YOU GUYS! I typed the title of this post as “Theo’s 4-year update.” Except I had to fix it because he’s 5! The most mind-boggling part of motherhood is how time can simultaneously stand still and fly by. Like when you’re pregnant and uncomfortable, time drags. When you’re sleep training and your baby has been crying for 45 seconds, it feels as if it’s been 2 hours. When you’re waiting 2-minutes for a flu test to come back, time literally stands still. Even with all these moments that stand still, my children are growing up at lightning speed. It’s such a joy to watch them grow, but man, I wouldn’t mind if they did it a little slower!
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Here is all about Theo at 5!
- 7:30: Wake up, eat breakfast, get dressed
- 8:10: Get shoes and coat and leave for school
- 11:10: Home from school, silent reading/cuddle time to decompress
- 12:00: Lunch
- 1:00: Rest or nap time
- 2:00: Independent play time
- 4:00: Sibling play time
- 5:30/6:00ish: Dinner
- 7:00: Clean up toys and bedtime routine
- 7:30: Lights out
More details about his day and schedule are below.
Bedtime is 7:30 PM and waketime is 7:30 AM. He usually wakes up on his own around 7:00 and uses the bathroom and then is allowed to read in his room until 7:30. We still use the OK to Wake Clock, but he honestly doesn’t need it anymore since he knows that he can come out of his room at 7:30 and can tell time from a digital clock.
Naptime is hard because he is a grump if he doesn’t take a nap, but has a hard time falling asleep at night if he does take one. Our rule is one hour of rest time- in his bed with no toys or books- and then he can play quietly in his room until I get him. He falls asleep most days and I wake him up after an hour. Waking him up is suuuuch a struggle. He loves to nap (I am the same way!!) and would sleep for 3-hours if I let him. Some days I don’t have the heart to wake him though.
Theo occasionally has night terrors, which can be so scary for parents. If you’ve experienced them with your children, you know what I’m talking about. He doesn’t have them often, thankfully and they tend to only happen if he is incredibly overtired, or has a fever/is too hot.
Theo is in preschool 5-days a week for 3-hours. He is absolutely thriving at preschool and LOVES it. It is a play-based preschool (you can read all about why I’m passionate about play-based preschool <— in that post) so he spends his time fostering his social skills. He tells us that his favorite parts of attending school are snack and recess.
Over the summer, when he was 4.5, Theo told me he wanted to learn to read on his own. I had very mixed feelings about that because I don’t believe in pushing children academically at such a young age. However, I wasn’t about to tell him no, so I went out and bought a few reading games and early readers.
As soon as I bought them, he told me he didn’t want to read on his own. Great, glad I spent all that money! Haha! However, after a month or so, he wanted to play the games, so we played them a few times. At some point, he learned to read. I say at some point because I have no idea when it really happened. I do know that he knew the sounds letters make and could spell simple words such as “cat” and “play” in the early summer.
He has a fantastic memory and has many books memorized. I’m not sure when reciting books from memory turned into actual reading. I just know that one day he started reading road signs to me and I was like ‘hmm, that’s interesting. I wonder who told him what that sign says.” Then, he read a sign that said “no dogs allowed on patio” but he pronounced patio “paytio.” I thought holy cow, is he actually reading??
The next time we got books out from the library, I gave him a book he’d never seen before and asked him to read it to me, without saying anything. He read the entire flipping book. I was freaking out a little bit, like my 4-year-old can read and I didn’t even know!
Although he seems to be ahead of the game with reading, his writing skills aren’t the greatest. He can write his name, but it’s pretty messy. I do not push it AT ALL. We do encourage him to color a lot at home, and I spoke with his teacher about it. She agreed that he has some improvement to do in that area, but also agreed that we don’t need to worry about it too much. I am 100% confident that he will master his writing skills in Kindergarten 🙂
Theo has always had really great play skills. He enjoys playing so much. He’s not as into puzzles as he used to be, but still really enjoys building toys. LEGOs are a big favorite, as well as trains. Recently, he’s also been really into flying toys such as airplanes and helicopters.
He was an excellent eater in his early years but has become pretty picky as a toddler/preschooler. I think he’d be perfectly happy if we let him become a vegetarian because he pretty much hates all meat aside from hot dogs. He also has big issues with potatoes, winter squashes, or anything of a mushy consistency. I know it’s a texture issue so I don’t force it because he gags on them and has actually thrown up when he was younger.
We do require that he tries one small bite of everything, aside from potatoes. Potatoes I will have him try about once or twice a year to see if his taste buds have changed. I don’t make him a separate meal, even if we are having chicken, potatoes, and vegetables. I will just give him some extra veggies, and he is always thrilled to have a big plate of vegetables for dinner.
I talked in this post about our issues with constipation and encopresis. So delightful, right? He is doing MUCH better, but we do still have the occasional problem if we have a big change. He is really scared about wiping his own bottom and it was giving him a lot of anxiety about turning 5, so we have dropped the issue. He needs to master it before he goes to Kindergarten next year, but he tells me that he just won’t poop when he’s there. Ugh. That’s going to be a summer goal for us!
Theo is extremely sensitive. Raising a sensitive child isn’t the easiest thing for me, because I’m not an overly sensitive person. My husband is though, and Theo gets many of his qualities from him. Theo’s very empathetic and is easily upset by books or movies that contain conflict. We’ve literally never seen a Disney movie because I can’t think of a single one that he would be OK watching. We watched the Polar Express this Christmas and he was terrified. We convinced him to watch it, sitting in my lap, and fast forwarding the scary parts and thankfully, he realized that he loved it and after a few times wasn’t scared anymore.
His teacher has told me that he’s become upset a few times at school reading certain books. One, in particular, was Little Red Riding Hood, where Theo apparently burst into tears. We spoke about it and I told him that it was pretend and no wolf would ever get him, he told me he was scared that the wolf wanted to eat the people in the book.
Theo is definitely type A. Like I said, he takes after my husband! <3 He thrives off of order and structure. We’re working on helping him become flexible because there is nothing wrong with liking things to be a certain way, but some things are out of our control, and life must go on.
I would say that Theo’s biggest joy in life is being around his family and his sisters. He has such a great love for them. He loves playing with them, helping to bring their food over, and bringing them their stuffed animals if they are upset. When he gets upset he also wants cuddles from them and it’s so sweet.
To sum it up, Theo is just about the sweetest, kindest little boy there ever could be!!
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