It seems like Truman has been six for awhile now, and yet when I really step back and think about it (and accidentally watch his first year video), I do get a little weepy about this birthday. Although mostly, I am incredibly proud and excited for the big boy Truman is becoming. Six years old, holy crap! Broken record alert: I seriously love this age so much.
I don't know where to begin with this post, so I'm going to straight up copy my friend Erin's format for her daughter's six year post;)
Loving: Truman loves routine, loves to follow the rules, and he loves school. He's pretty much a Grade A First Born of Two First Borns, I guess. He also loves Skylanders, both playing his two Skylander games on the Xbox and also watching videos of other kids playing Skylanders on You Tube. Also: sports. He is quickly becoming obsessed with soccer, basketball, golf, and skiing. The last two sports listed there mean that Nate is basically in heaven with his athletic dude as his partner in crime. Truman loves math and all things related to numbers and will frequently ask me to randomly add or subtract numbers for him, so we are just now reaching the point when I have to pull out my calculator to answer his quizzes. (I am not a math genius, this is true).
Hating: I guess Truman really dislikes when his two siblings mess with stuff, specifically if he is working on a puzzle or setting up a board game and then they WRECK it and all hell breaks loose. (Understandable). T also cannot stand waiting for something he's anticipating, like waiting for his screen time after school or waiting for his dessert after dinner. Again, he likes order and routine and knowing what to expect so if things do not go according to (Truman's) plan, he's not really thrilled. But I also think he's a fairly flexible kid and can bounce back from a little heart ache quickly.
Eating: We are still working on the concept of trying new foods but my routine-driven child is a chip off the old block here. He has his favorite foods and would happily eat the same thing for every single meal. Ahem, no idea what gene pool is causing this;) Breakfast is peanut butter on a waffle with whole milk, sometimes with fruit. I pack him basically the same exact lunch every day: PBJ, applesauce pouch, Gogurt, string cheese, a dessert, and whole milk. He eats almost everything I send, and is for sure hungry after school for a snack before dinner. For dinner, he loves chicken nuggets, cheese quesadillas, cheese pizza, 'stackers' which are Ritz+turkey+cheese little sandwiches, and PBJ. He really really dislikes chili and any Mexican-type of dish, since I'm pretty sure he still has major texture issues and cannot deal with chunky foods especially when mixed together like a casserole. He'll also down more yogurt than seems possible, likes apples and strawberries and tangerines, and goes crazy for ice cream and cookies. Duh.
Trying a sugar snap pea. 'You can't be serious, mom.' Oh, but I am! They are sweet! And he ended up not totally hating it, either.
Reading: This is for sure the biggest change since Truman's last birthday, as he can legit read from books and magazines and random lists that I scribble on sticky notes (kind of scary!). I've been meaning to get a fantastic video of him reading but we'll have to settle for this less than spectacular one when he is reading amidst the chaos of three children. Or this one when he sounds out the word 'e-mail' and 'tweets' (from the adorable book 'Goodnight iPad'.) He will sound out words he isn't sure about but also seems to recognize a lot of words by sight, sometimes guessing as he moves along a sentence. This is such a fun milestone, I love watching him read and plan to have him reading to both of his siblings as a daily gig very soon. His favorite books are probably the 'Elephant & Piggie' books by Mo Willems. We have enough of them to last us awhile, I believe. Also any joke books are always a hit with this guy.
Writing: When Truman wrote his name on all of his Valentines this year, I realized he is writing quicker and without a lot of thought now compared to last year. The way he sounds out words and writes them down is amazing, like 'also' being 'oso' and 'friends' being 'frens' and 'kite' being 'kit'. He's making a ton of little books at school and I'm struggling to keep up with the sorting of it all. I want to keep everything he makes because it is changing so quickly, and is so adorable to see a new reader/writer describe things around him. I need to get back to my method of taking pictures of everything, then creating a set on Flickr of those pictures. I intend to print those pictures into a photo album at some point, but then at least the pictures are stored on Flickr.
(if you can't decipher, it says, 'Truman's book of words, by...my friends. Also my teacher has to do it. (??) )
(a definite keeper: dear mom, thank you for playing with me. Thank you for playing soccer with me. You are good at everything. Love Truman.) All of the heart eyes.
Drawing: The most frequent scene that Truman draws is definitely a sporting event between him and his dad, complete with the score labeled and Truman always beating Nate in whatever sport they attempt. He LOVES the game Telestrations and we often play it after dinner when Tony and Lois are over, and Truman does an amazing job drawing pictures that everyone can actually guess! His people are becoming more detailed, his animals are adorable, and it seems like he pays closer attention to drawing with every passing day.
(oh look, this time I'm the one that 'didn't win' at a game, probably soccer.)
(Kites. By Truman) ;)
Doing: Other than going to school every day, Truman can be found working on activity books at the dining room table (crosswords, search and find books, maze books, math books, etc), getting himself dressed and ready for school basically independently, coordinating games of chase with his two siblings, playing basketball on our little hoop with Nate, and telling us many knock knock jokes. He also really loves Connect Four, Skip-Bo, Go Fish, and he can kick serious tail in a game of memory. Truman is getting to be so independent and helpful. The newest thing we are practicing is Truman filling his own milk cup, including getting the gallon of milk out of the fridge, pouring, and replacing the gallon. Kind of scary since it can be really heavy but he's nailing it, and since he drinks an absurd amount of milk this is pretty huge!
Talking About: I can usually get Truman to tell me specifics about his school day by asking which 'special class' they had, and what they did in that class (art, music, or P.E.). He will also tell me about someone at school getting in trouble, or someone being absent, or 'we cannot have two cookies for my birthday treat, only one cookie is allowed,' once he has settled into the evening hours at home. He loves to talk about what is going to happen in the future, the order of events for the upcoming day, and loves to tell us about the weather predictions for the week ahead. He's a planner, and I love it!
Singing: He picks up on song lyrics pretty easily, and two of his favorites are 'Animals' by Maroon 5 (borderline inappropriate, for sure, but he mostly likes when Adam Levigne howls) and 'Shut Up and Dance' by Walk the Moon (since he can yell 'shut up' and not get more than a raised eyebrow from me). He also likes any really awful electronic/dance song, especially 'Roll the Bass' by Major Lazer. Oh, Truman, your taste in music is so varied.
Wearing: On P.E. days, Truman *must* wear a short sleeved tee shirt and comfy pants, even if it's negative ten degrees outside---no long sleeved shirts for him! I can usually convince him to do a hoodie over the top of his tee shirts, and then on non-gym days he will oblige me in picking out a long sleeved 'nicer' shirt. Sometimes. He is wearing size 7 pants and size 8 shirts, meaning we are moving out of the 'little boys' and into the 'boys' section (shudder!). Shoes size 1.5 but it's probably time for a new pair already. Truman is officially the tallest one in his class, as he tells us frequently. I measured him and he seems to have grown three inches in the past year (would have thought it was more!) and is 4'2" and 52 pounds. My tall and gangly boy is probably going to be taller than me sooner than later, a fact which makes him giggle each time we discuss while simultaneously making me want to sob. WEREN'T YOU JUST BORN? How are you already 4'2"??
Tee shirt and comfy pants, even on this day when he and his classmates put on a 'big time' play for us parents. So proud!
Also REALLY into wearing these wrist sweat bands that I bought for his birthday party---he is wearing them non-stop lately. Getting his goodie bags ready for his birthday party this upcoming weekend. Wrist bands for all!
Watching: Truman can watch a show before school if he gets fully dressed, fed, teeth brushed, and ready for school before it's time to leave. He almost always picks Ninjago or Inspector Gadget, sometimes Angry Birds on Netflix. Then he will get about 20 minutes of screen time on the iPad after school and he likes to watch Skylander stuff during that time. He also loves movies like Inside Out, Monsters Inc., and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (1 and 2).
Making his Valentines box with me this year, on the week when he was sick from school for four whole days!
Sleeping: Because he is definitely not napping anymore and because of full day school, Truman is pretty wiped out by 7pm most nights. He is fast asleep when his head hits the pillow around that time each evening (in the winter, at least) and wakes slightly before 7am when his clock turns yellow each morning. He goes hard all day long so the twelve hours of sleep at night are necessary! He doesn't sleep in on weekends at all, ever, but we are very happy with a 7am start time compared to his previous 5am antics at ages 1-3.
LOVES to play in the snow! Cold doesn't bother this Wisconsin kid one bit.
Feelings about his Family: Truman is seriously obsessed with Nate right now, he thinks Nate hangs the moon and wants to play and interact with his dad every waking moment. It's really quite adorable and Nate is pretty awesome;) But sometimes it hurts my feelings because I don't want to 'be in charge' of Cecelia and Porter while Nate always gets Truman time. Do other families struggle with this? It's hard to get quality time with Truman when mornings before school can be rushed and evenings after school can be pure chaos. So we've been working on having more mommy and Truman time on weekends, doing things together that don't involve the chaos of younger siblings. I also LOVE to go to events at Truman's school, like a field trip, or a class party, or the play, or whatever. He seems so proud of himself and excited to have me there and I'm happy we can make it work!
Aside from his parental relationships I just discussed in great detail, Truman also has excellent relationships with each of his siblings. I think he is slightly more infatuated with Porter and finds him endearing and cute. Truman and Cecelia can make each other laugh like nothing I've heard before and when they are on, they are on! But they can also annoy the heck out of each other and Truman definitely gets annoyed by Cecelia when she knowingly pushes his buttons. Both Cecelia and Porter straight up idolize Truman though, even when they both irritate him;)
Gotta give lots of hugs before school:
She randomly walked up to him and did this one morning:
At his holiday party:
My crazy crew with 'fun dad'.
Other things that don't fit anywhere else: Truman takes a shower now as he barely fits in the bathtub alone, let alone during a double or triple bath with siblings. He can do the entire procedure alone which is huge! He still sleeps with his beloved monkey lovey, but sometimes will leave him in the bed during the day to rest instead of demanding to bring him downstairs. No loose teeth yet but he is super excited for the big day when he loses his first one. He learned to ride a bike without training wheels last summer and loves being outside (don't we all?!). He is sensitive, he is loyal, and he is social. Everyone seems to love Truman at school and I hope he can be assertive and stand up to people who are unkind.
One final story that I think paints an accurate picture of our Truman: a mom from school told me that the other day, she was watching the kids wait in line before school started. They were outside (not sure where I was this day?!) and no adults were near by, but this mom was watching from afar. The mom's daughter had her backpack kicked off to the side by another kid. Without missing a beat, Truman ran over to her backpack and brought it back to her, even though nobody was watching and it definitely wasn't expected of him to help this little girl. He's just a good kid---always has been, and I pray that he remains happy and confident and empathetic towards others.
When I was fumbling around on the Vimeo site, uploading the six year interview below, I found Truman's first year video. And yes, I sobbed. Because oh, the joys of having one itty bitty baby! With two moonstruck parents doting on his every grin, his every milestone. Those were simpler days (not EASY, I really do remember the part about one child being quite difficult!) and it just brings me back to the excitement and all-encompassing focus that came with Truman as our only child. I wouldn't trade places with the family of three from 2010, because life is even more full and exciting now.
But my baby, he's six years old, you guys. And he is still amazing and bowls us over with his smile. That Truman, he is something else.
This year's video captures Truman's personality pretty well. We all just love him so much, there's nothing else to even say!!
Truman Six Year Interview from Julia H. on Vimeo.