We reached the end of our summer countdown over the weekend, opening our last envelope on N.'s birthday. Today, O. started kindergarten, making the beginning of a new school year official, and signalling the start to many new things in our Small World.
I look at pictures of the two of them on these milestone days, and can hardly believe how much they've changed during these long summer months. It was a glorious summer, full of all kinds of fun adventures and discoveries, and I hope we'll always be able to look back on it as a marvelous lead-up to New Baby joining our family.
I thought one way to really remember who my children were during this summer before they became the oldest in the family would be to celebrate all the things they've learned to do since summer began.
O. learned how to:
- Get his own drinks using plastic cups from the cupboard and the water and ice in the door feature of our refrigerator.
- Blow up a balloon by himself.
- Make a jelly sandwich.
- Buckle himself into his booster seat in the third row of the mini-van. He is so proud he gets to sit back there by himself. "Mom, will I always get to sit in this seat, even after I'm a grown-up?"
- Ride a two-wheeled bike with training wheels.
- Swim across the pool on his own.
- Dive to the bottom of the pool.
- Jump off the diving board and swim to the ladder in the DEEP end of our pool. (12 feet!)
- Recognize all of his letters, and is able to write a word if you spell it aloud to him.
- Illustrate whole books of animal filled scenes and other landscapes.
- Count to 30.
- Judging from his dancing at my cousin's wedding, apparently taught himself the entire catalog of break dance moves from 1985, including a handstand flip and backspin.
N. learned how to:
- Drink from a "careful cup" (ie: a non-sippy cup)
- Change outfits five times a day.
- Jump off the diving board at the lake without anyone catching her (wearing her life jacket).
- Get popsicles from the freezer.
- Appropriate use of the phrase "What the Heck?"
- Open every childproof locking drawer and cabinet in the house.
- Sing her ABC's.
- Identify all her colors.
- Count to 12. (although sometimes she goes from six to eleven, because it sounds the same as seven.)
- Sleep in a big girl bed.
- How to throw a full on three year old girl fit, complete with screaming, pushing hair back off of forehead, and pummeling of her brother if need be.
- Do a somersault.
- Rhapsodize about the various attributes of princesses and ponies.
- Laugh her head off at potty jokes.
- Refuse to sit in a booster seat at mealtimes.
Is it really possible there's so much more change awaiting us this month? I am thrilled to discover who these two amazing kids are going to become as part of a family of five, and simply cannot wait to meet the spectacular person that is working on becoming their brother. For now, I'm glad I get to take a moment to savor the fantastic people they are right now.
N., my Birthday Mermaid, with her new Ariel loot.
I barely recognize her. Is it possible she changed OVERNIGHT?
And with the mermaid birthday cake
she's been describing to everyone who'll listen for months now.*
Classic first day of school pose.
Can you believe how eager he looks?
Is this the same boy who I had to peel off of me
even even some days in APRIL
when I dropped him off at preschool?
There he goes, off on the bus,
my future sprinting far too quickly
away from me with him.
*Perhaps you remember that I haven't always had the best of luck with birthday cakes. This would be Mermaid Cake #2, after the dog ate nearly half of the first one the night before N.'s party and I had to remake the WHOLE THING. Perhaps I'll learn not to make them the day before???