It’s been a good year so far. Kids are back in school and doing well. Ava just turned six, so we’re enjoying the 35 days of having evenly spaced ages for our kids: 6, 8, 10 and 12. Anders will be an official teenager in one month, but he’s been acting like one for a little while now. He’s a good kid, no doubt about it, but we are starting to see some of the brain lobe separation going on. As they say in Portuguese, “coitado dele” (poor boy).
I just did the (somewhat) monthly video interviews with the kids and they’re uploading right now but there are a few things I thought I should document, lest I should forget. My memory is pathetic at best, so there’s a good chance I’ll forget everything.
- Anders hates being alone ever. I don’t actually think I’ll forget this but I’m finding it quite peculiar. He’ll go to the bathroom alone but that’s all. He just likes to be with other people. If I ask him to take out the trash he’ll try to get one of his sisters to go with him. If I ask him to get the mail, he’ll do the same. If I say that the girls are playing with friends and he can stay home by himself he’ll ask if he can come with us. He’s not at all afraid of being alone, he’s afraid of being bored. He must be entertained at all times.
- Addie is weird. She’ll be the first to tell you but she gets in these moods where she laughs and laughs and isn’t genuinely laughing but forced laughing and it kinda turns into real laughing but it can last all night. She likes being weird and says “Thanks” if someone calls her weird. I did that when I was her age. I was happy to be weird, but mostly when I was in my teens. She’s starting early.
- Aani thrives on recognition. Yesterday, for example, I told her thank you for doing her chores and not complaining or whining. She would then help with anything that I addressed to the kids in general. I think it’s because she wanted to be seen as the good kid. That’s not a bad thing, or even particularly selfish of her, but it does need to be triggered. Other times she can be as stubborn and unwilling to help as anyone. If I can recognize something she did well and start there, she starts doing better at other things. She loves earning brownie points and will look for things that will help her earn them. In our house, brownie points are actual points that earn you actual brownies. Get caught doing good, get a point. Get ten points, go eat a brownie.
- Ava is a walking tornado. She makes messes everywhere she goes and doesn’t clean up before moving on. She is six, so this isn’t particularly weird but I’m hoping we nip this in the bud sooner than later. She’s a jokester and loves to make people laugh and to be the center of attention. She makes friends pretty easily and, not surprisingly, gets a sort of star treatment from Anders (he’s the big kid, she’s the baby). They share a room right now and, despite the star general adoration, he’s quite ready to have the room to himself.
Ava had her birthday party yesterday and we had a piñata. All of the five and six-year-olds were struggling to make any progress so Katrina took a stab at it. The photos of what followed make me laugh out loud. Please observe.