He's all boy: he loves playing basketball, riding bikes, building with Lego, playing tricks, making silly jokes, digging in the dirt, hugging Big Dog, antagonizing his brother, listening to rock music far too loudly while he plays air guitar, playing video games (limited, but oh-so-fun), and reading Magic Treehouse Books. He dislikes cleaning his room, making his bed, folding his laundry, and any food that isn't pizza, tacos, steak, or hamburgers.
There are days when I wonder how we made it this far. J-Baby is both sweet and stubborn. He's smart yet he plays dumb. He gets upset and angry easily and often dissolves into tears or shouts out how much he dislikes us. His first answer to anything, since he was a toddler, is "No."
I'd be lying if I said that I was looking forward to this year with great joy; I've only recently come through the 9 year change with T-Guy, and he is overall an easy-going child he tends toward equilibrium. J-Baby worries me; already we have so much friction, what will this year bring?
I know, I truly know, that we will get through this year and come through stronger on the other side. The struggle may be, well, a struggle, but it one that must occur developmentally.
My plan, so far, is a strong rhythm and plenty of opportunities for fun and success. More than ever before this boy needs to be involved. Making his lunch or part of the meal, caring for part of the garden, walking the dog. He needs to be taken seriously and to believe that we are interested in what he needs to say. He needs his intellect nourished in a beautiful, emotional way. He needs connection with beauty, with love, with life.
Don't we all?