Friday, June 12, 2015

Asher: 5 years old

On the monkey bars, which he long ago mastered
 A very long overdue 5 year-old post for my Bear (Asher says he wants his REAL name to be Asher Bear; I'm giving it some time before I go change his birth certificate).
On the Ferris wheel with mommy
Asher is affectionate, loving, sensitive, and empathic. He is also bossy, competitive, and sometimes sneaky.  Fortunately we see more of the kind, sensitive Asher and less of the bossy and sneaky one. Asher is my snuggle bug- the other morning we spent several minutes just snuggled up together on the floor because we hadn't seen enough of each other during the week.  He has always had a way of fitting in my lap perfectly, no matter his size.  He loves to be held and kissed, and I love it- and greatly fear the day he thinks he is too old for it.  He is adventurous and interested, and sometimes shy.  He is athletic and strong, but doesn't want to play if he isn't going to win.

He loves to be helpful and feel like he is involved.  It gives him great pleasure to be a special helper both at school and at home.  He will help set the table, empty the dishwasher, and carry plates to the kitchen.  He always gets himself dressed in the morning right after breakfast (we eat breakfast in our pj's in case we spill food, which we often do!) and at night will brush his teeth and wash face and hands all by himself with no prompting.
Heading up the "ant annihilation" team
With his medal after running his 1/4 mile race
He is very curious; always wanting to know what I said, or about whom I am talking.  What's for dinner, what are we doing tomorrow, where is someone going?  And, most importantly, when are we having dessert??? He sometimes likes to lord his knowledge and abilities over others, namely Benjamin.  Benjamin had a near-accident with poop one day, and while I was helping him in the upstairs hall bath, with the door open, Asher paced back and forth in front of the door making unhelpful comments like, "Benjamin! You pooped in your pants? That's disgusting!" In a moment of poor parenting, I leaned out of the door and yelled, "Asher, shut up!"  While he is my most loving and affectionate child, he also brings out the worst in me.

We still struggle with Asher and food.  He is very picky, and prefers carbs over everything else.  We did try several sessions of occupational therapy to try to get him to eat a wider variety of foods, but met with no success.  He continues to refuse all fruits except dried fruits and Trader Joe's freeze-dried banana chips. On his own, he has added back in eggs, applesauce, and Polly-O string cheese, which is great.  He likes carbs with sugar on top- peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, waffles with nutella, pancakes with maple syrup. Crackers with peanut butter are a favorite snack. He also loves crunchy textures, which has worked out since he will eat carrots and hummus as a snack.  Asher will also eat cereal, crackers of almost any kind, and pasta of almost any kind.  He does eat chicken, chicken meatballs, dumplings, hot dogs, and pork. And he likes almost all vegetables, thank goodness!  There is nothing he likes more than sweets and dessert. Asher thinks it is his right as a human being to have dessert at least once a day, and is pretty persistent in getting it.  We always laugh when he comes into the dining room about 10 minutes after he has finished dinner, because we know what he'll say next- "When are we going to have dessert?" Overall I do try to make sure he gets a fairly well-rounded diet and he is certainly growing up big and strong, with plenty of energy.  
In a hot pink squid hat my grandma Tenny gave him
Asher is a generally wonderful sleeper.  He still naps on the days that he is home.  I sent an email to the principal at their elementary school requesting he get morning kindergarten so that he can get his naps. Even with a 2 hour nap in the afternoon, he will sleep well at night for about 11 hours.  He is great at self-soothing with his thumb, which he sucks all the time.  

I don't know when that will stop, because it definitely won't happen voluntarily. We went to the dentist on Monday and she took X-rays- his adult teeth are coming in behind his baby teeth and they are HUGE. He will likely spend 6-7 years looking like a beaver with gigantic front teeth. And I spent Monday night fretting about the demise of my baby's adorable gap-toothed smile.
Beautiful smile, and proud of his very own library card
With a Lego creation
Asher loves art- he colors, paints, and draws all the time.  He likes books and being read to, and he likes to keep me company in the kitchen and help with baking (mainly because he likes the results of my baking).  He is adept with Legos and can put them together in no time.

Asher is incredibly loving and helpful with Charlotte, and I trust him to take care of her.  One evening Charlotte wanted to play outside while I cooked dinner, and Asher said he would take her out and watch her.  A few minutes later they came in and I heard him say, "Now, stay right there while I pee!" and stood her by the door to wait for him.  I was impressed with his thoughtfulness and care with her.  And she adores him- some nights when we ask who she wants to put her in her bed- mommy or daddy- her answer is "Asher!"  He calls her his "sweetie pie," which makes my heart skip a beat to hear.
Goofing around with his sweetie pie- photo by Benjamin
Sharing Daddy's birthday attention, and getting himself as close as possible to dessert
He is so expressive and funny in the way that he talks- gestures, facial expressions, and intonations.  I can't stop watching him when he is telling a story; he seems both adult and child-like at the same time.  He is 100% a parrot and will repeat back whatever Eric has said.  The other night Eric asked the kids to pick up their toys, and Benjamin and Charlotte were participating in their usual fashion (Benjamin: finds one toy to put away but instead becomes engrossed in playing with it and forgets that he was supposed to be cleaning up. Charlotte: takes out new toys and empties their contents on the floor.).  Asher was actually cleaning, but kept walking around saying, "Why am I the only one cleaning up around here?" He will often bargain with his siblings the way Eric tries to bargain with them in order to convince them to do something they don't want to do.  I don't know how much Eric likes his words when he hears them out of the mouth of his 5 year-old son!

That is a little about Asher, but of course there is more.  He is a love bug, a snuggle bug, a sweet-a-saurus.  I love to see his face first thing every morning, and to kiss him goodnight each night at bedtime.  I love that boy, and the joy he brings me is boundless.

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