In today’s edition of all my kids are growing up too quickly, Theo turned 5 and I don’t know if I’m ready for it.
Has this boy gotten all grown up or what? I know I should be used to this by now, but this is hard, y’all.
Remember when he was this chubby little baby who loved egg tarts and cakes and green things and bugs as much as he loved hugs?
He ain’t a baby no more but 5-year-old Theo is still a pill of happiness that I get to take every day. If we all had a happiness meter, this kid’s happiness level would be off the charts. He’s the most drama free, easygoing, happy kid who is an optimist through and through. He’s the kind of kid who loves unreservedly and extravagantly just because.
The great thing about having 5 kids is that they’re all so different and I get to enjoy all the very best parts. Like when I’m having a rough day, all I have to do is take a dose of Theo’s hugs and I always feel better.
Theo’s all about family.
He loves being part of the tribe and he makes it known often. We’ll be having dinner together and he’ll suddenly pause his eating and announce, “I like this happy family” like the thought meant so much to him that he had to immediately share it.
His favourite moments are playing together with all his siblings in the room before bedtime. It can be a dance off or an elaborate stuffed animal wedding ceremony or a pokemon battle and Theo will be all in. He will beam so wide that it lights up his whole face and it makes my heart turn into a puddle right there.
Occasionally when we’re out with all the kids, one of the methods we use to herd the kids along is to be all like “let’s go kids, you’re going to get left behind.” After 3-4 rounds of this, I’ll finally say, “bye guys, if you decide to stay here, we’ll see you when we see you!” This is usually the cue for them to drop everything and get going.
All the kids (including Hayley) know that there’s no chance of us ever leaving anyone behind and they will play along like “bye [whichever kid wandering off/usually Finn], see you next time!” but not Theo. When it comes to the possibility of losing any of his siblings, Theo takes no chances.
“STOP, DON’T GO!!” he’ll yell and then run back to grab whoever is left behind.
He may be the second youngest kid around here but on the inside, he’s got the fearlessness of a big kid.
One time while we were all at a water playground, Finn was getting shot in the face by a much bigger kid wielding a water bazooka. Poor Finn was a little helpless, trying to run away and dodge as the other kid kept shooting. I was about to intervene when Theo sprinted over from across the park towards the kid who was doing the shooting and told him off sternly, “DON’T SHOOT AT MY KOR KOR FINN!!”
The big kid who was at least 11 or 12 took a look at Theo’s face and then basically backed off meekly.
Theo then ran to Finn and stayed next to him for the remainder of the day.
Another time at a different playground, Finn’s balloon sword was swiped by another kid and in usual non-confrontational Finn fashion, he pretty much let it go and went off to play with something else while keeping an eye on his toy from a distance. Eventually, Theo came across the other kid with Finn’s balloon and you can be sure that he wasn’t quite as non-confrontational.
“Um hi, this belongs to my brother,” he told the kid. “Can he have it back?” Just like that, Theo valiantly returned the sword to his big brother and they resumed playing happily.
All I know is that when I grow up, I want to be as confident as this kid.
At 5, Theo still comes into my room for a cuddle every morning and I’ll ask him if he will be my baby forever. His answer is always the same. “Forever is a long time but I’ll be your baby today.”
I’ve done this long enough to know that I only get to baby these babies for a short time before they get all big and have no use for babying anymore. I’ll figure out what to do with my heart when all of the todays run out but for now, I’ll take today for as long as it lasts.