Friday, June 3, 2011

My Firstborn

This kid. I tell ya what.

Books and food, food and books-- that's about all he lives for right now.

He absolutely devours books and documentaries about science.  Mostly oceanology, marine biology, aerospace, and astronomy.  Also, Calvin and Hobbes.  And every school reader I have on hand has been read multiple times.

We joke that some day he'll jump out of a plane into the ocean, wearing a diving suit, of course.

Hm... I wonder if that's been done?

I'm quite thankful that he can read so well (and, um, shocked, a little), because he's so much more self-entertaining now.  He's also starting to become quite a know-it-all.

Having a school-age child is a new frontier for me, for sure.  When I think of the concept of "mothering", I always picture babies and toddlers and pre-schoolers.  Even though I know it, somehow it just doesn't enter into my mental picture that these little guys grow up.  Quite rapidly, though it doesn't seem like it while in the midst of the baby/toddler/pre-schooler time.

All of a sudden, Jonah is moving out of being a "little kid" and becoming, well, a "big kid", I guess.  His budding logic skills make him a dogged negotiator (and make me... crazy).  His persistence is exhausting.  His capabilities are fast expanding, but never quite meet up to his enthusiasm and ideas.  There is just so much he wants to do!  And it's all beckoning to him through all these books, and here he is, stuck in the "longest" part of his life, waiting to begin.  It's hard, being 6.

I try to explain to him that this is the part of his life where he gets to learn all that he's going to need to know when he becomes a deep sea diver/airplane pilot/ship captain/whateverelseitistoday, and of course, I provide examples.  That he can't move on to all these projects he plans until he learns the basic skills and and learns to work hard cheerfully at everything he's given to do.  I've also found myself using his ambitions somewhat advantageously.  In the past he has expressed a desire to wear glasses because Mommy and Daddy both do, and of course, I hope he doesn't have to, so I've been very careful in my treatment of that topic.  The other day, he told me he was worried that if he wears glasses, he won't be able to wear goggles when he goes diving in the ocean.  Of course, there are ways to get around this, but I didn't tell him that!  No, rather, I pointed out that this is why he needs to make sure to rest his eyes when he's reading a lot.  Ah, motivation!  Guess what he always remembers to do now? [I read a study about a doctor who once helped school children avoid myopia by having them read an eyechart at a certain distance a couple times every day.  Just that regular rest of the eyes helped keep them from needing glasses.  It's been hard to remember to have Jonah do this, though.]

He absorbs every bit of information and sometimes regurgitates it in hilarious ways.  Yesterday, he had some sort of military situation going on with his toys on the floor.  He told me he had defeated the Moabites, and was currently fighting the Canaanites and would soon move on to the Ammonites.  He made it clear that the "nite" on the end is "knight" in his mind.  Canaan-knights-- Knights of Canaan.

And then there's the food.  We rode out a loooong picky phase, and I'm sure that was mainly rooted in slowed growth.  Now, he eats everything in sight.  In fact, I get really tired of answering the "when are we gonna eat?" questions that come every ten minutes all day, whether we've just eaten or not.  I get growth spurts, but this is ridiculous.  He just wants to eat nonstop.  Food is served here no less than five times per day, and yet he's always afraid he's going to starve.  I know boredom plays into this, so I've adopted the habit of handing out a job at every request for food, legitimate or not.  "Here, kid, work up a real appetite."

Wouldn't want him to grow too fast, now would we?


  1. I understand this picture of motherhood. I remember with Dylin she never progressed past age 3 in my mind. So when 4 hit I was a little like "huh, now what?". So ridiculous! And now she's 7. How did that happen? Oh, and i love the 'knights' comment. That is awesome!

  2. When my eldest (she's 25 now -- and ENGAGED -- which is a real mind-bender) was 10 or so, she went through a phase where she was STARVING all the time. I got so sick of being asked for snacks that we organized a "snack box". Each morning, with her help, I'd fill it with a generous sampling of a variety of healthy snacks and pop it in the fridge. She still had to pace herself, because when the box was empty, that was it for the day. (Well, apart from MEALS, of course.)

    I continued with that for a while, can't recall how long it took, until I noticed that the snack box was being used less and less. Oddly, neither of my other two needed this. Maybe they grew at a more consistent rate?

    All three of my kids are readers, but my son (middle child) was a reader like Jonah. In fact, Jonah sounds much like Adam at the same age. Sigh. You're making me go all mom-goopy for my long-gone baby booooy... :)

  3. (Oops. That sounded more dire than I intended. Let me clarify: Adam is alive and well! It's just that he's 22 now, a fine young man; the past tense is because he's no longer my little 6-year-old boy.)