George, 6 Years Old

As their kindergarten year winds down and as I think about where the boys were last year, it's amazing to see how much they've grown. I do lunch duty often at their school and within an hour and a half, you see the lunch room grow from the smallest boys to the biggest... 8th graders who are well over 6 feet tall. Now in May, even the kindergarteners look bigger and don't seem almost too-small to be at this big-kid school. William and George had their switch day on Friday, a day last year when they first visited Town for a 'real' school day. This year, they spent the morning in the first grade rooms. They've both had a great first year of school and while I think both prefer being home with mom and dad most, they both really like Town School. Dave and I have been so impressed with every aspect of the school and the community and feel so lucky the boys get to be in such a creative and caring school environment that brings out the best in teaching only boys.

George has adjusted well to school and I've been pleasantly surprised to hear that he generally is a good listener in class. He has so much energy that I thought sitting in school for the long day could be hard, even though I know the school does a great job of keeping the kids moving. When I specifically asked, the teacher said occasionally he is silly and needs to be reminded to listen, but he's not one of the boys she's regularly working on that with. George tends to be quiet when he's with the whole class, not contributing much, but thankfully the class breaks out so frequently when he's with half the class, or even just a couple of kids and in all those situations he seems to be more than comfortable in sharing and answering questions, in fact, he's been called a leader in those situations. George loves learning choice where he gets to choose what he wants to play with, but he's also really enjoyed Theater Arts.  He seems to get along with the other boys fine and from what I hear from him, always has other kids to play with but I don't think he's built his little crew yet. I'm thankful that despite this, he hasn't clung to William. In fact, it seems that he and William spend very little, if any, time together at school. When I asked the other day, they told me they both had been shooting baskets together, with other friends too, but it's not like they were talking. I give them both a lot of credit  for finding their own way at school this year and not depending on each other.

George is progressing with his reading. He was strong in the beginning with learning sight words so initially did better with the Bob books. Lately, it's been more of a fight to get him to do his reading but I think that's because he's hit a bit of a plateau. He's lazy with sounding out and instead will know the first letter of a new word and just guess from there, not wanting to take the time to sound out the word. It makes it hard for me to sit with him to read as any prompting to try again is met with resistance from him. I'm hoping to continue our reading routine this summer so he can at least maintain, but hopefully get over this plateau and start enjoying reading. He's very strong in math and decided to write a note to his teacher on his weekend worksheet to request 'harder math' :)

Sports have sort of started as a battle with George, but thankfully we're in a good place. Soccer went fine, but basketball he wasn't into at all, almost until after the season ended. Now it's both his and William's favorite sport and they're shooting baskets in the backyard every chance they can get. I think George's height really helped him. He hadn't caught on to dribbling or shooting much but he became known as the defender for his team and that was a huge boost of confidence. George has also started watching the Warriors playoff games with Dave and has gotten really into it. Just last night when I told him his hand-me-down Warriors shirt had a hole, he asked if I could get him a Steph Curry jersey to replace it. Baseball was another story. He didn't want to play in the first place, but I encouraged him and then just decided to sign him up anyway, telling him it's the only year no one else (for the most part) will know what they're doing so he'd be the same level as everyone else. He did just fine, was able to hit some of the balls, but it was a battle. He never wanted to go to the games, constantly yelled at me for signing him up, even though he seemed to have fun once he was there. When the season ended both he and William said they didn't want to play again, so we'll see if they change their mind when sign ups roll around next year. I'm not going to push it again though.

George has enjoyed Acrosports and this last session he chose to do football when William was in drawing class and has fun with that. I think he still does best when he comes home and gets a bit of quiet time to himself. He can get very grumpy after school if he hasn't gotten a snack.

We've had some challenges with George's behavior, though thankfully it's been very minimal at school. The last month, there's been more limit-testing, especially when he gets in his silly-mode and just can't get out of it and then it leads to him mocking me when I'm trying to set limits or discipline. It was pretty trying the week Dave was gone so I've started reading multiple parenting books to try to come up with a plan that Dave and I can stick to. When George is tired or hungry, he can get really angry and won't do anything asked (doesn't sound too much out of the norm, huh?) but there's lots of mean things said, push-back on absolutely everything. George used to be such a good helper and I've found that many times I'm finding myself asking the same things over and over and I'm met with not just resistance, but mean words. Again, I realize this is typical for this age but I'm keen to find the best way to work on it now so it doesn't escalate.

When at home, George loves to listen to audio books, play with lego sets that William has mostly built, or set up the castle and play with the different characters. He loves watching Wild Kratts and has become almost obsessed with animal facts. He always would ask Dave, 'who would win, a lion or a cobra?' for example. I go to the library often and bring home boys I think each boy will like, usually fairy tales or similar for William and animal books for George. I came across a Deadliest Creatures book and I think we've renewed it 3 times now. Since the, we've discovered a Who Would Win series, clearly written by another dad who had been asked similar questions over and over :) George now has about 8 of these deadliest creature-type books checked out and just loves them. We read the same facts over and over and I can't skip a part or he notices. He knows when the book is 'wrong' when they've listed the second-biggest/strongest etc as something different than he's learned.

George has made a lot of improvement walking into school each day and shaking hands with the Head of School. She'll still stop him if he rushes past with just handshake and doesn't look her in the eye for a greeting. He still has a ways to go in greeting people, speaking up and answering adults but it's improving. Up until very recently, he still wanted to be walked to his classroom every day. He was fine going in and never had problems with the transition, but just wanted me to walk him in.

Eating always goes through waves for George. Quantity has never been an issue, he still is able to consume a huge amount of food. He eats similar portions to Dave if he likes what's being offered. The last month has been more challenging though, with him complaining about most dinners. We instated a rule one Coco was old enough to be listening to what they were saying about the food, you don't have to eat it, but you can't yuck the yum. For the most part this was working, but lately George has been very upset when he doesn't like the dinner, complaining, be disruptive and ultimately not eating. Dave and I are firm about not offering alternatives. He knows he can always get his back-up food cottage cheese, but he rarely does. It's tough because usually he's tired and hungry and that's part of the reason he's acting the way he is, so he needs food, but won't try what's offered. He seems to be getting pickier, like today at lunch he ordered buttered noodles as he thought the bread on the grilled cheese was going to be too thick, but the noodles had parmesan cheese on it. To his credit, he did try it, but he didn't like it. His list of 5 fruits has dwindled again, but thankfully he drinks smoothies which I jam-pack with fruits and veggies. This is one of those things that we have to go back to the drawing board every six months or so and work with him to come up with a new plan. Then it works for a bit and then slowly shifts into needing a revamp as well. At school, unless it's one of G's favorite days (pizza, burgers or hot dogs), he gets the same thing every day: a turkey sandwich. Back in October, we did a challenge where they at least tasted the main dish food served at lunch every day (and could go get something else if they didn't like it) and then the four of us went out to a nice dinner after as a reward. I think it helped William but G not so much.

George has so much energy (outside of those times he's grumpy and tired) and in general doesn't need much sleep. We started pulling G out of the bedroom after reading books so that W could go to sleep in peace. G plays in the other room, listens to an audiobook etc., and then once W is asleep, he can go in. There are many nights he comes up at nearly 9:00 saying he's not tired yet. Most of the time he still wakes up on time, but there are times when he's up so late, I have to wake him for school. I still think he needs more sleep, but it's been hard to get him to fall asleep.

weight: 60lbs 8oz (50lbs 1 year ago)
height: 49.2 inches (46 inches 1 year ago)
shoe size: 1
clothes:  6, but pants are getting tight, so some 7 too

George, you are sweet, loving but also so particular. Any shift in the routine and you're very upset. Of course, changes are sometimes necessary and we try so hard to talk you through things beforehand to ease the stress. You're very much like me though, so I can't blame you. You want to know all the options before you make a decision. You're gonna bring up any doubts and question the plan. If you think you're not going to like something, you likely won't try it or if you do, it will take a lot to admit you actually do like it. William and I are reading Harry Potter and you stated right from the beginning that you didn't want to read it. A few chapters in, after a particularly dramatic part, you admitted that you actually did like it (though seem to have gone back on that too). You did the same when we moved on from Magic Treehouse books to A to Z Mysteries. You were totally against trying the new books but ended up loving them. I do have to give you credit because you certainly don't just go along with the crowd. You know what you like and won't change to please someone else. There are some boys at school you like to play with but they all like Pokemon and you don't so they don't want to play with you much. Dad offered to teach you about Pokemon but you said you had no interest in learning about it. I love to see you enjoying basketball so much and feeling good about yourself. You give yourself a hard time so often, telling me your drawings or terrible, you're not good at reading or your writing is bad. It makes me so sad to hear you talk like this. It can be frustrating to feel like you're not good at something, or be comparing yourself to your twin, so I really love it when you find something that builds your confidence. You are still very sweet with Coco and you're two peas in a pod. She's so much like you and loves spending time with you. I'm so glad you seek her out and love being with her too. Lately she calls down to ask which pajamas you're wearing so she can match your lions or where her cars if you're doing one of your vehicle pairs. You love having time with Dad and I and are the first to request your special time as often as you can (and the others quickly follow suit). You love to play board games and card games and are a good competitor. Your sportsmanship has gotten much better too. You struggle a bit with rushing through things, whether going potty, making your bed or keeping yourself clean. You're excellent at cleaning up though, always putting everything that you've played with during quiet time or bedtime away, without being asked. You're sensitive, but quite verbal about it. When something upsets you and your voice starts to quiver, you're usually able to keep yourself calm enough to talk, and I'm always amazed at how in touch with your feelings you are and you can tell me exactly what's bothering you. You're still all about fairness which can be so hard to deal with sometimes but is so important to you. You are so smart and if you take your time, I know you will go even further. In your next year, I hope your confidence continues to grow and you open yourself up to trying new things, you're sure to find something you love. Oh, and keeping digging your holes and asking me to take pictures of you in them :) We love you George!

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