- Seriously, Cole is one of the best behaved little boys. He is cooperative and thoughtful, quick to apologize if he makes a mistake. He's extremely thoughtful (often telling me how he'll take care of me, or to "BE CAREFUL, MAMA! NO HURT BABY IN TUMMY!").
- Helping out
- BIGGEST. HELPER. EVER. I know it comes with the preschool territory and all, but he is SUCH a help. He's always willing to help with anything - laundry, cleaning, unloading the dishwasher, cooking... you name it, Cole's there to assist!
- Speech and Language
- Amazing. You'd never guess this kid had a speech delay. Our last little goal with him was to help him refer to himself in the first person (he would always say "THAT'S COLE'S!") and he's doing so well. He still has trouble pronouncing his "r's", which come out as "w's", but he's very clear and understandable despite that. I'm not concerned - I know that's the trickiest sound and it will likely correct itself by the time he starts kindergarten. We've been extremely impressed with his use of bigger words, too: "MAMA, WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS FOR BREAKFAST?", "DAT'S AN AMPERSAND!".
- Manners, with us
- Still working on helping Cole become less shy and more confident with other people, but with us, his manners are fantastic. He melts my heart on a regular basis - "THANK YOU FOR GETTING ME MILK, MAMA! THANK YOU!" "YOU GOT ME DIS SHIRT? THANK YOU FOR GETTING ME DIS SHIRT!" and he's just starting to get the hang of regularly saying "please" and "may I".
- Being a big brother
- Oh my heart, this boy of mine is going to be the BEST big brother ever! No joke, he is beyond sweet and tender with his baby brother already. Many times a day, Cole will ask us to sit down so he can snuggle "HIS BABY" and feel him kick, rub and pat my belly, and plant kisses. It's the best.
- Listening. Not, like, listening to directions...but about five hundred times a day he will ask a question and after I've answered it he'll say, "WHAT YOU SAID, MAMA?". Grr. Seriously, nothing more annoying than telling him a long and complicated answer (like the answer to "WHY IS THE SKY BLUE?") and then have him want you to say it again. Even worse? After the second time I repeat it, he asks again, "WHAT YOU SAID?" oh no you didn't. So I'm really working with him on LISTENING the first time someone says something to him.
- Knowing that sometimes, Mama or Daddy has to do it for him. I make serious effort to have Cole do as much as possible - get out his own cup and plate, help pour the milk, start his bath, let the dogs out, etc. But sometimes, when I'm starving and he's taking ten minutes to choose syrup or honey on his pancakes, and I go ahead and put the lid on his milk so I can sit down and eat...and then Cole melts down because "I WANT TO DO IT! I WANT TO PUT LID ON MILK!!" and how dare I not know that HE wanted to do it?? I've been explaining to him that sometimes he has to choose between helping with two things - he'll do one and I'll do the other. There's a fine line for me between allowing, fostering (and relishing) his independence while still teaching him that I'm a person too and if I have some needs that have to be met (eating, peeing, etc), his independence needs to also be considerate of others. It's a work in progress.
- Keeping in control of his body. I know this is total normal preschool behavior, but we've been working really hard with Cole to keep his body in control. Little things, like rushing and going too fast when closing the door (and closing Chloe's head in the door because of that); or slamming the lid to the toilet seat down because he was in too much of a hurry; or pulling/jumping/pushing us when we're being silly because he wants to wrestle. Frequently I remind him to slow down and pay attention to his body, to keep his body in control. He's still learning so much about social behavior (specifically, when it's appropriate to wrestle and roughhouse and when it's not) and occasionally I feel a little overwhelmed and frustrated when I'd like to play with him WITHOUT wrestling... but he's learning and I'm so thankful that he's never mean or malicious, he's just wanting to play. We've been working on having set times and places for some roughhouse play (and asking before he just starts tackling Daddy), so he doesn't just come up to us and start jumping on us or pulling at our clothes in the middle of getting ready to go out. Also, since the weather has cooled so much, it's been easier to send him outside to chase and play with the dogs, so he's learning where it's appropriate to chase the dogs (NOT inside).
All in all, we're doing awesome and we could not be more proud of our little man!