Thursday, August 05, 2010

Boys growing up. . . .

We have written a lot here about Mudpuppy. In fact, now that I think of it, maybe not so much lately, since we were away at Starling's parents or at my parents' for Dad's funeral for almost a month. So here's a quick update:

  • Mudpuppy is still not crawling, although if you put him on his hands and knees, he'll rock back and forth for a while (a precursor to crawling). Nor is he walking . . . or standing up . . . or trying to pull himself up on furniture . . . or rolling over (we can still put him down for a nap on our bed with no worries whatsoever). . . . He does sitting up really, really well, though!!! He seems to be destined to be another non-athletically talented Windley-Daoust boy. He almost doesn't seem motivated. He does seem very interested in geometry, though -- and physics. You give him something, and he will stare at it intently, turn it this way and that, drop it, throw it -- basically explore it, all the while with this intense look of concentration.
  • He is eating more solid foods. We're desperately trying to move him onto more solids as Starling prepares to head back to work full-time after summer break (she's been doing half-days for much of the time we've been home). He loves to chew on bread, although that's not the best food for him. He has also done cut-up grapes and blueberries, applesauce, and various pureed veggies, which he's not too fond of.
  • He likes to engage with people visually -- and maybe his favorite thing to do is this fame where he shakes his head back and forth while chanting "da da da da da. . . ." All with a big smile on his face, of course. And if someone else is willing to mimick him, all the better, because that's just hilarious, don't you know!
As I was going to say at the beginning of this post, I've been thinking a lot about how much Bear (our oldest) is growing up. Now that he moved into the double-digits by turning 10 this summer, I'm starting to panick a little -- hey, where'd my kid go??? Hey, only eight more years before he's out of here! Thank goodness I think we have a pretty good relationship (not without its bumps, of course). He's entering one of those long "transitioning" periods. At times, he'll surprise us with his maturity or his deep, adult insights. At other times, he's very much like a kid. His youngest sister, Jaybird, knows how to push every button -- they are into it every day. ("Why are you squabbling with someone half your age?" I ask every other day. The answer, I think, is that Jaybird wants to run the show -- and will go to great lengths to get things her way -- and what self-respecting 10-year-old boy is going to let his 5-year-old kid sister be the boss of him?)

Here's a good example of this adult/kid mix: Bear's become a self-starter on the chore front, which means he can earn some money, which he usually saves up (that's the grown-up side). So tonight he begged me to take him to Target to buy a Legos set. He counted up all his money, calculated the tax, and spent half an hour critically comparing the various options. Then he turned all little-kid in the parking lot, excited about his new toy. "You know what my favorite thing is about shadows?" he said. "They come in so many different shades of black!"