Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Ryder Years

Kylie knew the entire pledge of allegiance when she was 2 years and 3 months old. I kid you not. We have it on video. I don't say that to brag, more of an observation at how different not only my parenting style has been with each of my kids, but how different each of their personalities are as well. The one on one time that I had with Kylie before Jayden was born was filled with mommy preschool, paper mache globes, file folder games, quiet time boxes, educational programs, princess dress up and our Thursday outings to the mall to sing songs with Dewper, the overstuffed prairie dog. The preschool years with Jayden were a bit different. He could care less about learning the letter of the day or making thumbprint caterpillars. He loved trains and games and donuts. So we spent our days building train tracks, playing countless games of Candy Land and going on donut dates to Basha's at least once a week. Maddox came along and he was all about the crafts. Every day I had to be prepared with a new and innovative craft project to keep him busy. He never really was interested in cars or trains, but give him an empty shoe box, some scissors and pipe cleaners and he was in heaven. And now it's Ryder's turn and all he wants to do is be in the great outdoors. He could live at the park all day every day, rain or shine. First we ride scooters, then we swing, then we drive dump trucks around moving piles of wood chips. Parks, trucks and anything with wheels is all it takes to make this boy happy. It really is a treasure to have those precious preschool years alone with each of the kids. A chance to spend time exploring in their world with the things they love and to watch their unique personalities develop. I love this age. They are so innocent, have the cutest voices, give the juciest kisses and carry on the most entertaining conversations, like what steps to take if their brother were drowning in a toilet. One thing I love about being a mom is that I get a chance to know these little people in a way that no one else in the world can. To know that Ryder likes the tags cut off every shirt, or that Maddox needs six items in his lunch box because he is six years old, or that Jayden has to sleep with his shirt off, or that Kylie likes to eat tomatoes like apples. And it is critical to know who likes the crust cut off and who prefers it on. But beyond that, a chance to know what their joys, fears, secrets and dreams are. These kids of mine are pretty rad, what a blessing it is to be their mom. And what a gift it is to have these few fleeting preschool years alone with each one of them.

Like I said, Ryder is obsessed with anything with wheels. One day I surprised him with a trip on the trolley. He reverently entered the car as if he were walking on holy ground. He sat there so timid and shy, but with a huge smile on his face the entire ride.

We spent another day at the Airforce museum. His eyes grew wide as we examined each plane up close, paying special attention to the missile launchers, and he buried his head in my shoulder whenever we came across a mannequin dressed as a pilot.

I picked him up from kindy one day with a picnic packed and an adventure planned. He was pretty ticked that the adventure didn't involve swings, but we laughed at "ducky mo-mo" who hogged all the pretzels then got caught up in a game of hide and go seek in the most enchanting forest. Okay, I know that sounds cheezy, but gimme a break, that tree is nothing short of enchanting. And then of course we had to stop at a park with swings on the way home, because he would never forgive me if I didn't.

His scooter has replaced the stroller. It's liberating to no longer be pushing anything, but it stresses me out at the same. I just follow behind him in amazement at how grown up he is looking these days and in utter fear that he is going to go plowing into an intersection.

He could live at the skate park. Riding down the ramps with the wind blowing through his faux hawk, a look of fear in his eyes and a smile of pride spread across his face. If there's older skaters there then he likes to talk very loudly about them like they can't hear him. "They need to put a shirt on!", "Look, he just crashed!" and "I think he's too scared". Nothing like a blow to your ego from a three year old.

Every Tuesday is Pak n' Save. He still asks for mentos at the checkout and he still asks to wait by the heating oven and warm up while I get the milk. This time the fire alarm went off and we had to evacuate the store and entertain ourselves by pushing every button in the car while we waited for the fire department. So far the fire alarm has gone off and we've had to evacuate a grocery store, the church and the YMCA. Kinda weird.

The rest of our days are filled with trips to the library, where he is more interested in playing the computer games than reading books, going to the museum, running errands, building block towers, building car ramps out of books, reading stories in my bed, building cars out of legos, lots of fruit snacks, lots of back tickles and lots and lots of Curious George. These days are golden.


Ali said...

A beautiful write-up on your littlest one. So happy to see a busy mummy celebrating her kids in the middle of the reality (aka exhaustion!) of parenting; very wise!

Tyler and Margaret said...

The only thing that would have made that fieldtrip better would have been if Dustin was sitting next to him. Right? :) I wish we could visit you!!! Happy Thanksgiving to my Sister Wife. I am thinking of you today as I play Christmas music in my kitchen making a pie for Thanksgiving. Love you!

Chelsea said...

I love how you remember preschool stage with each kid! I remember Brayden's so well, now why can't I remember Kosty's? Love that you have this all down for them to read someday...such different personalities! no two alike. I love that.

Jodee said...

Oh that kids. He is such a little charmer. Especially when hes happy ;)
I love that he loved the trolly ride and I love even more the that you couldn't stop taking pictures of his adorable smile.

Janessa said...

You are a rockstar mom! Whatever shortcomings you may feel you have (we all have them!), push them aside and give yourself a pat on the back! I love your cute kids and each of their different personalities. I love how in tune you are to your kids and the way you take time to do special things with them that are just their "thing". Thanks for sharing all the cute little things about Ryder that you get to enjoy everyday! Love that kid and wish I knew him better in person.