I know I've vented a lot about my, um, trying two year old, but today is a new day. Suddenly, out of no where it seems, all of my kids' behavior has been amazing. Especially Jason's. Maybe it's that I was out of town for a few days and came home with a fresh perspective to recognize the changes that have probably been happening very gradually...? Regardless, it's like a breath of fresh air. And it's time that I write about the positives in them for a change!
Let's start with Jason. This kid is still far from perfect and loves to test his limits, but he has been much more loving, much less physical, slightly more compliant and genuinely loves helping and feeling like a big kid.
And his attention span is increasing! This is so helpful during our school day. Last week, I pulled out our Mighty Minds puzzles and had all three kids working on puzzles with varying age-appropriate difficulty. It was like a moment from a homeschooling postcard! (hmmm...I don't think they have those, but I practically heard a choir of angels singing) Jason was quick to identify the shapes and colors that he needed, waited patiently for the other kids to be done with pieces that he needed, celebrated when he manipulated the pieces to form the shapes he wanted...it was beautiful.
|Jason playing Zingo for the first time with us as a family. He won almost every round.|
Then there's Ryan. When did this kid get so OLD? The other day, I was frustrated when grading his Spelling workbook. One lesson had virtually no errors, then the lesson from the following day proved that he wasn't putting any effort into his work. I showed him some mistakes that I had corrected and asked him to erase and re-write a
single sentence "paragraph" that was very half-heartedly written.
A few minutes later, he came back to me with his voice shaking a little bit, "Mom? When you asked me to redo that Spelling work, were you mad at me?" "Not mad, Ryan, just frustrated because it was very obvious that you tried harder on Wednesday than you did on Thursday and it wasn't your best work." He looked down and said, "Thursday's lesson was much harder than Wednesday's and..." (swallowing the lump in his throat) "...I did try just as much, I just didn't understand it."
My heart broke. First, he was sincerely crushed by my wrong assumption that he rushed through the work to have free time. (which wouldn't be the first time, but still a quick judgement on my part) Second, he had the maturity to come to me about it instead of a.) bottling it up and resenting me or b.) lashing out his hurt feelings in a disrespectful way when I wrongly accused him of slacking off. I was so incredibly proud of him in that moment and took a few minutes to explain to him why.
Not only is this kid appropriately sharing his feelings, yesterday, he made an entire loaf of banana bread and corn muffins for our chili dinner, both completely by himself. I did stop him from adding 1/4 cup of salt instead of 1/4 tsp and I also had to explain that 3/4 of a cup is the same as the 1/4 cup plus the 1/2 cup, but other than that, he followed the recipe and made them both to a tee. I don't think I could do that when I was seven years old!
|This was Ryan surprising us all with eggs for breakfast one morning. He's made them alongside me enough that (apparently) he knows how to turn on the stove on his own. Frightening, yet refreshing all at the same time!|
Let's not forget about Kaylin. Man, I can't wait for school to be over so I can have that kid home with me all the time! She has been a little clingy lately, likely because we were out of town last weekend. She actually asked if she could not go to school the day before we left for our trip so she could spend more time with me. She's never asked to skip school before!
A few days ago, she asked if she could take out the trash and recycle bins to "help Ryan with his chores." Unsolicited, unprompted. This girl has such a helpful spirit about her.
And she's blowing me away with her reading ability! At Christmas, she couldn't even read the instructions of her homewok assignments or workbooks, now she's reading entire first grade level books with ease. Something has truly clicked with her recently and it's so cool to watch.
The other day, she was digging in our front garden for Rollie Pollies and yelled from the doorway, "Look, Mommy! I'm holding a real bird!!!" This poor creature had a hurt wing and was stuck in our yard, and it couldn't hobble away fast enough when Kaylin decided to (*shudder*) pick it up.
But you know I grabbed my camera to capture that memory. The bird has been hanging around our yard, likely stuck forever, and Ryan can't understand why I won't let him pick up the creature "like Kaylin did." Um, no Ryan. Not only did Kaylin ruin the bird for life with her scent, but who knows what nasty germs and diseases are floating around on that thing! Blech.