half-ness was at its peak so far this week, probably exacerbated by some serious fun tax owed for Nico spending all week at his first full-day summer day camp. But I'm happy to report that he was only terribly whiny and cranky on Tuesday, and only during and following my appearance at camp to lead an activity. Camp staff reported that he was otherwise quite pleasant and willing to try things, so I spent most of the the remainder of the week staying quite far away. This strategy worked out great, and I was even able to lead some activities Friday afternoon without a resulting meltdown from Nico. After work I did make a ridiculous tactical error and stopped by Dairy Queen to eat with both kids after some errands. We didn't even sit down until 7:00, when Elliott usually goes to bed. I left them at the table to go get my drink and while I was gone they had a huge throwdown over the table number. Nico almost knocked a chair over and Elliott screamed so loud everyone stopped talking and stared at us. I am surprised to say it wasn't even was just really tired kids being really tired kids, you know? I talked to them quietly but firmly and very seriously about how unacceptable it was, and they ended up being fine for the rest of the time we were there. I can't even tell if two and a half just isn't that bad for Elliott or if it is but I can't tell because it's eclipsed by the ridiculous strife of five and a half.

At the same time, though, five and a half is really great. Nico did so well overall at his week of camp that I'm sending him for another full week in July. He's finally starting to make progress in his swimming lessons. He can read now, which is just spectacular. He's more inquisitive than ever and wants to know everything about everything. He's sweet and loving and shares his toys most of the time and he loves babies and toddlers. MB took him to a monster truck show last weekend and I wish I could remember for the rest of my life the look on his face as he was telling me about it later. And two and a half! Elliott started talking later than Nico, and has just had his biggest language burst to date. He's so chatty and adorable and I want to eat him up on the regular. It's such a cliche, but these children, they are my heart.

(Bruhbuh is Grandma. We aren't sure why.)

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