Saturday, April 18, 2009

They're Growing Up!

Today was M's fourth birthday party. It was at the firestation (tip for parents of preschoolers: firestations are a great birthday party activity, and they usually offer tours for groups of kids for as little as a plate of brownies...this is M's second firestation party), followed by cake at the church. The kids played on firetrucks, saw the firefighters raise and climb the super high ladder, watched a fireman slide down a pole into the firetruck garage, saw a firefighter dressed in fire gear, turned the lights on in the firetrucks, heard the sirens, watched a couple trucks take off for real-life emergencies, were given firesafety coloring books and pencils, and basically had an all-around blast.

We had at least fourteen kids I think, though I lost count LOL. Originally seventeen had RSVP'd! Fourteen or more preschoolers +the firestation +partying at the church=exhausting! And our exhaustion was compounded when G's father hit his head very hard on the car door on the way over, resulting in a probable concussion, and got quite ill. He hung on until the end of the party, but did take off for the ER afterward. Nonetheless, G. had to stay back with him at the church during the firestation portion of the party (sad), and G's sister and mom were unable to help with setup. I should have taken tomorrow as one of my Sunday's off. I am here at work trying to get ready for the day tomorrow and just completely brain dead.

Hmmm...this seemed to be an ER/car themed week as well, come to think of it. Friday I spent the day in the ER with M after he slammed his finger in the car door. It was very swollen and looked awful, but it turned out it was not broken, and it looks much better today.

Anyway, so the kids are growing up. K celebrated her third birthday last month, and here M is turning four. Whew! Every year, it cracks me up how M seems to like to time his developmental leaps around his birthday ;-). He learned to use the toilet almost overnight right around his third birthday. We had backed off from working on it with him, and suddenly, he turned three, and he was out of diapers. He has, however, continued to need diapers overnight until now, suddenly, he is waking up dry almost every day and from almost every nap. It looks like he'll be entirely out of diapers any day now.

He just seems like such a "kid" now. He now helps his sister with all kinds of tasks, in this "big brotherly" way that is somewhat new and so sweet. He is making leaps and bounds into independence. I even let him go by himself for introductions with a neighbor whose name he didn't know. The neighbor was working in his yard across the street, and M asked to go make introductions by himself. So I stood on the sidewalk, told M when it was safe to walk, let him cross and ask the neighbor his name (and tell the neighbor his own name), and then had him wait across the street until I told him it was safe to cross. Being a new englander (out here people seem to think it is best to "give others room"), I think the neighbor might have thought it was a little weird for M to come over and make introductions, but M was really proud of himself! I was proud of him too. I never would have *dreamed* of letting him do this even a month ago, maybe even a couple of weeks ago. He just was too unpredictable. But now at four he is shifting into complete focus and attention to detail. He was ready to follow the rules, and I could tell.

I also love how now M calls this neighbor by his name. Whereas before he was just "the neighbor," now he is J. We were having a picnic on the front porch the other day and a car alarm went off somewhere in the distance. As we listened to the faint alarm sounds, M. said, "do you think J hears it?" Something so sweet about it, and it warms new england by at least a degree for me.


sf said...

So cute --- I can totally imagine from the descrip!

boatbaby said...

How sweet! Yes 4 is a big growing and changing stage. Zach will be five this summer and the difference from when he just turned four and now is AMAZING! You think you will mourn the baby/ toddler stage but they just get more amazing in completely different ways!

Happy birthday to your sweet boy! Sounds like the fire station party was a blast!