It was Christmas, which always kind of decimates the January monthly post. The boy had a terrific holiday season, ranging from Santa to various parties at school and with friends, such as the godfamily singalong. He helped make cookies and pies, and to prepare meals, and was very helpful in general. He really got into the spirit of things, and having a four-year-old child in the house means you canâ€™t help but get into the spirit along with them. Heâ€™s still a little unclear on the concept of a secret, though, and was so excited that he would often run up to people and say, â€œWe got you a present, and itâ€™s [insert gift here]â€. Fortunately we did a lot of clapping hands over ears or mouth, and what bits of information managed to escape were either missed by the giftees or were about gifts the recipient already knew about.
He was terrific about opening gifts this year. Last year he was ill and lost interest in the process, and at recent birthdays heâ€™d been more excited about ripping the paper off and seeing what was inside before jumping immediately to the next gift. This year, though, he returned to his previous behaviour of opening and playing with the item inside, exploring it thoroughly before moving on to the next thing. Unless it was clothes, of course, which didnâ€™t interest him much at the time, but he was been enjoying them very much as we take new shirts and socks out of the drawers come time to get dressed of a morning. He got piles of new books (we had to remove the basket of toys on the bottom shelf of his bookcase in order to make room for them), clothes, and a few very carefully selected toys. This was a Star Wars Christmas in a couple of ways: we got him the Clone Wars animated movie, and the local grandparents gave him a ship from the Clone Wars line. It was also a Lego Christmas, as he got kits from the upstairs neighbours, the Oakville grandparents, and MLG.
And holy cats, the progress heâ€™s making on following directions in those kits. On the harder kits weâ€™ve been getting him to sort the blocks and help put together the simpler parts while we assemble the bulk of the unit, but he got a kit of small work vehicles on Christmas day and he pretty much followed the pictograms to assemble one on his own, being talking through the harder bits by myself or HRH. Itâ€™s thrilling to watch that kind of thought process, the ability to turn a picture into a fine motor process with actual three-dimensional items.
He got very upset about our Christmas tree. You see, we left on the 23rd, and there was no point leaving it up while we were gone; for one thing, it would be prime cat disaster material, and for another, it would be a fire hazard. We got it early in order to enjoy it for two weeks, planning to take it down the night before we left. The boy cried and cried, and said that he wanted to keep it, and that Santa had to put presents under our tree. (He was going to put presents under the tree at the house weâ€™d be in on Christmas, we pointed out, but this did not calm the angst about whose tree under which Santa would be placing whose presents.)
Itâ€™s winter, and thereâ€™s snow, which means heâ€™s ecstatic about being outside and rolling around in the stuff. Back when the local grandparents bought him the wagon for his second birthday, we asked them to get one that could be converted to a sled of sorts by switching the wheels for skis. For the first time this winter HRH swapped them out, with the boyâ€™s help, and the boy has been gleefully dragging it all over the yard. They took it down to the corner store, and while it bumps and scratches on the barer patches of the sidewalk it really flies when itâ€™s on snow. Itâ€™s like a new toy. Also in backyard news, the slide from the back deck has been built again, this year with extra banking so that when the boy goes down on his saucer he really zings around the perimeter of the yard and ends up pretty much at the base of the stairs to the upper apartment. He only has to get up, grab the saucer, and drag it a couple of feet to the deck stairs, drag it up the steps, and he’s ready to launch himself off the back deck again.
His nap is officially being phased out. He naps only twice a week at school now, otherwise staying awake through the general rest time in another room with an educator and his best friend at preschool, working on letters and words and reading. Unless, of course, he very obviously needs a nap, in which case he has a lie-down. At home weâ€™re playing it by ear. If heâ€™s running on high, then we do the nap thing in order to give him a break. If heâ€™s fine, then we carry on without it.
With zero surprise to any of us, the new TMBG album has been a super hit. So much so that after owning it for three days he was singing a good chunk of the songs and acting out the videos. Theyâ€™re doing a dinosaur unit at preschool this month, and he informed one of his educators that he was going to be a paleontologist when he grew up. â€œAh,â€ she said to the educator who had been running the material, â€œso youâ€™ve gotten to the paleontology part of the unit?â€ â€œNo,â€ said the dino-unit educator. â€œWe havenâ€™t.â€ And they both just looked at the boy, who went on to burble happily about what paleontologists do.
Weâ€™re about to embark on the kindergarten open house merry-go-round, which terrifies me to a small degree. I happened to see an ad in the local paper for one this past week, so I casually looked it up and discovered that kindergarten registration happens at the beginning of February. In two weeks. With education being a provincial responsibility, and children being on the civil roll, one would think the government would think to point out the necessity of upcoming registration via mail, but apparently not; one is supposed to pick this up by osmosis or something. Perhaps daycares generally mention it, but the other kids in preschool with the boy have siblings so everyone else knows, and mentioning it to us may have slipped his educator’s mind. Weâ€™ve already missed the open houses for the more exclusive schools (last November, how helpful), so now we get to catch what we can. And thereâ€™s the added tangle of moving at an undetermined time this summer to be closer to HRHâ€™s job (and oh, the money we will save on gas alone) so will there be problems registering for a school in anther zone and under another school boardâ€™s aegis while weâ€™re still living here? The Internet is remarkably unhelpful in this respect. Actually, the Internet is remarkably unhelpful about the whole kindergarten issue; I am mostly directed to contact individual schools. Which makes a certain amount of sense, I suppose, but isnâ€™t comforting at all for someone who likes to research intensively before walking into an actual person-to-person encounter. I hate not having information. Iâ€™m also told by the Internet that I should have obtained a certificate of eligibility for instruction in English a year ago to make sure we have one on time in case there are bureaucratic issues, which is not constructive in the least. If I donâ€™t know I have to do it, I canâ€™t do it. It will all work out, Iâ€™m sure. Iâ€™m just going to quietly deal with anxiety attacks here in the corner until it is.
And finally, the other big news of the month is the removal of the back of the car seat to make it a booster seat only! This is a huge relief for everyone. The boy is at a height and weight where itâ€™s possible, and itâ€™s much less fuss. Weâ€™re all thankful.