* Andrew, you are almost 5 years old. That's just so nuts. As my firstborn, you just don't picture this big age. You picture babies and toddlers. And then the pictures in your head just sort of stop. No idea why, really. Five must be just so old and abstract. It's not even on a new mother's sleep-deprived radar. It wasn't even on my radar when you were a toddler. But wow. Now I know. I will definitely try to picture Avery as a witty little 5 year old, because I've seen now! (almost) Five is awesome. It's so funny and sweet and mannered and crazy and surprising. You're like this fully formed PERSON. Sure ok, you've been a person for a while now. But a real independent-thinking separate entity, if that makes any sense. I can trust you with such bold tasks! For example, we'll be outside (the 3 of us) and I'll realize I forgot something inside, and I'll send you in to get it. Something on the other side of the house, on our computer desk for instance, along with some other task like 'and fill up your water while you're in there' and you'll say 'ok! be right back!' and you'll bound off on your little mission, and be back lickety split. I know, so silly, it doesn't sound like much, but compared to the stage your sister is in? The stage whenst I physically trail her every move because of fear of lost limbs? It's a lot.
* Avery, you love this song called I'm a Nut, by Caspar Babypants. Yes, Caspar Babypants.. I don't even. Anyways, when this song comes on on our Pandora we have on ALL day long, you FLIP your lid. You might be in the other room, and you'll hear the beginning notes, stop whatever your're doing and whip your head around and scream 'SONG!!!!' You'll run to the TV, stand and dance your little heart out. It's a song about.. yes, being a nut. Is it mere coincidence that you feel a connection to this song? I wouldn't bet on it. You are the biggest nut I know. The best part is the last line of the song, when Caspar Babypants (please make a popular name list somewhere!) sings long and slow 'I'm craaaaaaaaa..... zzzzzzzzyyyyy!!!' You sing this line with such passion! Of course you do.
* Andrew, we had to have the death talk with you a while back. Grandpa's dog, Sandy, had to be put to sleep, sort of shocking to us all.. so this was your first official experience with death. Because I'd never have such a discussion without consulting the internets, I settled on a loose script (minimum facts, answer any asked questions, less is more, let him take the lead) and bought 2 kids books about death on amazon. As usual, I worried relentlessly about this conversation. I hated having to have it, quite honestly. Yep, I'd rather you not even be aware that everyone on this Earth must die someday.. I'll admit to that. I planned on letting your college roomie have that conversation with you, while you comfort-ate brownies I mailed to you from home. So we picked a morning, that way your father could be sure and be there. I told you that Sandy died, and you instantly got watery-eyed and said why??, and I said something to the effect of when someone's body stops working, they die. You were quiet for a good 30 seconds, we were too because we were letting YOU take the lead, and then you asked 'where'd she die?' And I said with Grandpa. She was safe and warm with him. And you instantly said 'no no no.. where ON THE FLOOR at his house did she die?' HA! I told you the vet, so no worries. So my child. I wouldn't want to play blocks on the spot where a death occurred either, kiddo. You then nervously half-laughed a question.. 'I'm not going to die, am I?' My instinct was to tell you, yes someday, you will.. and I started to, but your father interrupted me by saying that that was not something for you to think about or worry about. He made the right call. You were fine, we had breakfast, and that was that. Several times since you've been over to Grandpa's, you haven't once inquired about Sandy. It's just been this accepted thing.. You weren't even interested in the books we bought about the topic. They were cute and age-appropriate, but you wanted to skip them and read your usual books. Fine by me.
* Avery, you're a little sponge-o-learning. I had almost forgotten about this stage. It's weird, when your kid knows the basics, the ABCs, counting, writing, most self-help skills, etc etc.. you really do forget that all these things must have been taught at some point. And that I was the primary teacher. It's a wake-up call of sorts, because one gets a little comfy (lazy) when your eldest is already on cruise control for so much. You are currently really into colors. You have probably one color you've mastered, and that's orange, which you pronounce with weirdly perfect pronunciation for your age. You call everything else either GEEN! or LELLOW! Just like that, with exclamation points. If I sing the ABCs and leave out letters, you fill them in mostly perfect.. which is the extent of it for now. You love to count, and by count I mean you point things out one by one and say mostly nonsense things, then clap for yourself and say YAY! You know a ton of body parts.. and if I had to sit down and count how many words you have.. well, I wouldn't. Because there is a lot. The grocery store is your visual playground, you point out every last thing you see/know, which is a lot, omg child you never stop talking at the grocery store bless your high-pitched chatterbox heart. You wave and say a southern 'Haaaaa!' to anyone who passes you by, or within 50 foot range. Anyone who doesn't reciprocate but clearly can sometimes makes me say rude things under my breath. You ask for things, clap when I let you do it/have it, then say NO and throw it back to me, then ask for them again, then say no, even more pissed off than before. Potty training is going to be a blast.
We were driving one day, and you looked out on a field full of big holes of dirt, a construction site, and you muttered to yourself, 'looks like they have a gopher problem'... An episode of Curious George can have the credit for that little gem, but seriously. Every day is something worth writing down.
Oh kids, you keep me (relatively) young. You have given me white hairs, too, but mostly you keep me young. I stay on my toes, entertained, exhausted, and grateful.