Friday, March 07, 2014
How would I describe him? He's often happy. He's funny, and likes to be funny. He's showing tendencies of being a smartass (in a good way), and if 6-year-olds could be sarcastic, he would be. He comes home with lots of new phrases and sayings, but he always puts his own spin on them. He loves to learn about new things, particularly if those things are reptiles or amphibians, or if they live underwater. The zoo and the aquarium are probably his two favorite places to go.
He's a sweet boy, concerned about others feelings. His one big complaint about kindergarten is that kids are mean to each other. He seems to feel responsible for making everyone get along, even if that means telling the teacher. We've tried to talk to him about letting the other kids work it out, that he can't be reponsible for how other people behave, but he has a very strong sense of justice.
Except when he doesn't. He can be wily, trying to play Rob and I against each other, telling one of us that the other said he could have X or do Y, when we really haven't. Or he sometimes tries to figure out what the "right" answer (i.e. the answer that won't get him in trouble) is, to the extent that we can pretty much see the gears in his head turning. What we have to remember is that this is all part of normal development and that we just have to guide him in the right direction.
He's very open about asking questions about things, whether it's about animals, or about whether or not something he heard at school is bad or not. He talks about how he feels. We love that about him and we hope he'll always feel that he can ask us things.
It's interesting watching him develop his interests. He's not big on group sports or that sort of thing, but he loves going to drawing classes and guitar lessons. At aftercare he mostly chooses to join the art clubs or play with Legos over doing the larger group activities, though he is perfectly fine when they do group games. At home, he loves to create, whether its spending time building new Lego creations, or getting out his markers and paper and glue. If he gets an idea in his head, he's very adept at putting things together, not hesitating to get the materials he needs (glue, tape, scissors) to make whatever he's cooked up. I've also gotten him started in helping with things in the kitchen like making salad, and I've been teaching him how to use a small sharp knife to cut up things like cucumbers and snap peas. He's been doing really well with remembering how to use the knife properly and is obviously pretty proud about helping out.
He's got two close friends in his classroom, Naeem and Grey. From his teacher's accounts, he's friendly with all the kids in his class and talks about other kids that are in his aftercare. He's still very close with Boden and Emiliano from his old daycare, too, even though none of the Three Amigos go to the same school now. He and Bo are particiularly close, and I just love watching how they pick up where they left off as soon as they get together. Those two are so good together; I love listening to them working out their differences and coming up with all these great imaginary scenarios. Bo spent a lot of time over here this past weekend and the two of them did just great. It really warms my heart.
So how does one celebrate a 6th birthday? It started the Friday afternoon of his birthday, in his class. Zack had made a point of saying that when it's someone's birthday, the mom or dad can come in the classroom and stay, and he'd like me to do that. So even though the kids had their postponed Valentine's Day party that afternoon, I took birthday cookies into class to celebrate. The teacher, Ms. Goodwin, started by seeing if anyone had any questions for the birthday boy, then they sang and I passed out cookies. That evening, we went to Pacci's for pizza; Kelly joined us and we had a lovely time. The next day, Rob and Zack went to the Lego store--it sounds like quite a place! They came home with some rather involved Lego projects--the Millenium Falcon, for example. Thankfully, Uncle Geoff came over later that night and could help with construction. He stayed until the next day, when we all went to the aquarium in Baltimore. That was great, as always, though I'm not sure Geoff was quite prepared for the pace at which we went through the place.
We saw no reason to stop at celebrating after one weekend, so we continued to the next weekend. Bo slept over at our house on Friday night (more on that in another post). Then Saturday, we had a few other boys over for a glorified playdate. After last year's huge party, we had decided that we were going to keep it VERY small this year, and I think that worked out really well (particularly since Rob ended up not being around for the party due to a funeral). There were a total of 4 boys--Emiliano, Boden, Grey, and Zack. What's great about this age and about boys is that even though the didn't all know each other, it was enough that they all liked Legos and light sabers. I had planned some crafts, but those pretty much were ignored for the aforementioned Legos and light sabers. Heck, they barely stopped for pizza and cake! But they all seemed to have a great time, and I really enjoyed seeing Zack with his good friends.
All in all, Zack seems to be enjoying being 6. He seems to have this larger perspective on his age now, commenting on how he's been all ages from 1 through 6, and he says things like "Back when I was 1 or 2, I would have fit on this chair, but now I'm 6," sort of observing how much bigger he is now, how much he's grown. And there's certainly no question of that! He's 47 inches and 47 pounds these days. I imagine he won't be 47 inches much longer. He doesn't fit in our laps nearly as well anymore, but we certainly still savor the moments when he tries.