Being 5 like a boss

Every single day, I’m thankful that I’ve got a little girl and that girl is Kirsten. She’s like an old soul who’s too cool for her current age. This kid is 5 but sometimes, she says and does things like a 10-year-old, and in a good way.

She’s the perfect combination of sugar and spice, sweet and spunky. She’s like the yin to all the yangs in this house, or is it the other way around? Either way, she’s got enough in her to balance out the 3 crazy boys.

***

One time, she sees the husband holding baby Theo with one hand while trying to pour chocolate milk for the bigger kids with the other hand.

Kirsten: Dad, you know what? I think you need 2 more arms.

Husband: Yes, I think so too. But 4 arms would look so weird, don’t you think?

Kirsten: Well, if everyone had 4 arms, then it wouldn’t be weird at all. It would be normal.

Husband: It’s like you have an adult brain in a 5-year-old body.

***

Kirsten: Hey mom, I’ve got a secret. //whispers I actually don’t really like angry birds but I know kor kor likes it when I play it with him.

Me: That’s so sweet of you, baby.

Kirsten: But don’t tell him that, later it will hurt his feelings.

Me: It’ll be our secret. I’m just going to tell it to the Internet, is that ok?

//thinks for a moment.

Kirsten: Is that your blog thing?

Me: Yeah, the blog thing.

Kirsten: Ok, sure. And please put a picture of my new water bottle.

Me: Way to be random, but sure.

water bottle Being 5 like a boss

***

Kirsten: Kor kor, I can’t believe I’m going to say this but…I think I like bananas more than potato chips.

//gives an audible gasp.

Kirsten: Ok, there I said it.

***

It was one of those afternoons where it was just me, Kirsten, Finn and Theo at home.

Kirsten: Mom, we can do this. You put Finn Finn to bed and you can leave baby Theo here with me.

Me: Are you sure? Ok, just holler if you need help, I’ll come running.

Kirsten: Don’t worry, just put the iPad here so I can watch Tangled.

I was fully expecting Theo to protest but I peeked at them several minutes later and they both just stayed in the same position I left them in, with Kirsten stroking his head and Theo babytalking back at her.

kirsten and theo Being 5 like a boss

It sounds so braggy to say this but I have the raddest daughter in the whole world and I’m so glad she’s mine.

Big brother status

I wasn’t sure how Finn was going to adjust to being a big brother seeing how he’s been the baby of the family for the past 2 years but he’s been doing a fine job of it.

Well okay, he thinks babies are terribly boring but that’s to be expected of a 2-year-old because I do too and I’m 32. When baby Theo first came home, Finn regarded him with mild disinterest. He went to observe this strange new specimen we were all fussing over and after looking the baby over for a minute or so, he got bored and ran off to play.

Since then, he’s been paying more attention to the baby – doling out surprise kisses, singing loudly in his ear while he sleeps and shoving random toys in his face. It’s sweet.

theo finn Big brother status

finn theo Big brother status

The downside of being bumped up to big brother status is that he loses dibs on momma time. It’s the rule of the universe – the baby gets dibs because they know nothing about delayed gratification. “What? WAIT for my milk?? You must be joking.” Meanwhile, the bigger kids have to wait their turn. “Momma play puzzle?” Finn would ask while I was feeding the baby. “Sorry sweetie, give me 15 minutes. I’ll be with you once baby sleeps ok?” //Cue sad baby eyes.

Some nights ago, he was in a tantrumy mood, refusing to go to bed. “PLAY TOYS! Finn Finn play toys with momma,” he said over and over again. I gave him his milk, sang to him and told him 3 stories but he was intent on staying awake even though his little body was exhausted. “Momma carry?” he insisted. “No baby, I can’t carry you to sleep, you’re seriously too heavy now.” “MOMMA CARRY PLEEEEEASE?” he shrieked. A few no’s later, he shouted “NO MOMMA…I WANT AUNTY CARRY!!” I didn’t know how to answer that and in the silence that followed, all I could hear was the breaking of my heart. “It’s ok, I’m here, son. Momma is here for you.” 20 minutes of this back and forth later, he finally climbed onto my chest and lay there holding me till he fell asleep.

He’s never fallen asleep like this before and I realised it’s exactly how I hold Theo to sleep – head pressed against my chest.

Sigh, so this whole episode was my little boy missing me and this was the only way he knows how to show it. Maybe he thinks staying awake means he gets more time to spend with me. Or I don’t know, maybe he thinks being a baby like Theo means he gets back his dibs on momma. Or saddest of all, maybe he thinks should get used to the idea and go with a replacement. Just thinking about it makes me want to cry.

I know it’s a lot to ask of a 2-year-old boy, having to share his mommy with a needy baby who gets to be carried all the time. And he’s so sweet to love Theo as much as he does.

It’s probably the hardest part about having so many kids, finding the time to love on each kid when they need it, especially when they all seem to need it at the same time. I tell myself they get other perks like having siblings to go crazy with but sometimes, it’s just not the same. These parenting choices are so hard to make. Have I been focusing too much on the baby? Which kid gets my attention at any given time? Will it ever be fair to all of them? If only I could clone another me, I’d do it. I hope it’s just a phase and things will even out once the baby becomes less needy.

Things that happened

Here’s what we’ve been up to lately.

Baby Theo learnt to sit up unassisted. He’s been practising with his bumbo but he ditched it in favour of sitting on the couch like a big boy. At first, he was a bit tentative, like “is this how this sitting thing is done? Don’t fall over, don’t fall over, don’t fall over…”

is this how you sit Things that happened

And then he got more comfy and confident.

sitting up Things that happened

And then he really got into it. “Is this what big people do all day? Sitting around watching stuff and eating stuff? I could totally be into that.”

having fun Things that happened

And then he was all like “okay…this sitting around thing is so overrated.”

boring Things that happened

What’s up, Theo?

Nothin’, I’m just sitting here chillin’.

***

We finally attempted a meal out in public with 4 kids, and by we, I mean me and the husband – the only person in the world who is crazy enough to attempt something like that with me. He made his scrunchy eyebrow face when I suggested “hey, let’s bring all the kids to the airport for dinner”, which is basically husbandspeak for “what, are you crazy?” But then he immediately followed it with words along the lines of “okay, let’s do it. I’ll do the crazy with you.”

The husband is my voice of reason but he knows that these crazy ideas in my head don’t go away quietly by themselves. And talking them out doesn’t really work either so he lets me try them to realise on my own how insane the idea was in the first place and I’d be all “ok that was a bad idea, let’s not do it again.” The best part is that he actually does it with me even though he knows it’s going to be a total disaster and then he gets the satisfaction of watching me eat my words.

Verdict?

bad idea 2 Things that happened

Why? Let’s see. There’s Finn, a human hurricane who needs one dedicated adult eyeballing him at all times. This kid has no regard for danger and for someone with tiny legs, he is ridiculously fast. There’s also Theo, who lacks mobility but he has to be carried all the time and he is starting to weigh as much as a small bear holding a bowling ball. When I’m carrying him these days, my brain stops working because all that energy is going into making sure he doesn’t fall out of my arms. Tru and Kirsten are like wild cards. They sometimes double up as Finn-catchers when he starts bolting but they have the awareness of a squirrel and usually when they start chasing after Finn, they forget that their mission is to subdue him so midway through the running, they’re all like “This is a fun game! Let’s run faster and split up in different directions so dad and mom can’t catch us.”

It’s fun, attempting to eat while running after crazy kids and holding a fat baby. Let’s not do that again.

1 2 3 355