Sometimes, I get all tilted and off-kilter in my head when I think about my life pre-Charlie. How did I even exist? How did I navigate my day? How did I have any direction? And where on EARTH did I spend my free time?!? It's kind of the same way when I look at our vacation pictures from last summer and automatically look for Anna-- and think to myself, we didn't even know her then! It's all weird and confusing and time-warpy. Anyway, back to the birthday boy.
Charlie. Sweet Charlie. Sweet, amazing, dear, caring, doting, energetic, determined, curious, frustrating, intelligent, and loving loving loving boy of mine. How have you turned from that fussy little baby with the adorable gummy smile into such a big boy right before my eyes? The change has been steady, like the second hand on a clock--gently ticking away. Each day, each moment, you grow and change just bit by bit. I hardly notice it and then you go and say something or do something that shocks me into realizing that yes, you're growing up! Like the other day, when you opened up our front door and stood staring out at the drizzly, gray sky and said, (in the most perfect sarcastic voice) "Well this is a lovely day."
You make us laugh as you're pretty witty with words. ("Hey Mom, guess what bears eat in the morning? Breakfish!") And you make us cringe with your ability to argue your way out of situations. ("Mom, I wasn't hitting, I was bonking." "Dad, I didn't jump, I tripped!")
You have so much energy-- and love to use it to climb on the furniture or play sports. Of course, your favorite way to release energy is to run. And run. And run. It still happens each and every night, usually after supper and for a good 30 minutes. Back and forth and forth and back. And again and again. And repeat.
You're still crazy about books and have most recently become interested in chapter books. I've dreamt of reading chapter books to you from the time I learned I was pregnant and now, those days are here! Last week, I found a bunch of old "Boxcar Children" books and we cruised through the first one in two nights. Now, you're begging for more stories about those adventurous little kids...and I've got a slew of others (Stuart Little, Ramona Quimby, Little House in the Big Woods, Harry Potter) in mind for the future.
Speaking of books, the other day you read a book! You called your grandparents and shared the news with them and were so proud of the way you read the little Bob book. Houston, I think we have a reader!
You love vehicles and recently learned that each Make has a specific logo. Walking through parking lots can be hilarious because you'll point out every kind of car. "There's a Toyota! There's a Nissan! Hey look, it's a Jeep! I see a Ford!"
You get really "into" things for long periods of time. Last year, you got "really into" dinosaurs and knew everything about all-of-them. You amazed us with your knowledge of each historical period and information of specific dinosaurs, and you were quick to correct us. ("Mom, it's a Quetzalcoatlus, not a Pterodactyl!") But toward the end of last year, we heard less about dinosaurs and more about football.....
Which brings me to the fact that you are a SPORTS NUT. I'm not sure how this happened but it did and in a major way. I feel like I tried to expose you to art and music and things of that nature but you just naturally gravitate toward any kind of sport. You LOVE LOVE LOVE pro-football, which is funny to us because well, Daddy and I don't. But last fall, I watched more NFL football that I ever have in all of my 37 years. You know the names and logos of all-the-teams and your US geography is excellent because you know where each stadium is located. You also love watching basketball on tv and had so much fun staying up late during March to watch the tournament. I think you're a lucky little boy because Daddy spends a good hour each night playing football or soccer or basketball with you--and even though you seem to cry at some point every time... I think you guys are having a blast. Sometimes, I make supper upstairs and just listen to the two of you playing downstairs... and I try with all my might to record that sound to my permanent memory.
Clothing still continues to be problematic. As soon as you get home from school, the shirt and pants come off and you run around the house in undies and your little black socks. When getting dressed, anything with tags or seams or buttons or collars or pockets is O.U.T. We are thinking about buying stock in the Gap because everything you wear is comfy and casual and easy like Sunday morning.
Perhaps most importantly, you were born to be a big brother. We could not ask for a better sibling for Anna, and watching you love her is one of the best parts of parenting to date. After six months, we have yet to see you be mean or hostile or angry with her. You tell us (often) that she is your favorite and that you love her the most in this family (I still think Mommy should be your favorite but usually I hover between your #2 and #3 spot). If you are angry for any reason, you'll ask to see Anna because she makes you happy. You help us out by entertaining her-- sometimes cuddling her or reading to her or playing with her toes. I've caught you in her crib numerous times-- singing to her or reading to her or just playing peek-a-boo with her and a blanket. You make her giggle and laugh and always try to help when she cries. People tell us "just wait until she starts getting into his things...." and "just wait until she's bigger...." but I am holding firm in the belief that you'll be crazy about her no matter what.
Other random things about you right now:
* You have the. biggest. sweet. tooth. ever. Period.
* You are the only five year old I know who struggles with eating go-gurt. Seriously.
* Favorite toy at this moment: Ninja Turtles.
* Most requested supper item: Taco Salad or Nachos
* You are still a stuffed animal lover. Current bedtime loves: Puppy, Bunny, Fezzy (the pheasant), Pom Pom (the panda bear), Little Pengwee (the tiny penguin), and Shamu.
* You're still as cautious as can be... but we're not complaining.
* After taking a year hiatus from your bike (for no apparent reason other than you were terrified of it), you hopped on and started riding it again just like that. ???
* Favorite color: Black.
* You LOVE playing the ipad-- mostly a NFL game, but you're only allowed to play on weekends. (I know, we're the meanest)
* Favorite people: #1 Anna. #2 Anna. #3 Mommy. #4 Daddy. (#3 and #4 change depending on who denied you something sugary most recently)
* You love school and have done such a great job in preschool. It's been good for you as you're more confident and outgoing around peers.
Happy (belated) birthday, you crazy kid. As I say often, "I love you more than you'll ever know." And when you tell me, "I love you more than you love me" you know that my answer is always going to be, "Not possible." Here's to another amazing trip around the sun. xoxoxo