Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Life with Tucker today (4 years)



Profile of a 4 year old Tucker

41 pounds (85th percentile), 42 inches tall (83rd percentile)
  • Interests: superheroes, construction vehicles, 
  • Enjoys: playing on the playground, riding in his red car, eating anything sweet, having someone read books to him
  • Turn Offs: anyone besides mommy or daddy putting him down for a nap, mommy being gone at bedtime, being interrupted
  • Vices: interrupting(!), arguing and negotiating, tends toward ingratitude, tantrums if tired or hungry or upset
  • Strengths: eager to help, always remembers to put the seat down and turn off the light, makes friends easily, loves to be the "hero"

Favorites of my 4 year old:

  • Foods: "cinnamon rolls because my mama makes them," cheese roll up from Taco Bell, smoothies, chocolate milk
  • Movie: "Planes"
  • Shows: "the real Sonic with the real Robotnik and Sally"
  • Books: Foo, the Flying Frog of Washtub Pond (or any random library book of the week)
  • Toys: "The firetruck that Mrs. Gena (Ludgate) gave me, and my pirate gun that God made me, and the sword that you got me and the telescope."
  • Activities: playing with racecars, jumping on his mini-trampoline, swimming, watching netflix, playing any game with a ball


Development:

  • Physical: He is naturally athletic, easily dribbling balls of all kinds, running quickly and with good coordination, swinging a bat, etc.  Still stubs his toe multiple times daily, though.
  • Spiritual: learning big chunks of his catechism, including the responses to "What is a covenant?" (an agreement that God makes with us in which He guarantees to keep His promise) and "How is your heart changed?" (by the Holy Spirit, because of the grace of God, through the work of Christ) and other similarly complicated questions.  He is still strictly memorizing catechism, Bible verses, etc., and still prays mostly memorized prayers.  He has not begun connecting what he's learning with what is actually happening in his heart.  
  • Emotional: Tucker feels things, ALL things, very intensely.  When he is happy, he is VERY happy, and when he is sad, he is VERY sad.  I am similar to him in this way, so it's amazing to watch.  He loves fiercely and fights fiercely and is nearly always the leader in things with children his age, and sometimes even older because of his absolute conviction about how things should go.  He sees his world in very black and white terms, there are no shades of grey at all.  He does not have a very strong sense of empathy, so we are working daily on understanding how others might feel, and what appropriate responses are to their feelings.
  • Educational: He is a smart guy, to be sure, quickly learning anything thrown at him.  He can count nearly to one hundred, although he loses interest somewhere in the 50's.  He's showing some basic concepts of print and prereading skills such tracking print, identifying letters, sounds, and words, etc.  His fine motor skills are his weakest area - typical for a boy - and while he's learning to write his name, it is barely legible at this point.  By his birthday, he should be in a 3 year old class in preschool, but the director went ahead and moved him up to the 4's this year.
  • Character: We pray daily for God to use Tucker's warrior spirit in a dangerous way for the Kingdom! He is a strong leader in every sense of the word, and we are eager to see how God will use those strong gifts that we already see to do His work.  A good example of this is our children's responses to our daily question a few days ago.  The question was "Are you a leader or a follower?"  Tucker did not hesitate before responding: "I am a LEADER!  I always choose to be the line leader at school."  Lana then responded, "I'm a follower.  Daddy, you're the leader of our family, so I follow you."  Tucker quickly followed that up with: "I'm the leader of you, Lana, OKAY!"  There is no doubt that Tucker will be the leader of his home and church fellowship and community one day - I am praying fervently that the hard work we are doing in these days of discipling his heart (and disciplining his behind!) will reap great blessings in his life, and the lives around him.  

Treasuring details of my 4 year old: 

Anytime we discuss what he will be when he grows up, he insists that he will be a Blue Angels pilot.  Every single time it's what he says!

My favorite, favorite, favorite thing he says is "I just want to keep you in my neck."  This is his fondest term of endearment, spoken rarely and full of meaning.  You see, he has this little monkey/blankey/lovey thing that he's slept with since he was born.  And every night, he takes that monkey and stretches it out across his neck and tucks his chin in tight.  So when he says that he wants to keep me in his neck, it is just absolute love and comfort and sweetness, and I melt into a complete and total puddle.

He also uses numbers to describe what he feels.  "Mommy, I love you ten hundred and fifty!" or "PawPaw, that was ten hundred and fifty funs!" (about riding the boat)

He is very black-and-white in nature, like his mama.  One day, as we were walking through the mall, Lana and I were talking about the different outfits on the mannequins.  We would talk about which ones were modest, and which ones were not, and why.  Later, as we were sitting at a table and having a snack, Tucker began pointing out different girls and women....actual people....pointing his finger at them and saying in a loud voice, "Mommy, she is NOT MODEST!  Her TUMMY is showing, Mom!!!"  We then had a conversation about being kind with our words.

He is the opposite of a daredevil, and takes his good sweet time watching something and thinking about it before he will actually do it.  Peer pressure has no effect.  For example, he doesn't want his head to go under the water at all, so jumping off the side of a pool is of no interest to him at all.  Saying "Tucker, look at (so-and-so), he just jumped and made such a huge splash!  See if you can make a big splash, too!" just gets ignored.

My buddy is still so allergic to biting/stinging insects.  This is how his ankle and leg looked after getting into ants at the blueberry farm.

He is totally into being independent these days, and loves any time I give him a big boy job to do.  His favorites include cleaning the potty, getting his own water from the fridge, unloading bags of groceries, putting away heavy things, and pumping gas:
He's very "into" being a gentleman - letting Lana choose a book to read first, insisting on holding doors open, always saying "Ladies first!"

He loves books.
He also loves electronics, in equal measure.
I'll take it.

 He has a soft spot for his mama, and often looks for ways to serve me.  (He's got a good example in his daddy.)  This particular morning, I was getting ready, and he brought me a cup of water just because he thought I might like it.  "With ice, mommy, you like your water so cold!"  I hugged and kissed and thanked him, and he took off back into the kitchen.  A few minutes later he came back with a second cup "in case you need it, mommy!  With straws because you like drinking with straws!"  

He is 100%, pure boy.  He drug this truck around on a string for I don't know how long.

He and Pepper have become tried and true buddies.

Tuck has such a great personality,
and it's fun to see that others enjoy him, too.  
The mom of a little boy in his preschool class posted this on my facebook wall this summer:

He is still an excellent sleeper, sleeping from 8 or 8:30 pm until 7 or 7:30 a.m.  If he stays up later, he will sleep later.  He naps anywhere from 1-3 hours every afternoon.

And here's my 4 year old, live and in action:

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