- Being a FUN, fantastic little person! I'm not sure it gets any better than Cole as a four year old. This age is just seriously so much fun. Every day Cole has a new and interesting question, comment, or perspective. Our days are full of thoughtful questions and I have so much fun discussing ideas with him! Every time we read a book, Cole asks what a word means and it's the best thing to hear him later use it in a sentence. He comes up with some really adorable phrases: "MOM, I'M SO HUNGRY, MY TUMMY IS EMPTY EXCEPT FOR GAS AND CRUMBS. JUST GAS AND CRUMBS IN MY TUMMY." (from "The Lorax").
- Being the sweetest, kindest, most loving big brother in the world. I can't believe how smoothly the transition from only child to big brother has been for Cole. I was fully prepared for some rough patches - jealousy, anger, resentment - but it has been 99% smooth sailing. Cole is the first one to play with Chase, to run to him if he's fussing, to play with him, talk to him, and dote on him in every possible way. The best part? All his interactions with him are completely genuine. Not the type "look at how sweet I'm being", but truly loving playing with his baby brother. It's pretty much my favorite thing ever.
- Staying focused on a task. Our slow dreamer boy. His amazing ability to be super focused on project or book can sometimes backfire when he needs to do mundane things like get ready for bed. Mostly we combat this problem by just giving him TONS of time to do "must do" tasks (like 45 minutes to brush his teeth, pee, and get pajamas on for bed) but sometimes we just don't have that kind of time built in. But it's a learning experience and he's getting there.
- Giving Chase some space. Cole is so, so loving. But his particular brand of loving can be a little...um...overwhelming. Think in-your-face saying "CHASE! CHASE! I WUV YOU! HI CHASE! I WOV YOU CHASE! HI! I'M YOUR BIG BROTHER COLE! I WUV YOU CHASE! HI CHASE! HI!!!!" about a thousand times a day. Chase honestly doesn't usually mind, but I'd really like for him to eventually be able to entertain himself to some extent, so we'll see if we can help Cole practice some restraint every once in a while.
- Being sweet and funny and adorable. He is just a ball of squishy adorableness. I find myself hugging and snuggling and loving on this cutie pie a hundred times a day. He's fun and smiley and oh so patient with all of Cole's lovings.
- SLEEPING!!!!!!!!!!!!! I never ever ever thought I would say this. Ever. But finally, oh finally, we can file "sleeping" under winning. I know we'll have setbacks...but I am so so glad that after months of incredible sleeplessness, our little mister has turned a corner and is doing so much better. Thank God, because I was seriously ready to quit and/or revolt.
- Being in a routine. We are finally getting a pretty good routine down, and I love knowing when I can schedule play dates and doctor's appointments without interfering with his naps.
- Entertaining himself. It's pretty much a hit-or-miss with Chase in regards to entertaining himself. He's either really really awesome at it (upwards of 30 mins of playing on his own) or really really awful (the SECOND I put him down he starts to screech his extreme displeasure). Sometimes, I really wish I didn't have to perfect my ability to do all things (tie shoes, blow dry my hair, make dinner, etc) with one hand because he absolutely refuses to be put down. I'm not super stressed about it (the beauty of a second child, pretty much nothing other than sleep deprivation stresses you out), I know he'll get there eventually and I'll be sitting around feeling entirely useless and unnecessary because he'll be so busy exploring. I'm pretty sure his frustration stems from his desperate desire to crawl and move around to keep up with Big Brother. Give it two months, little buddy...in the meantime, I'll be over here babyproofing.
- um, nursing. Little Man has sort of fallen off the nursing wagon in the past few weeks. It's just that the world is just so INTERESTING, he doesn't want to be facing me breastfeeding. So a typical nursing session is he sucks once or twice, pops off to look around, latches back on for a few sucks, then hears a noise and turns to look (WITHOUT latching off - OUCH!), then sucks once or twice, then pops off for a minute or two to be entertained by Cole's antics... he's just not too interested in nursing. Again, I'm not worried - he'll come back when he really needs it. I trust that he'll eat when he's hungry!