Monday, May 11, 2009

How Time Inches Along!

HB will be turning five soon.

This is the place where every other parent on the planet adds, How did that happen? They say it goes fast, but it seems like just yesterday he was [born / playing peek-a-boo / taking his first steps / add your own heartwarming milestone here]!

I said to TH around the time HB turned four, “Do you understand what people are talking about when they say it goes fast?”

“Absolutely not,” he answered. “Every stage seems to last forever.”

My child has a Superman-like ability to slow time to a crawl, at least for his parents. It seems like I can feel every minute of every day of the past five years. Other people’s kids get older awfully fast; not mine.

This child just wears you down. He’s an Xtreme Child (as in Xtreme Sports). The other day he went to the park with my parents to play baseball. On the way home he decided he didn’t want to carry the bat home as he’d promised to do before they set out. An argument ensued; he flung the bat to the ground. My stepdad said, “Well, that’s okay, you can just leave it for someone else to find.”

HB did not carry the bat home. He kicked it home. The whole way.

That’s what I’m talking about.

Actually that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the really cool things about HB, in honor of his one-twentieth of a century.

I was raised with a WASPY horror of bragging (e.g., when I was in college my mother wouldn’t even tell people what school I was attending for fear it might sound like bragging. She would say, “Oh, she’s … in college … in another state …” I think some people may have thought I was in prison). So I try very hard to avoid it here, especially the kind of bragging where you’re like, “oh, it’s such a pain, having a child who can do physics at 3—it’s so embarrassing when he starts talking about the degree of the arc of his pee in the restroom!”

So this is a little hard for me, but I will try to do this straight, without HB-deprecation—aside from the tirade above, of course.
  • For a preschooler, he’s almost Buddhist in his non-attachment to material things. He doesn’t beg for toys in stores, he doesn’t seem to notice when obnoxious toys “disappear,” and he doesn’t get worked up when something is lost or broken.
  • He can read, and as far as I know taught himself to do so.
  • He’s agile. He’s in T-ball but doesn’t need the T, for instance.
  • He doesn’t mock others for their idiosyncracies. He’s great with special-needs kids.
  • He can make scrambled eggs by himself. Really.
  • He doesn’t pick his nose or bite his nails.
  • He doesn’t like TV.
  • He has no irrational fears—the dark, monsters, toilets, etc. do not worry him.
  • His pencil grip and scissor skills are excellent for his age, I am told.
  • He is affectionate.
  • His outfits make me smile every day.
Phew. That was actually really hard for me—I felt the need to asterisk almost every statement, David Foster Wallace-style. The past week or so has been especially rocky. But I am grateful for getting such an amazing kid, the time crawling notwithstanding. Probably one day I will even be grateful for how he slowed the passage of time.

20 comments:

Snickollet said...

Happy birthday, HB.

He sounds like one cool kid. Challenging, to be sure, but cool.

Orange said...

My kid picks his nose and bites his nails, but he's still a cool kid. And he can read ridiculously fast for a third-grader. He reads as fast as wordy ol' me, and faster than his dad.

By the way, it was Buddha's birthday recently. I saw a Buddhist temple all decked out for the occasion on Monday.

Anonymous said...

The outfits are awesome! What a cool little kid.
Auburn

Denise said...

Scrambled eggs? I'm impressed. That puts him, I don't know, twenty years in advance of me in the cooking department?

Happy birthday, and I never mind hearing about how wonderful someone else's kid is. It's only sad when parents don't appreciate their own kids.

Gray Eyed Scorpio said...

Thanks for sharing both the good and the bad. It helps. I have a precocious, adamant, opinionated and independent-minded 4-year-old and I agree that each difficult phase (nay moment) seems eternal.

Anonymous said...

Those are the coolest tights i've ever seen. Can you share where they came from?

Happy Birthday, HB!

Brenna said...

Goodness. I think we'd all be a lot happier if everyone dressed like HB. I try to make my running clothes as ridiculous as possible just to make myself cheerful while I run.

Anonymous said...

That dude marches to the beat of his own drum! Thank god, right? How cool is that outfit. He's got style and he appreciates color. The tights are rockin!

AmyM

eviec said...

My son will be five in July and I find that overall, the time seems to go quickly, but the minutes themselves can be SO SLOW. I try to value that he seems so sure of himself and what he wants, but it surely would be easier to parent a little automaton! But I find him both maddening and heartbreakingly sweet, sometimes right after the other. I suppose it is normal. Your child seems wonderful in many ways, much like I think of mine.

Anonymous said...

Nice kitchen. (Also, EVERYBODY picks their nose, some of us just do it discreetly.) -victoria

Just me said...

My favorite part of that picture is the look on his face. "Oh yeah? I dare you to say something about my fabulous style..." LOL

DoctorMama said...

The tights can be found at We Love Colors. He may not beg for toys, but he does beg for tights. When these arrived, he was mad that they weren't colorful enough.

(And yes, as I have said before, everyone picks their nose -- but so far he will only do it in extreme circumstances, and surprisingly gingerly.)

E. said...

Good for you, talking about your kid's cool and lovely qualities. I love the list, and though I love David Foster Wallace, I'm glad you didn't footnote.

Old MD Girl said...

“oh, it’s such a pain, having a child who can do physics at 3—it’s so embarrassing when he starts talking about the degree of the arc of his pee in the restroom!”That was freaking hilarious.

JuliaG said...

I sometimes wonder if the people for whom times flies are people whose kids sleep through the night? I mean, that way you'd be doing like half as many hours, right? My guy turns three today and I feel like it's inch, inch, inching still.

Mignon said...

Your kid rocks. Mos def.

Capital-H hate when people tell me to "enjoy it now it goes so fast" in that snotty knowing tone. As if being the parent of a 4-yr-old is infinitely better than being the parent of a 6-and-a-half yr-old. Can I tell you how excited I was when Madeleine could buckle her own seatbelt? It was pure liberation.

Anonymous said...

what a great list, and an awesome outfit :D

-Sonyala

ozma said...

He sounds AWESOME. You make me want to meet this kid.

I have an Xtreme child. (Love this phrase, by the way.) I have to admit that's what I'm always bragging about: Her Xtreme-ness. And it sounds like I'm complaining. But I'm just so impressed by her Xtreme abilities, her astounding eccentricities, her relentless stubbornness, her whimsy, her outrageous imagination.

Even her ability to manipulate me (at times) impresses me.

She doesn't even do anything academically all that exceptional--she's not the kid that does physics,, she just turned five and is on track for five). It's actually her Xtreme ways that convince me of her (definitely unpredictable for the future--like, maybe not academic achievement but something else) brilliance.

She's got a real nosepicking problem even.

I LOVE that he kicked the bat all the way home. I love every one of these qualities. These are the things you want in a kid. Especially his lack of attachment to material things and his acceptance of others' idiosyncrasies.

He's awesome now but it sounds like you can look forward to tons more awesomeness in the future.

winecat said...

What an awesome kid! I too love that he kicked the bat all the way home, he did what he agreed to do just his way.

In addition, in the picture with his wonderful combinations he looks ready to say "bite me" to anyone who might question his fashion choices.

clueless carolinagirl said...

Time starts to go faster. Trust me. Mine will be 11 and 9 in September.

I love to hear parents brag about their kids. Go for it!