Friday, April 29, 2016

Benjamin: 6 years old

Here is my much-delayed post about Benjamin.  Late but not least!  Benjamin is my real constant; where Charlotte and Asher tend to be reactive and sometimes moody, Benjamin is usually predictable and steady.  He has his moments of non-sensical panic (the planetarium at the Franklin Institute is apparently the most frightening thing he has ever experienced), but I can count on him to be calm and quiet when everything around us is going a little crazy.

Benjamin has completely picked up reading- there are words he doesn't know, but he is able to sound most of them out.  He loves to read and is always picking things up to read whenever he can.  If I am texting on my phone, he's reading over my shoulder.  Even spelling words quickly isn't safe anymore!  I love that he has turned into a reader.  Not only does he love reading by himself, he loves being read to. We have been working our way through "Mrs. Piggle Wiggle."  The books remind me of my own childhood, and I enjoy reading it all over again with a sweet boy by my side.

While Benjamin loves to read... he also loves the ipad and computer games. He will sneak electronics whenever he can to play games, and to download new games from the app store.  I know nothing about video games, so I don't know what he is playing (great parental oversight, I know) but he seems to be addicted.  He also got some secondhand Pokemon cards from a classmate, and he takes great pride in them. Again, something I know nothing about.

Benjamin is my good eater.  He eats everything!  Sometimes he will randomly decide there is something he doesn't like, but usually he goes back to eating it at a later point.  He eats meat, vegetables, fruits, cheese, you name it.  He is still willing to try new and adventurous foods if someone else is eating them, too.  The other day he asked me if I would take him out for sushi- so I hope that we get to do that in the near future!  Even though he eats a wide variety of food, he had a small breakdown over Passover, because he wasn't allowed to eat "any foods that I like!"  Strangely, Asher didn't complain at all, despite being deprived of all of the foods he usually eats.

School seems to be going well for Benjamin.  He always talks about his girl friends, but has a few other friends who he seems to play with frequently.  He comes home with awards from his teacher all the time.  We have only had one major incident this year- one day, when his teacher was out and he had a substitute, the principal poked his head into the classroom and found Benjamin and 2 other friends "exploring" each other on the carpet.  The 3 boys got called into the office to talk to the principal, and the principal told Eric about it when Benjamin got out of school at lunch time.  Benjamin's telling of the story was that the boys had been touch him without his permission, and that they do it all the time, and laugh at him!  I was enraged. I walked across the street to the school and the principal saw me right away.  When I told him what Benjamin had told me, he told me that he had witnessed the event with his own eyes, Benjamin was involved, and had never denied his involvement. The teacher also called me, and told me she hasn't seen anything strange happening in class.  Benjamin is always happy to go to school, so I don't think he is being continually harassed there.  We've heard nothing since, but I have continually reiterated to the kids, "Your private parts are private; no one touches them without your permission; don't touch anyone else on their private parts; if someone touches you in a way you don't like, tell a teacher or a parent right away."  The only part of this episode that made me happy was that the principal told me that Benjamin was the only kid in the office who used anatomically correct terms.  Hurray for Mommy and her sex education!

Our biggest frustration with Benjamin is that he is sometimes out to lunch.  He doesn't hear us when we ask him something, and we repeat ourselves, and he still doesn't hear us.  He will sit at the table with a bowl of food in front of him and forget to eat it. He will go upstairs to get himself dressed, and 10 minutes later I will come up to see what happened and find him naked but for his underwear and his pajamas wrapped around one of his feet.

He has given up naps almost completely, which is pretty normal for someone who is now 6. But I have to say, the days where all 3 kids nap in the afternoon are like a little bit of heaven for me.  At night, Benjamin will sleep about 11 hours, which I think is also normal for a kid his age. He is tired at night, and after several days without a nap he is a little cranky, he seems to get enough rest.

Because Benjamin is the most easy-going of the 3 kids, he tends to get bossed around by his siblings- even Charlotte!  Charlotte will tell him what to do because she parrots everything that Asher says.  But Benjamin will just ignore all of it and keep doing whatever he wants.

Even though Asher is more snuggly than Benjamin, Benjamin still needs and loves his cuddles.  He likes to sit on my lap (or any adult's lap!) at mealtimes, or sit close on the couch, or snuggle up together in bed. He is sweet and loves to give kisses and hugs.

Benjamin hasn't yet shown a great deal of athletic prowess.  The one time I watched him play basketball, he looked more like he was doing the hokey-pokey than playing defense and guarding someone. He declined to do the running series that Asher and Charlotte are doing.  He is happily playing t-ball, though!  Even if he isn't a great athlete, he does have fun.

That's my Benjamin- still a sweet, lovable boy.  Smart, curious, and absorbing everything he learns.  He is a goofball and a lovebug.  My middle child who might get lost in the shuffle some days, but deserves all the love in the world.

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