Sparky: Seven Years Old!

Is anyone else in denial about Sparky being seven? Because HRH and I are having weird time-fluctuating flashes where he cannot possibly be seven, because we remember what it was like when he was born so very clearly. And yet, at the same time, we are very aware of how much he’s grown up, and that takes a lot of time… so is he only seven? Really?

Seven years ago today, during a humid heatwave, we unexpectedly found ourselves with someone who wasn’t scheduled to arrive till after the Wicca book proofs were handed in um till after the first draft of the green witch book had been handed in er till the nursery was ready well till we were fully unpacked from the move for another nine weeks.








Seven years ago he was born nine weeks early, and we’ve been trying to keep up with him ever since. (That thing about preemies sometimes being slower at milestones and having to adjust gestational/chronological age expectations? Totally untrue in our case.)

I love his sense of humour. His jokes are starting to make more sense, thank goodness; he no longer comes out with non sequiturs then laughs like crazy. We’ve had to dissect his punchlines and explain why they’re not funny, then offer an alternate and point out why it is. Reading lots of jokes in kids’ magazines and joke books has helped, too.

I am so very proud of how he’s worked on cello. Most of the time he whines and drags his feet, and getting him to actually start practice is like herding something worse than cats, but when he steps up, he steps up, and he mostly enjoys it while he’s actually doing it. HRH tells me every once in a while that he wouldn’t be able to handle managing the practices, that he’s impressed we keep on, but I know what it’s like to practice because you Have To, and there’s a natural resistance to doing it even if you like playing. He did brilliantly in his little piece at our recital yesterday, remembering to reach for his F sharp and his G, and reach back so his E was in tune.

He is reading at an early grade six level, according to the final reader assigned to him by his language arts teacher this year. That means he can read just about anything. There are hilarious mispronunciations sometimes, because he does sound a lot of stuff out and doesn’t know where to put the emphasis, or sounds the whole word out all at once as a unit instead of doing it slowly, and so misses some sounds or jumbles them up. It’s hard to choose books for him now, because his reading level is above his level of comfort or interest with the potential subject matter. We have this problem with Lego, too. He’s gotten to the point with Lego that because he’s seven, he loves the superhero sets and the police sets and that sort of thing. However, he whips the sets for 7-14 year olds together and it’s over in five minutes, while the 14+ stuff is too complicated for him and really can’t be played with once it’s built. He can play with the 7-14 year sets afterwards, but since the main fun is in the building… well, we’re looking for something a bit different. Maybe some Knex, or Meccano.

He’s wearing size 6-7 shirts, size 6 pants for length (we cinch the waists; in fact, he’s wearing a lot of his size 4 shorts this summer, because they fit the waist and the length doesn’t matter the way it does with pants). He’s in size 13 shoes. His appetite is finally slowing down. In fact, Owlet often eats more than he does at a meal. We need to remember to adjust our servings sizes and our expectations regarding how much he’ll consume.

His imagination runs non-stop. He is constantly pretending to be something or someone, and narrating a story, like he’s a living storyboard artist. Fortunately our lines are handed to us, which eliminates the need to keep up with him by thinking on our feet. He does exhaust us physically and runs us to the edge of our patience, though, with constant repeated requests for things which have already been denied and a reason provided, or by ignoring us when we call or give him instructions because he’d rather be doing whatever he’s doing at the time. But that’s a general kid thing.

He’s got a lot of challenges ahead of him this year. He’s going to an arts-focused day camp for the first time; he starts at a new school this fall, in French. His reading skills and strategies are already helping him, though: I brought home a couple of easy French picture books from the library last week and he either outright read some pages, or sounded words out and puzzled out the meaning from the context of the words around them that he knew and the accompanying pictures. It’s going to be hard for the first month, and the trick will be keeping him optimistic and his outlook positive when he feels like he’s behind instead of leading the class, like he’s used to doing. Then everything will fall into place. He’s a bright kid. It won’t take long at all.

4 thoughts on “Sparky: Seven Years Old!

  1. Cate

    Seven?! Jeez! No way. Shut up. Nuh uh.

    I’m sure he’ll be fine in the French class once he gets the hang of it, and I bet it will improve his English reading and writing even more. (I never understood prepositions until I learned them in French – massive lightbulb moment.)

    That last picture is hilarious. Owlet obviously adores her big brother.

  2. Ceri

    He looks so grown up in that last picture! And I can’t believe it’s been seven years either. Wasn’t I just over a week ago to help watch him so you and Jan could work out guitar and bass lines for Random Colour? Yikes!

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