Ben is growing up. Kindergarten registration starts next week. On one hand I'm very ready for him to go to school. As I've mentioned before, Ben and I are very different, and I think more time away will help us appreciate each other more. And Ben is totally ready, too. He loves school and he's so excited. I think he needs more social interaction than I'm providing, so school is going to be perfect for that.
On the other hand... it's that "my baby's going to kindergarten" thing. He won't actually start until August, but signing him up is the first step in putting him on that conveyor belt that will eventually take him away from me. It makes my heart hurt a little.
He's been maturing. Sometimes we can have actually interesting conversations. Most of our conversations are about Super Mario Brothers, which he finds endlessly fascinating and me not so much, but occasionally he'll ask what things mean or how things work and when I explain he actually GETS IT. That's fun.
He can also be a big help with Sam. At dinner last Sunday Sam didn't want to eat any more of his hot dog. Heath and I both tried to no avail. So Ben grabbed the fork, pretended it was a train and got Sam to eat!
And now that we've entered a tantrum-y phase with Sam, Ben seems to have sensed that I can't handle two kids who are acting up. So he's been more obedient and helpful lately, which is AWESOME. Especially because he's getting big enough to do actual helpful things. He can get a snack for himself and Sam, he can pour milk, he can wash his own hands, dress himself, brush his own teeth. It's really neat to watch him become more independent, and to see his pride when he accomplishes something all by himself. He's been practicing tying his shoes and though he's not quite there yet, he's been getting better and it makes me proud to see him keeping at it, even when it's frustrating.
School age is the time I've been looking forward to since Ben was born. They're independent and can handle most self care on their own, but they're not so old that they don't want to hang out with you. I'm sure there will still be hurdles and plenty of frustrations, but I'm hoping it's going to be more fun and enjoyable than the baby/toddler stage.