Five goes to kindergarten. Which is day school, like a big kid, with a back pack containing all his things. He climbs up three flights of stairs with his tiny classmates, and the amount of his life that happens away from us steadily increases. He still tells us lots about it, but we seldom see his classroom, and I'm not always sure which adults correspond to which kids. Five is very definitely growing up, which is great and terrible. We pack Five's lunches everyday, and Five likes onagri, grapefruit, tiny cheeses, cucumber and red pepper slices, organic, gluten free seed crackers and a little bit of something sweet. He prefers to approve his lunch before it is packed away, and will give helpful suggestions if it is not yet acceptable.
Five is clear about what he wants, and what you should want, and is happy to tell you all about it. Five likes to pick out his own outfits, and may try on several outfits before choosing the one that is perfect for today. This might happen in the morning, but if he wakes up in the middle of the night, he might get dressed then and go back to bed ready to start the day. Most outfits include stripy leggings, but like all things, this can change. Five considers cold weather an affront to his fashion sensibilities. This morning Five charged me with the fashion crime of failing to provide red and white striped socks. I was accused of this in the shower, and was expected to produce new socks immediately. I failed.
Five wants to help with the driving, and will call out all the road signs he recognises. We'll never miss a lane ending, or a deer crossing again. Five is not enamoured with a road trip - he would prefer to fly and is not at all sure why that can not always be arranged. While most airlines think children should be 8 before they can fly as unaccompanied minors, US Airways thinks 5 is fine. Gulp. US Airways thinks he's old enough to handle direct flights alone. Five agrees. Back on the ground, if we are driving, Five never misses a pit stop. He's very interested in the machines that dispense small toys and candy. He'd like to buy several. At every stop.
Five is genuinely helpful, and able to do so much more. He is willing to get things for people, load the dishwasher, pair socks, feed the dog and more. Five likes to care for other people. He'll offer to get you a blanket if you are cold, or a drink if you look hot. Five offers sweet and tender suggestions, and really wants to look after people. He's very happy to share whatever he's got, even if it is a tasty treat - if Five has something good, he'd like you to have some too. Five is also very concerned about animals. He worries about extinctions, and always wants to help animals. He will stand up to bigger kids who are not being kind to animals, and will get help if he can't deal with the situation alone. Instead of gifts at his birthday party, he's planning on asking friends to contribute to animal protection.
Five is aware of more mainstream media than ever before - he's requested a minions themed birthday party. He enjoys a movie, and is particularly fond of Frozen, The Sound of Music and Star Wars. He likes a movie in a movie theatre, and thinks 3D movies are the best. He's quick to offer a snuggle if we are at home, and once the snuggle has been agreed to, he'll ask for a snuggle and a video. In the car, Five listens to the radio - as in intently listens and will ask questions about whatever is being talked about.
Five loves games. He was an avid member of chess club at his school in the fall, loves Connect Four, Labyrinth, and an assortment of card games, but he's almost always happy to be introduced to a new game. He is coming to terms with the notion that we expect him to clean up his games afterwards, although he thinks this is terribly unfair.
Five is the lord of small things. The above mentioned toys from pit-stops, rocks, Lego mini figs, buttons, coins, things he finds on the street, stickers, more things he finds on the street, scraps of paper, small things in general. Five continues to cultivate and curate a large collection of small things. Rocks continue to hold a special place for him, as do fossils, and if you asked him to pick a future career, he would probably say geologist or palaeontologist.
Five loves an adventure. That little person who use to joyfully sing out "We're going somewhere!" still loves going. He's happy to investigate new places, climb new climbing structures, go out for a meal, to a museum, an art gallery, whatever. Five loves a live show - all the better if it is a musical. Five thinks that Neil Patrick Harris is amazing and is disappointed to not have seen him live on stage yet. Five has not forgiven his parents for going to see Neil Patrick Harris without him. In our defence, it was Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and it was not kid appropriate.
Five continues to like strong flavours. He considers The Cheese Boutique an excellent destination and wants blue cheeses, strong cheeses and cheese with an edible rind. Now that I'm drinking beer without alcohol, Five's had a few sips and thinks beer is great - although not as good as kombucha. He was actually so excited about kombucha the other day that he sang about it "Kom-bucha-bucha-bucha-bucha yay!".
Five would like you to know he never sleeps. Never, ever. He is never tired, and he never sleeps. If he has to lie in his bed and rest, he would like to do so snuggling his alien. We actually have four identical aliens. At least two, and sometimes all four are always missing. Aliens don't stay still.
Five's favourite holiday is Halloween, which is almost always too far away. He has grand plans for next year's costume already, and wants to collect things to help put it together. Five can write words - not just his name anymore, but other words, and sends love notes to people he cares for. Living with Five is like living in a constant math quiz - he's very busy figuring things out with numbers and shapes all the time, and prefers it if the adults are too. Five is also full of questions - a drive to school might include questions about plate tectonics, outrage about poverty and questions about infinity.
Five is many, many things.
How has The Small changed? You can compare with four, three, and one. I know, I know he was two, I just did not manage to write a damn thing for his birthday that year. You can bet I am contributing to the therapy fund for that one.