Am I really the mother of a 5 year old now? I cannot believe how fast the baby stage and preschool years have gone and here I am staring at this beautiful boy, full of love, kindness, humour and a big 5 years old. People say it all the time don’t they? They tell you to treasure those moments because they will soon be gone, yet when you’re having no sleep, days filled with tantrums and defiance at every turn, you never really see an end to it and whining seems to outweigh any hope that it will get easier. Don’t get me wrong there are a huge amount of accomplishments, pride and fun in there too, otherwise we wouldn’t ever have more than one, but here I am at the other side and in a new phase now; “the school days” and whilst I loved Baby Ethan, and chunky Toddler Ethan, mischievous pre school Ethan, I adore ‘5 Years old Ethan’ and love it so much more for the adventures and the struggles that got us here.
To me 5 is such a huge step in a kids life, as its the age they seem to grasp and understand so much more, yet are still able to see the world through innocence and imagination. Of course it is the age where they take that huge step and start full time education (either at school or home) and it is the point they become kids and no longer preschoolers or toddlers. It is the age they gain a lot of independence and start to really grow their character as they are tested without mummy and daddy around to tell them how to respond. They determine for themselves what and who they like and dislike and overall It is a wonderful age where they seem better at listening, helping and generally quicker at doing things you ask and for themselves. And lets not forget the wonderful conversation that comes with it.
I have seen a big shift in Ethan since both starting school and approaching his 5th Birthday and he definitely has appeared to have grown up; he seems a lot more considerate of others around him and certainly better at listening and helping at home. He has an interesting fun personality with a few quirks and always makes people laugh. He loves to see people smile and has such a fun and sensitive nature, and many describe him as a little old man as he talks about quite random topics beyond the usual activities and toys. In fact his difference shone through when for his birthday he wanted a lighthouse, a harmonica, some Russian nesting dolls and a sick head?! The looks at the school gates were ones of concern and interest when I shared it with them, but I love the stuff he is interested in, like wearing fake glasses, shorts in Autumn, outlandish knitwear and bold colours…he is super cool!
Yes he also asked for Buzz light year, hot wheels and Lego later on, but I love his quirkiness and that he didn’t go straight for the mainstream or popular but thought long and hard and went for something that really intrigues him.
As this year isn’t a party year in our family he chose his activity to be seeing “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” in December at the theatre, and so on his birthday he opened gifts, went to school with a bag of treats for his class, had some buddies pop by for cake and chaos and then asked for Maccy Ds as a “treat” for dinner! It was all very simple and he loved it…and now cannot wait for the theatre in December and Russian dolls from his Aunt.
There are things I have loved and disliked about every stage of parenting Ethan, with me having PND following his traumatic arrival we didn’t exactly get off on the best footing, and I guess a real bond wasn’t felt until about 6 months or so (I just went through the motions) and so whilst some things have been a breeze and extremely joyful, other things have really tested me as mother, but I feel no guilt now as he seems to have turned out pretty well so far and I most definitely love being his mummy. In fact, my happiest moment this week, which I feel really defines where he is at in his little life, was when he came out of school to show me he had received the “Good Samaritan” award in Assembly for his gentleness and kindness.
5 is for sure a great age; it is fun and exciting and it is just so lovely. It is certainly worth the tears and the struggles, the discipline when you feel mean and the effort to have fabulous adventures together before school starts. I have thoroughly enjoyed the stuff we did before 5 and feel immensely blessed to have stayed home to give him the time we enjoyed together, but I am positive, as I watch him now, that way more fun awaits with the character he has developed at 5 and his abilities and interests at this stage, and whilst he still does silly things, he is an amazingly sweet little boy, great son and wonderful brother to Megs.