I cannot believe we have a 4 year old. Where does the time go?! I have had a lot of idle time to watch and really look at my kids lately, I guess a perk of bed rest. Take away the hustle and bustle of the day and all the things we do that take steal our attention and it's amazing the things one can see!
Maybe I just missed it before or maybe he really has grown up a lot the last 2 months but watching him now he seems so much older than he did 2 months ago. I know some of it has to do with us NEEDING him to be as independent as possible because of my situation. But he has really stepped up to the plate. He takes such good care of Madison, watches everything she does almost to fault. The up side is it's super helpful when I am in bed and I hear Hunter from the other room tell Madison not to do something...technically he is being bossy but it also helps me know what she is doing since I can't get up! We are working with him on ways to keep her from danger, should he see it, without it sounding like he is just a total BOSS!
He is so perceptive. Like scary perceptive. Lately he has really been asking a lot about our non-verbal language. If I am quiet, he asks why I'm not talking. If I look at him with just a plain look on my face he says "What's wrong mommy? Are you sad?", if I make a noise when I get up (due to sheer effort of the task) he will say "mommy does something hurt? Does your back hurt mommy?". He came to kiss me goodbye the other day and I looked at him and smiled, which he just SOAKS UP, but then got distracted by Madison on the other side of the room and he said "mommy what are you doing with your eyes?" I said "what do you mean buddy?" And he said "how come you're not looking at me?!" OUCH! He is just too precious for words!
He is a really big helper. It helps that Madison will do EXACTLY what he does so if I can just get him to do something she will follow suit, maybe that's lazy parenting but I am just taking whatever kind of obedience I can get from the couch/bed right now! There will always be time to de-program after I get off bed rest. In contrast if he is having an off day....so is Madison!
He is still really into cars. Specifically cars "with eyes on them" aka cars from he movie cars. He knows them all by name and has his favorites. He has almost all of them but prefers the race cars over the "lemons" or other non race cars. He can play for hours with his cars. He lines them all up in order and drives them down an imaginary road. He will share with Madison so long as it's not one of his favorites. If she happens to pick up one of the coveted race cars he will say "here Madison you play with this one" as he hands her one of the lemons :)
He is getting easier and easier. Part of it is his independence but part of is just plain maturity. He doesn't really have meltdowns or knock down drag out emotional explosions. He is a very upbeat and happy kiddo and LOVES to have fun. He loves to laugh and make people laugh. He loves to play with Madison and I think a big part of that is because he knows she adores him and pays attention to him. He loves positive reassurance which makes him quite helpful because he loves to be told what a big helper he is. He has grown out of lot of the battles we had at 2 and 3. Dinner time is actually pleasant and fun again even though he is the pickier of the two eaters he doesn't make it as much of an issue as he once did. His fear of swimming has gone WAY down. A big part of that is the work Jordan did with him last spring/summer regaining his trust a bit in the water and then in the fall we started swim lessons every week, once a week, in a semi-private lesson just Hunter and Madison. He started off very cautious in the fall but recently over the past 2-3 months it's like a light bulb switched on and he started looking at it like it was fun instead of scary. He will jump off and swim halfway across the pool to the teacher and then roll and float on his back to the side which is a major stride from the kid who didn't even want to sit in the water last spring.
At his 4 year checkup he weighed 38 pounds 75%, and was 42 inches tall which was 95%. He got 3 shots (4 vaccines) and was pretty sore (limping) for a day or two after. He still takes a nap everyday..or at least the days he is home. He goes to pre-school 2 mornings a week (we started it when I was put on bed rest) so on those days he typically doesn't nap. They do have rest time but he rarely falls asleep. When he is home he naps at the same time as Madison from about 12:00pm-3:00pm. They both tend to sleep about 2-3 hours. On the days he naps he goes to bed at 8:00pm and it takes a while for him to fall asleep. On the days he doesn't nap he goes to bed at 6 or 6:30pm and is asleep instantly. He usually wakes around 7am either way though. So I guess either way his total daily sleep is about 12-13 hours.
Some of his favorite foods right now are pizza, chicken, chicken nuggets, apples and peanut butter, bananas, watermelon, Kashi cereal bars, Luna bars, dark chocolate and vanilla almond milk, coconut water, popcorn, blueberries, broccoli, corn, and pretty much any Kashi cereal. He also LOVES biscuits with honey and pancakes with honey. He is a big breakfast kid. His favorite nights are when we have breakfast for dinner.
He loves to watch Chuggington and play angry birds and cut the rope on the iPad. He is really getting into math and spelling lately. He is always asking how to spell and sound out words. He can do sight words on his own and simple math so long as he has enough fingers to count or he can add up the objects he sees. He loves crafts. He likes to write his ABC's and color and paint.
He has a vivid imagination and loves to tell me all about the things he thinks of. He gets really talkative at night and at dinner. Much like his dad, he comes alive when the sun goes down! Madison always goes to bed between 6-6:30pm so he usually gets to stay up a few hours and hang out with us by himself at night. He is SO talkative I LOVE it. I like to ask him lots of questions and then just sit in silence listening to him as he goes on and on and on...he will go on tangent after tangent. It's pretty adorable. His imagination has also made it harder for him at night. He wants a lot of night lights in his room and he is very particular about how everything in the room is. He doesn't like things to be in there that he is not familiar seeing. He will say "I don't want to see that!" He has night mares a few times a month and wakes up screaming hysterically! It almost always has to do with an animal chasing him or something in the room that looks weird or scary. He also is really funny about where he sleeps. He moved to the big guest room upstairs (the 2nd master) when we switched Madison to the big girl bed, which he loves! He says "mommy this bed is SO snuggly!" It actually really is a very comfy bed! It has a couch in the room and this week he has decided he wants to sleep on the couch! Go figure.
He loves attention and when he enters the room he will announce "here I am!" The other day, at lunch, Madison and I got really hungry way before the normal lunch time. Hunter wasn't Hungry yet so we decided to eat an early lunch without him. I asked Madison if she wanted to say the prayer. Hunter was upstairs in the playroom and could hear Madison starting the prayer and he yelled down,"hey mommy I'm not down there, I'm up here! You can't pray without me!" hahaha
He is genuinely at heart a really really sweet boy....good as gold. He loves to do the right thing. He loves to make God happy (and mommy and daddy). He loves snuggling and scratching and anything that involves being close to the people he loves. I can tell his love cup runeth over when he gets 1. snuggles and scratches 2. Good positive happy eye contact from someone he loves. 3. When we tell him all the good things he does (verbal encouragement). A friend or extended family member can win him over for life by doing any one of these things. Sure he loves to get gifts...what kid doesn't?! But it doesn't go straight to the core like eye contact, words of encouragement and physical touch. He is very loyal to those who have made it to his inner circle. He is a little standoffish to new people and will come across as shy at first...even though he is NOT shy at all to those of us who know him well.
He has a big personality, one that can control the tone of the room if we let it. He is a great example for Madison and such a good big brother. He loves to be silly and have a good time, he loves loves loves to laugh and be laughed at. When he is having fun it's common for him to suddenly stop and say "I love you so much momma" as though he is savoring the moment and soaking it up.
I find myself watching him in amazement at the little boy he has grown in to. In many ways the first child is the guinea pig for us parents. I mean they all are technically because they are all so different and have to be approached somewhat differently. But it truly is by the grace of God that we have been blessed with such good good kids! We love you so much Hunter Mason.