Thursday, January 28, 2016

Dear Tor

Five. Years. Old. Plus one month, because your mom is hard pressed to keep up with life these days.

How to describe you at this stage? In a word, quicksilver. You swing from one mood or occupation or identity to the next so fast it's hard for us to keep pace. One minute you're fastidiously serving yourself tuna sandwiches at a tea party, and the next minute you're launching from the couch to dive-tackle your dad. First you're helping Col build a train with Duplos, then you're loudly, tearfully devastated that his vision didn't match yours. Now you're Anakin, now you're Darth Vader.

About to cross over
"Put this one on the computer, because it shows my wings."

The key to managing your mercuriality--though I don't do it nearly as well as I'd like; Dad's generally more flexible and thus better at it--is to give you plenty of outlets for your energy. You pay close attention when given a task to do, large or small: sounding out letters, putting away the utensils from the dishwasher, filling out workbooks that ask you to connect shapes to their shadows, trying to steal the soccer ball while we try to score a goal, having a battle with your Legos, and so on. It's generally in the down time that you begin to veer toward the manic, though stay too long with one activity and you do lose your focus. You have got a good attention span for stories, particularly superhero sagas or space operas, but also for stories read aloud when you're in the right headspace.

You can be so gentle with your little brother, though at times you're harsh with him, taking out your bad mood or tiredness on him when he tries to engage you. If he's upset, you often put a hand on his shoulder and ask him, "You okay, Col? You all right, Col?" At times, when it's your turn to pick a book before bed, you pick a "baby book--so Col will like it." Col strives to imitate you and can uncannily nail your diction: when we tell him he can't do something and he says "Okay! That's fine!" it's a perfect echo of you in a blasé mood.

Hitting the hyperdrive

Gingerbread house decorating is famishing work
You're hungry to learn about all manner of things: how paper is made, what happens when people die, how long ago Bible stories happened, what holds books together, what's inside planets. After you peppered us in the car for 20 minutes with questions about how to drive, because "I need to start learning to drive so I'll be ready when I grow up," you sat with a glazed look and said, "Just a minute: I'm buffering."

You thrive on the attention you get when we're hanging out with our friends. Though you don't go on a lot of play dates of your own yet, you've started to ask for them occasionally. You enjoy Skyping sometimes, but it usually doesn't keep you interested for long.
"The Hipster" mustache: straight outta San Francisco

You've become known at your school by teachers and students alike, which is a bit of a mystery to me since you tend to be on the shy side around new people. You go to breakfast club and after-school club, and as such have met a large cross-section of the students. Your favorite activities at school, according to your teacher, are imagination games (outside or inside), sharing circle, and story time. You're better at sounding out words than you are at writing them and recently sounded out spellings for reindeer ("raender"), present ("prasnt"), stocking ("sdoken"), and tree ("try"). You've gotten quick and relatively accurate at adding small sums on your fingers and like practicing this using flash cards with Dad.

Practicing penmanship
We are amazed to be the parents of such a big kid. Thank you for being part of our family--we wouldn't be us without you.