My nearly 6 year old will officially become properly 6 next weekend and it means another year has flown by at lightning speed. He’s now in Year 1 and working his way through the Biff, Chip and Kipper range. As boring as they are, he really does enjoy their adventures and it took me a bit by surprise as it was like a little switch had gone off. Reception felt like a huge step and, at times, a struggle to get him into school week after week.
I’m so grateful it’s not like that this year, especially with me going back to work, but it’s a joy to seem him go in happily. There are definitely times when he goes in not so happily and it’s mostly towards the end of term, when things start getting a bit tiring. But then I think the teachers are mostly a bit drained by that point too. We’re going through a particularly emotional phase right now and he is trying to learn how to lose graciously. It’s not going too well right now and everyone else is a cheater, followed by distressed tears. As luck would have it, the secret life of 5 year olds is proving very helpful right now in watching other children lose too.
It’s almost time for his “activity” play and this year he is a solider that instructs Mary to go to Bethlehem to be counted. We keep encouraging him to pause for dramatic effect and project his line a bit more like Maximus from Gladiator. He keeps looking horrified at us and telling us how much trouble he’ll get into and we keep insisting it’ll go down a storm. I’m pretty sure he thinks we’re terrible pushy parents but I might give it one more go before this Tuesday’s performance. He is determined not to listen though.
He’s the lovely big brother who lets his baby brother push him about and pull his hair. We try to tell him it’s ok not to be like that all the time but I think he likes the protective role. I wonder if it’s a glimpse of their adult relationship; the big brother forever protecting the younger sibling. Some of it reminds me of my brothers and I and some of it takes me by surprise. The rough and tumble is never too much, thankfully. Not yet, anyway!
This year has been full of adventures for us all, in more ways than one, and I think we’ve created a child that is incapable of sitting indoors. Every day one of the first things he says is “how many things are we doing today?”. We’ve had to make everything sound super exciting and throw in things like “popping to the shops to buy bread” as an event. He’s not realised yet and we so we continue to have lots of trips, both big and small. I do look at him and realise how starkly different our childhoods were in comparison to his now. But I guess that happens with every generation. On our last trip we watched him get stronger with his swimming skills. He’s still unwilling to take his armbands off but I think we are nearly ready. Having never been regular swimmers it’s taken him a bit longer to get his confidence up, but we watch him slowly get better each time we’re in the pool. This time we let him go in the sea as it was shallow enough and he loved it. There’s no such thing as lounging by the pool on holidays now but it’s lovely to watch the boys splash about in the water and having fun.