One of the boy’s favourite things to do this past month was check on Molly the barn owl who had laid her first clutch of eggs in California. Her nesting box has a webcam in it, and it’s been really interesting to watch the process. Every morning before he went to school and every day as soon as he got home, and sometimes before bed, too, he’d ask to watch her. He saw the first couple of owlets once they’d hatched, and watched a recorded video of the third hatching. He really enjoyed flipping through the other recordings available, particularly of the male owl dropping, and of Molly eating various rodents and rabbits with great gusto. “Let’s watch the one where she eats the rat!” he’d say, and enjoy the somewhat grisly performance with great relish. “What’s that crunch sound?” he said the first time he saw it. “That’s the rat tearing apart,” I said. “Oh, good,” he said, and enjoyed it all the more. He learned how to write ‘owlet’, too:
(I am just as tickled that one of the words he knows how to write on his own is ‘owlet’ as I was when the word ‘book’ was among the first five words he learned to say.)
His writing is really firming up, and so is his reading. He can get two or three pages into a picture book before he decides it’s too much effort and tells me to finish it on my own. I find it interesting that when he writes his name, the first and third letters are capitalsed, but the second and fourth are lowercase. I’m amused by his vocabulary, too. In his stories, for example, ships don’t come back to be fixed, they “return for repairs.” The stories he tells and his imaginative play are becoming ever richer; they start in the morning, especially when he’s got his shoes and coat on and is saying goodbye to me, and carry on in the car with HRH all the way to school. Sometimes he gets distracted by the stories and loses sight of what he’s supposed to be concentrating on. He’s getting really scary-good at Lego. I am told that preschool has to invest in more to keep up with him. Heck, at the rate we’re going, we’ll have to invest in more to keep up with him. (And with HRH building all sorts of spaceships at the boy’s command.)
When the winter boots were put away we discovered that last fall’s shoes barely fit him, so he has new ones now. They’re size 11 shoes, which means that he grew two shoes sizes over the winter. He’s in size 4 clothes, edging into size 5 tops. The naps are pretty much a thing of the past, but that doesn’t stop us from gently insisting on a lie-down after lunch on weekends. On the days when he doesn’t have even a brief a nap at preschool, he sometimes falls asleep in the car on the way home.
It’s great to see his abilities improve by comparing last year’s seasonal arts and crafts projects with this year’s. He brings home spring or Easter crafts and I think about last year’s, and it’s so easy to see how much more sophisticated the current ones are. His current favourite movie is The Princess and the Frog, which is growing on me after a somewhat neutral response to it when I saw it in the theatre at Christmas. The current favourite books are his collection of Henry and Mudge stories, possibly because he’s learning to read them and so is rediscovering them in a way. He mouths the words while I read them.
Just before Easter we were in a pharmacy and he saw the racks of stuffed animals alongside the chocolate. “Blackie needs a little friend,” he confided in me. “He has lots,” I pointed out. And it is true, there is a minor collection of rabbits in various sizes that he has amassed from various places. “No, he needs a new friend for Easter,” I was told. I almost picked one up when buying the chocolate eggs for our hunt, but decided against it. A good thing, too, because he ended up coaxing his grandma into buying another black and white one while they were out shopping on Easter weekend instead. So he has a new bunny about whom we had a serious discussion concerning names. He wanted to name it Blackie-Whitey, which would have been confusing since we already have one. I got him to agree to Whitey-Blackie. And then we had a couple of talks over the next couple of days about how we don’t stop playing with our old friends when we have new ones; Blackie isn’t allowed to be left behind just because there’s a fluffy, soft, new bunny with a shiny ribbon in the house. He’s handed it very well, actually: they take turns cuddling with him, or he has me take both out of his room at night ( “Mama,” he said, “please take my bunnies, because they are being disturbing and keeping me awake.”) And he left both at home on his first day back at school after Easter. We were concerned that he was going to glom onto it, and we’ve already done some work on getting him to stop bringing Blackie everywhere, but he’s been very good about it all.
And of course, the biggest news this past month: NEW BIKE! FIRST TWO-WHEELER!
He’s really growing fast. I say that every other month, I know, but that’s because I marvel continually at how steep the learning curve is for children, and how rapidly they assimilate new information.
Two months till he’s five years old. Just under five months till kindergarten. I’m going to stop the monthly posts on his fifth birthday, and just stay with random boy-themed posts when they come up.