Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Andrew at 5

I will waste no time expounding on my shock that my little Andrew is already 5 years old or the passage of time or the passing of life. It would take forever and I am too exhausted to even attempt it. Andrew is a delight and I think that 5 years old is a pretty great age for a kid to be. So I will get right down to recording exactly what he is like at this moment in time.

At 5 years old, Andrew can ride a two wheeler. His Tourette's-style exclamations designed to attract the attention of any passers-by of "Two wheeler! Four!" is now officially outdated.

He is a huge help with his little brothers. He can operate Will's machinery, to the point that I am not grateful and awed when he does it but rather irritated and scolding when he doesn't. The sight of him in the rearview mirror holding that little machine and pressing the correct buttons when it jams is something I will always treasure.

Andrew is as philosophical and introspective as ever. This should no longer be a surprise to me, but somehow he always comes out with something unexpected. The other day I made him hold Porter in the tub (see above). This was the 4th day I had bathed the boys in this way and Andrew's attitude had migrated from thrilled to begrudging. Porter loves bathtime and thrashes wildly, making holding him rather difficult. Andrew was anxious to return him. "Mom, is this what you do all day?" "Yes, Andrew, but I do it while making lunch or playing with you or doing dishes." I thought better of my response and clarified that I love my job as their mom and wouldn't trade it for anything. "You wouldn't?" Andrew asked, incredulous.
"I would, Mom. I would trade it."

For a more indicting example, but one I should record, happened the other day during a frustrating moment. I had forgotten to open the clamp on Will's tube after hooking him up and the force of the pent-up formula caused the formula line to burst out of the g-tube, spilling and spraying formula all over. I had to scramble before Will threw up (for some reason any time a port opens like this, Will vomits). I have been rather on edge these past few weeks and have not been at my parenting best, so I was probably sighing and mumbling and heaving myself dramatically around the kitchen. Realizing that I might be sending the wrong message to the kids, especially poor Will who is the real victim in all of this, I apologized and explained that I was not mad at any of them--I was mad at myself for my mistake. Andrew remarked. "You might feel mad at yourself, but you act like you are mad at Will." He was right, and as much as it hurt to hear, what a blessing he could remind me of that.

Andrew's love of women and female beauty continues right along. It first manifested itself in his crush on Dolly Parton when we was, what, not yet 2? Now he points out the incongruities btwn the bodies of supermodels and actresses and my own body, specifically our stomachs. One recent conversation centered around appropriate swim attire for me as opposed to other women. I, apparently, fall into the category of "Big Mommies" and must wear a tankini that covers my stomach while the other women can wear bikinis.

Andrew loves Star Wars, backugans (sp?), building elaborate things with Trio or Legos, swimming, reading and going for walks. He loves spending time at my parents house, which he does quite a bit due to Will's medical appointments etc. He loves to set traps for people and is still unrealistic about the scale of his trap compared to the size of the people to be trapped. His favorite tv show has shifted this year from Scooby Doo to Penguins of Madagascar. His life ambition is to use his career as a helicopter pilot to launch him into space. He is still as sweet and sensitive and tender as he was when he was just a tiny little thing that would only sleep while held. He also still gets out of bed occassionally to play and hang out with us, and I am still putting up with it and then letting him sleep in til the last possible moment. We are chronically late.

When I was in college, I read this poem and was immediately drawn to it. I guess in some recess of my brain I could recognize my future (as a 40 year old man), and now that I am rapidly approaching the stage of life described, I love the poem even more. I still see it primarily as a poem that applies to my age cohort, and that even though I feel that Andrew has grown up so fast I know that he is really still only 5 years old. And that is still young, even if it is no longer tiny or toddley. Yet I can feel creeping into the back of my mind thoughts about Andrew someday learning to close softly doors he will not be coming back to. It makes me grateful that today, right now, when sent to his room, he tends to slam doors as loudly and rapidly he can.


Holly said...

I love your writing. It's beautiful.

Tara, Doug, Isaac, and Lucy said...

And I'm happy your blog is again not private. Could you do a post on Will's medical issues? I know he has needed extra calories, so he got the thing put in his nose, but I obviously don't know much. When do doctors anticipate taking him off the machine/s?

Jenny said...

Andrew is the sweetest and most hilarious little boy! I love your conversations with him. He is wise beyond his years. You are a wonderful writer and your family will treasure these little records! Sorry I missed your call last week--I hope everything goes well for you this next week!

Momo Cannon said...

Andrew is really a special little boy!! We love him so much and love to hear about him on his fifth birthday. Time really does go fast! Good luck this coming week. You will all be in our prayers.

Eliza said...

Love the poem.

And I hope you know how brave it is to be a good and thoughtful mom to your kids when you have so many challenges to face with Will's health. You might think that you are doing what anyone would do...but I think you are exceptional.

terrah said...

What a beautiful post. And I've been smiling all week about "I would, Mom. I would trade it."

Ollie and Floyd said...

I can't believe that Andrew is already 5 - it really is true, though, that he's still just like he always was. Katie and I were laughing the other day about when she babysat for him when he was just over a year old and he spilled cold chocolate milk ALL over his body but rather than cry or be upset or even just patiently wait to get changed, he laughed hysterically and slid around in it. I could see him still doing that. It's nice to read your posts again, Toby - they are so funny and yet at the sametime somehow so sad.

Sarah said...

That was a wonderful tribute to a wonderful little boy! I can't believe you have a five year old already. Where has the time gone? I also cannot believe that our oldest boys will be entering kindergarten together at the same time next year. I think I will always think of Andrew as much older than Benjamin. Happy late birthdays to both Andrew and Will!

Monica Rich said...

He sounds so sweet and grown up. I need to meet this little boy. We'll be in DC next week. Maybe we can meet up?

Erin said...

I'm serious about the arranged marriage! We just love Andrew! He is a remarkable little guy.

It is so hard to see our little preschoolers getting so old. I was just telling John that there is something really sad about Moriah turning 5. Maybe because it seems that all the "babyness" is gone.

I always love your posts. You are such a beautiful mother Alexandra, really.

melissa said...

I agree, 5 is one of the best ages as long as they are not yet in kindergarten. He is growing up too quickly and is more and more like you, Alexandra, which is a very good thing. My kids miss him so much. We have so many wonderful memories of Andrew. One of my favorites is the silly story teller he became each night at the homestead. Everyone was captivated by his scary crocodile tales. We need to get those cousins together again soon.