Jude at 6

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Dear Jude,

Better late than never has been my motto here the past few months. It has been well over a month since your birthday but here I am finally getting to your birthday letter.

I feel like we have finally said goodbye to all (almost all) of the b.s. that comes along with toddlerdom. Kindergarten suited you well and you really have continued to mature this year, physically and emotionally. Physically you are long, lean and petite. Your curly blonde hair still has everyone in love. It only took a short time at school before it felt like everyone knew who you were, from the teachers to the principal to the parents and the kids. You are well liked and without being terribly loud or obnoxious your presence is known. You are curious, kind, thoughtful, attentive, wise beyond your years and rarely skip a beat.

This year I volunteered for art in your kindergarten class. I was a bit hesitant about it at first but I was certainly curious to see you in a classroom environment. Most of your behavior didn't surprise me. On a walking class field trip to Albertson's to learn about nutrition and the grocery store you certainly were not the kid at the back of the line daydreaming and having a hard time concentrating. No, not you. You were front and center, asking relevant questions, curious and engaged. Each time I was around you in class you always had your hand up with a question or an answer, never afraid to speak your mind or even politely remind the teacher of something forgotten. You had firemen, policemen, park rangers, even a dentist come to class and I heard that every time you were engaged. You love to learn new things and you have an incredibly good memory. Your reading, writing and math skills really took off this year and despite your school day being short and filled with fun activities you learned a lot! We were really proud of your academic and behavioral growth this year in school. You made many new friends - Bronson, being your closest. You adored your teacher, Mrs. Schroeder.

At home you are all about legos. Legos, legos, legos! You love building legos and between Christmas and your birthday this year you have thousands of legos. Some of them stay together but many of them get broken apart after a few weeks. You can build smaller sets on your own and with some help build larger sets that are for ages 8-14. You spend hours building legos as well as hours studying the building manuals. You have so many pieces memorized and then search for specific pieces when building your creations. You are extremely creative with what you come up with. Your dad and I think that there are so many good skills you are developing through all your lego building.

Besides legos you spend a lot of time playing with your sister. You both get very creative and play dress up and all sorts of imaginative games. You both push and test each other and often bicker but you can also get in phases where you two will spend hours playing together without much friction. It is very nice for me to just let you both play and I can be in an ears reach but completely out of your deal. The messes you two make, on the other hand...!

We all still love pizza movie nights most Fridays. However this year I started making the pizza and you now have to take turns picking the movie with your sister, who now likes to watch TV. You aren't too picky most of the time, and enjoy watching "girl movies." During most of the school year we had a no TV during the week rule, until after your baths. This rule worked out well, giving you lots of play time in the afternoons, some of which was with your sister and some without depending on the day of the week and her school schedule, then your computer homework and finally some time to relax and watch a show while I made dinner. You are a good eater and I feel like our efforts in consistent table and eating expectations have paid off. You usually eat all of your vegetables on your plate first - raw bell peppers, carrots and cucumbers are your favorite along with cooked broccoli. Cheesy things - macaroni and cheese, pizza, quesadillas are still all favorites. We make kale and fruit smoothies often. You like salmon and seafood and love bacon and other meats, but those aren't eaten on a regular basis. Bean and cheese burritos and bacon, lettuce, cheese sandwiches were new favorites this year. We eat good quality food and you are only a picky eater in the way that you like good food prepared properly. I am certainly turning you into a food snob. Recently we went to one one of our favorites restaurants, Fish 101, and instead of getting your usual fish and chips you had the special - linguine with shrimp in a white wine sauce. You are good at trying new foods with an open mind and are starting to feel and understand how food makes you feel, which is important to me that you know. You still love to end your meals with something sweet. You had "dirt pots" this year for your birthday and requested a carrot cake for your kindergarten graduation, which you happily ate for the next week.

I previously wrote a bit about how proud we were of you this year for your team spirit and easy going nature with your first year of soccer. You are a good friend to those around you and take about 30 seconds to make friends with news kids at the park, a restaurant, school... anywhere. You are not intimidated in the slightest bit to talk to adults and still have lots to say. You continue to say the funniest things. Yesterday you were in bed all day long achy, with a fever. You didn't want to eat much of anything and after asking and asking what I could get you for dinner you told me peppermint tea with honey. I continue to asked what I could get you and finally some fruit sounded good. You asked for pineapple, banana, grapes and plums. I told you I didn't have plums but I had raspberries and blackberries. You politely responded, "Raspberries will do." Much of the funny things out of your mouth have to do with your comedic timing. You also get some of your language from a cute British TV show, called Peppa the Pig. You tell us that you "want to go on holiday" and that you "don't like tomatoes," pronounced tomaaatoes. You always crack us up.

I could go on and on about the many things you do and all the reasons why we love you. You are a loving and sweet little boy. You have much more control over your emotions and impulses.You still push the limit and test things but not in a obstinate way, more in a curious way. Most importantly you are happy. Often times when you were a toddler, 2s, 3s and 4s, I worried that you were going to be one of those people where nothing was ever good enough, unhappy with what you had, but this year you have reverted back to the happy person you were when you were first born. Happy 6th Birthday my happy boy!


P.S. This is your Spring school photo that I had no idea they were doing. Proofs were sent home in your backpack one day and I took a photo of it, and returned them back. Your hair looks wild!


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