Somehow, without permission, my little baby boy – my youngest – my snuggly lapdog – my bonus suburb baby – my last little baby boy – turned five. I’m not quite sure how we got here. Especially because I’m still trying to come to terms with my oldest – who is now eleven – turning five. But somehow, some way, my youngest baby just became a whole hand old.
The Happiest Little Boy
This little boy came into the world totally chill and has been that way ever since. He is a big bag of smiles with a face that radiates sunshine. He is the youngest – adored by everyone – and totally knows it. He is the epitome of a “third kid”. He is my last little baby boy – and he turned five.
Why is five such a big one? Because that means he has arrived. He is ready to go into the system. No passing go, no collecting $200. The next stop is kindergarten. Then – before we know it – he will be in middle school (and double digits) like the big one, getting big without permission.
I have been very lucky for the last year. Due to the pandemic, we kept him home instead of sending him to preschool. It has been one of the silver linings of COVID. Since he is the third kid I’ve been there and done that, so teaching letters and numbers has been easy. I don’t feel the pressure one feels with their first and knew that as long as he could write his name, he would be ready to go.
He has been by my side for fifteen months and my little sidekick. He has been my super star student, my gardening buddy, my curious comrade, and my adventure partner. He is so much fun to be with in every situation. He is the child who finds everything interesting and asks fantastic questions. He is just simply delicious.
He Loves Everything… Except String Beans
He loves pockets, worms, Captain America, action figures, history, trains, hugging trees, birds, playing baseball and spinning on swings. He does not like string beans. He is well aware that the biggest change from age four to five will be eating five string beans instead of four – our rule for a vegetable if he doesn’t like it. He is not looking forward to this.
He likes to tell me he can’t read, but then sometimes he likes to figure out what a word says by looking at the letters and sounding out their sounds, which he reassures me is not reading.
He Sympathizes With Elephants & Likes 80s Music
He likes to giggle and take luxurious bubble baths, build forts, play with construction toys, wear mismatched socks and mismatched pajamas (at the same – or different – times), and puts on his brother’s shirts backwards without realizing any of the above. He likes to do puzzles and watch movies. Firepit s’mores are the best bribe we can offer him.
He loves the zoo and hopes the elephants don’t feel bad that the tigers are now his favorite. He likes 80s pop music and playing with superhero figures. He’s a whiz at making pancakes and baking cakes. Somehow, he wins every game we play – without us letting him win. Really. Especially “Sequence.”
He likes the snow and to play at the beach and go down slides – both water and regular. He loves going on hikes and finding hidden flowers. He loves Taco Tuesday and fancy napkins. He requires ice in his water (no matter what the hour) and fresh water – with ice – the second we say it’s time to go to sleep.
He likes to talk to our friends and often wonders how – and what – Joe Biden is doing at that very moment. He wants to go back to Boston for vacation and thinks lox is delicious.
He is a little old man in a little young body. He likes newsboy hats. Sometimes he makes borscht belt jokes and motions. It is very, very funny. He is very, very funny.
Birthdays Always Hit Hard
I think the week of my kid’s birthdays always hits me hard. It is a representation of the knowledge that they are about to turn a year older. That they are growing up. But this one is my last. He just turned four. These little hands are getting bigger and there aren’t smaller ones on deck. When he grows out of his clothes, they leave the house. They don’t go in the attic for the next one. He is the last. He is the little. He is NOT allowed to get big.
Since his birthday was over Memorial Day weekend (and the same day as my Dad’s!) we planned a long weekend of celebrations. Sadly, the rain canceled most of it, but luckily, we got in his number one wish – to go climbing at Wild Play, Jones Beach.
The day was also filled everything he loves – macaroni and cheese from Panera for lunch with my parents, visiting the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery, and his favorite “sushi” dinner of noodles and chicken.
His love of water play toys and action figures make gift giving easy. Somehow, someway he fell in love with He-Man, which made my husband very happy. I surprised them both with the Castle Grayskull reboot as well as an army of Masters of the Universe action figures. I’m not sure who is more excited.
My Last Little Baby Boy Turned Five
Somehow he is getting bigger every day. Including waking up looking older on his birthday. I swear. He turned five. My last little baby boy turned five.
Somehow in September I’m going to put him on a bus, wave goodbye and return to an empty house. I’m not ready for that yet or at all. But then again, I’m also not ready for my daughter – who used to look like a preemie boy, or my middle son – who used to look like a marshmallow – to go to 6th and 3rd grades either. Please.Time.Slow.Down.
I’m glad he had an amazing birthday. I’m glad he is as excited about his gifts as I was to give them to him. Most of all, I’m excited he still wants to curl into a little ball and snuggle in my lap.