Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Update on Joey

ATTITUDE!  At least that's what i was planning on writing to sum up joey when i first thought about typing this up around 5 months ago.  But we beat it out of him. Just kidding.  But no really, we did go through a little phase where joey had to remember again who was running the show around here and it most certainly wasn't going to be him.  Looking back i'm sure his acting out had a lot to do with bringing a new person into the family.  But it was taxing none the less, and i thought i was failing as a mother.  I'll never forget him trying to use the word "stupid" for a short while, even directing it at us or whoever else he was angry at at the time.  Pretty sure we have Charlie Brown Christmas to thank for that one, which is what we watched a few times right before this started happening.  They use that word like a million times!  Not sure the tug at your heartstrings message of truth at the very end is worth all the hassle we went through.  But of course we'll watch it again this next Christmas.  Joey's made a HUGE comeback since then though.  These last couple months with him have just been heavenly.  I think as Oliver's gotten a little older and things are not as new and demanding, his soul has felt much more settled and at ease.  He's much happier lately, much more compliant.  Oh my goodness the whines are still there though, and how i wish i could just be a more relaxed parent and perfect the ignoring of obnoxious noises, but they just grate on me.  Usually when i'm lecturing him to be more patient, or to stop complaining, i find that i really need to be addressing myself.  God has a funny way of using my children to teach and convict me of attitudes and actions that i need to correct in my own life.
Big news items for joey this past year, let's see.  Finished preschool at Village, but will do one  year at Faith Bible in the fall.  He seemed to enjoy it this year (despite the fact that he'll tell anyone who asks that school is "ridiculous" because "all i do is sit sit sit sit"), and created a strong core group of friends that i think i'm more sad to see him leave than he is.  I've been praying for him and his future in learning, that he will develop a love for school.  It would be a terrible thing for him to hate it being such the smart little guy that he is.  It will be interesting to watch his new teacher try and figure him out as he has one of the most trying and stubborn personalities i know of.  His teacher this year who has taught preschool for over 15 years said she's never had anyone quite like joey, and his ability to know exactly what he wants and doesn't want is unmatched.  One of my favorite stories she's told me is when he came over to start a project for their Thanksgiving program, he saw one of the other kids trying on a vest they had just made.  Joey stopped dead in his tracks and said, "I'm not wearing that."  We're PRAYING his stubbornness will be used to benefit him in life, not caving to peer pressure that type of thing.  We were driving the other day and he saw someone smoking out the window and he told me, "When i get older, i am NOT going to smoke."  I told him that's a very good decision, and asked him what he would do if one of his friends started smoking, and he said no way would he do it too.  He knows why some people smoke, how your body starts to crave more and more of them, and what it will do to your body if you continue to smoke for your whole life.  I usually start coughing whenever he points out a smoker to remind him of what that person will sound like in their later years.  I'll wait til he's older to tell him that his smart mommy didn't alway use to make the best decisions and was at one time part of the smoking crowd. ;O  I love having conversations with him about things in life because he is so curious about the details of everything, why, how, what happens?  Some topics are easier than 

others.  He just helped me talk with Ian the other day about who's allowed to touch his privates and who's not.  He loves learning about God and unfortunately i don't feel like i'm teaching him near enough as his mind and heart are desiring to hear.  ANYWAY, back to school, he was one of the youngest in his class this year and for good reason he will not be starting kindergarten until the following year.  Let's see, what else- FINALLY learned how to pedal his dang bike at the end of last summer.  We had gone to family camp with our church and he saw his friends with their bikes, talked about wanting to bring his bike the next summer when we come again, came home and started pedaling.  Ian followed suit about two weeks later.  He's lost two bottom teeth, one more is loose and is being pushed straight up by the new one below it.  Just finished t-ball camp this last week.  He did so good, and i love seeing him stretch himself in situations that he normally wouldn't choose to be in.  Joe took him the first day since it was a monday.  First thing Joey says to me when he gets home and walks in the door is, "I didn't like it very much."  Followed by a self-assured, "But i didn't QUIT."  A statement he repeated a few more times later.  He's big on that mantra lately, which is perfect for him to focus on since he gets so frustrated so easily and wants to give up. (Something his personality has done since he was a baby).  Just tonight i brought up possibly being in a kids bike parade for the 4th, when he perked up excitedly and said "i can do it, and i won't even 

quit!"  Despite his EXTREMELY stubborn personality(which could turn out to be a strength), Joey has a tremendous amount of awesomeness to him.  He has a HUGE helpful heart, i can't even count the number of times i have heard him say, "i can help you with that" this past week especially with his brother (don't get me wrong, they fight constantly too).  He holds open doors for me now, puts his clothes away in his dresser, helps occasionally with unloading dishes, keeps unsafe toys away from his baby brother.  He is funny and giggly, and loves to rhyme and make up words for songs.  He is still a cuddly little love and i wish i had more time to hold him while he's still young enough to do so.  Still LOVES books, especially anything having to do with bugs, dinosaurs, trains, or anything with wheels.  Some more random things that'll i'm afraid i'll forget when i'm older- he asks for back-scratches almost every night before bed. tells me he loves me more than i love him, 20 million batrillion zillion.  is totally into model trains(a love that his daddy started by giving him a hand-me-down gift for christmas).  

When oliver was a newborn and i was sometimes frantically running around grabbing last minute things to get us out the door, joey would give an impatient in his carseat hysterically crying oliver his pacifier without me asking him to, and i'd come back in the room to find a comforted baby, and joey saying matter of fact, "i put him to sleep."  All kids are literal, but he is extremely literal and specific about words.  I can see the wheels spinning in his head when someone speaks in sarcasm, he just doesn't understand when people don't say things with sincerity.  Good or bad, i am seeing more and more of myself in him.  When we were out of town this weekend, him and joe were having some conversation and joey was correcting some minor (to us) thing that his dad had said and joe replied, "okay mr. details."  I told joe, "I bet you didn't know when we got together that you'd be marrying two of me." :-)  Don't try and tell a story differently than it actually happened or you will hear about it!  

Joey surprised me this weekend by just out of the blue asking me if i wanted to hear a joke, then proceeded to say, "What kind of fish eat a mouse?  A catfish."  He was pretty proud of that one.  He calls white butterflies "vanilla" butterflies.  Speaking of vanilla, he prefers that over chocolate.  We watched a veggie tales movie called Pistachio, story-line somewhat modeled after Pinocchio but with a biblical spin.  About a week later joey tells us, "Pistachio is the old testament, and Pinocchio is the new testament."  Okay sure joey.  When Oliver was a couple months old, i was for some reason having a conversation with an infant who had no idea what i was saying, talking about how money and fame are worth nothing, and loving God and doing what is right in His eyes is the only thing that will bring you true peace, etc. etc. when joey stops me and says, "Mommy, Oliver already knows all that stuff.  God told him when he was still in your tummy."  Wow.

Oh gosh i need to end this and go to bed.  Last but not least we started swimming lessons this week.  We're doing them Mondays and Wednesdays for four weeks.  Thankfully there seems to be one other kid in the class that hates the water as much as joey.  He was not happy about being signed up for lessons but he's accepted my explanation that all kids once they turn 5 have to learn how to swim.  You're not required to like it, it's just a rule.  And rules he can handle.  Trying to convince him that it'll be fun and he's going to love it, that's a suicide mission.  The class is great, the parents watch from a second story balcony way on the other side of the pool deck so the kids can see they're there but it's so far away that you have no idea what's being said.  The first class joey was a silent nervous wreck, but he got in the water and that is HUGE HUGE HUGE for him so i was so proud of him.  Tonight was the second class and the awesome, patient, one male one female swim instructors each got him to dunk his head two times during the class.  He was still a nervous wreck but Hallelujah!  So excited to see what they do next.  The poor boy's comfort zone is being stretched to the max every minute he's in that water.  But he didn't quit. ;-)

Yes, this post is about joey, but this baby's so beautiful he just can't be left out!

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