KJ recently had a birthday, so I wanted to share an update about how he’s doing! I know some people don’t love the family posts and are only here for the food. Feel free to skip this one if you want!
They say that your oldest will teach you how long the days are and your youngest how short the years are. So true. But KJ has taught me much more than how long the days are. Every day, he challenges me to be better in almost every way. Now, after having two more babies, I understand how strong-willed a child KJ is, and I’m starting to appreciate his unique temperament and personality. Even as a baby, he had extreme opinions (at least compared to his siblings), which didn’t slow down. But now, I can see him using more self-control and strategy to get what he wants. He is still strong-willed, don’t get me wrong, but he is no longer an irrational toddler. Instead, he’s a rational, very clever, and curious preschooler. And while I miss the chubby cheeks and sticky fingers, I don’t miss the massive, inconsolable meltdowns of toddler life (besides, I still get those with his brother.) I once heard someone say that whatever age their kids were at that moment was their favorite age. With KJ, that’s how I’ve felt along the way. As he gets older, things get easier, and while I miss the baby/toddler, I love everything about this new little kid who’s curious, loving, resilient, and silly.
KJ is in pre-K three days a week, full day this year. The full day has been an adjustment. He doesn’t love the nap portion, but we all feel it’s good for him to have some extra sleep. I try to pick him up early, at least one day a week if I can. This is the second year in a row that his teacher has told me that he has a special place in his heart and is most inclusive of a boy in his class with Down syndrome. When we decided what to give his classmates for his birthday, he immediately voiced concern about what this little boy could enjoy for a treat or what would be safe to play with. We sometimes have to explain that the boy is not a baby but a boy his age who was born special. He doesn’t seem to care, though. He just wants to make sure everyone is okay and included. When I say that KJ challenges me daily to be better in every way, I mean every way.
KJ has blown me away over the last six months with his love for the baby. I’ll never forget him running past me to baby girl when we got home from Denver. He takes his big brother role very seriously for both younger siblings. He is always watching out for KK. While they get into their brotherly battles, for sure, he misses KK throughout the day and holds him in the highest esteem. I can already see it’s an “only I can torture my little brother type thing.” Because if we are out somewhere and another kid either A) doesn’t think KK is the best thing on the planet or worse B) tries to take something from KK or whatever, KJ is going to try and handle that situation. Yes, we have frequent talks with him about how he isn’t the parent we are, and he can be a kid. But, I think some of that is just natural for the oldest as they try to distinguish themselves from the babies. Although, since birth, KJ hasn’t liked to be separated from baby girl for too long. He would do anything for her, which he did. He gave up his room to bunk with his brother without very much complaining at all.
(trying to help daddy catch the run-away baby)
KJ loves animals. He particularly likes the process of finding bugs. But, he isn’t much interested in seeing or learning about dead bugs – like if you found a cool big beetle or moth and showed it to him, he would be less impressed. It is the same with when we go to animal places, and they have dead bugs on display. Not that excited. But, alive bugs and he’s totally into it. I think what he enjoys equally as much as the animal is the process of finding them. He loved catching grasshoppers last summer, digging for worms in Flagstaff and Colorado, hunting for “hanks” (milkweed bugs) at Goga and Papas, and searching for ladybugs in the soccer field. He says when he grows up, he wants to be like Peso on Octonauts and help any animal that’s hurt or sick. He gardened with my mom from a young age (like from the time he started walking), and it’s something that he still loves.
KJ does a sports class at school now. He’s not overly enthusiastic about it, but he likes soccer the best. We also play soccer on the weekends through the parks and rec, and I often see him distracted, staring at the ground, looking for bugs. But when it’s time to play or do the drill, he gets right to it and does well! KJ is great at riding his bike with training wheels, loves to drive his car, and couldn’t get enough swimming this summer. We took a break from swim lessons, though, because he was getting burned out. We will probably go back to it around January.
KJ has a strong imagination and loves to play pretend with his toys. He, however, does not love to “build” things. When looking through the Amazon catalog, he would ask if something had to be “built” before you could play with it. He’s also still not that into arts and crafts either. Neither Mr. Hungry nor I enjoyed building things growing up (except legos when older) or arts and crafts, so we find that interesting. He’s learning to write his name and is likely a lefty, but he often switches hands. And he LOVES zoophonics at school. I worked all summer to teach him letter sounds and got no where, with zoophonics he has almost the whole alphabet.
I can’t believe next year is kindergarten! I’m trying to soak up these last days of the week, where he is at home two days a week now. This is the only year I’ll have all three at home spending time together for at least part of the week. And while it’s chaotic, I’m so grateful, and my heart is full with a full house. I think he really enjoys his time at home this year too! That’s it until next year!
More KJ Posts:
- Dear Baby K – 4 months
- Dear Baby K – 5 Months
- Dear Baby K – 6 Months
- Dear Baby K — 7 Months
- Dear Baby K — 8 Months
- Dear Baby K — 9 Months
- Dear Baby K — 10 Months
- Deary Baby K — 11 Months
- Dear Baby K — 12 Months
- KJ – 18 Month Update
- KJ – 2-year-old update
- KJ – 2.5 year old update
- KJ – 3 year old update
- KJ – 4 year old update