Today is Henry’s birthday! My first born, my baby man, my Henny Penny is a whole 5 years old! In my head I feel like I’ve just finished weaning him but in my heart I know he is changing. He is growing up and it kinda hurts too I have to admit.
Henry now thinks kissing is abit gross and refuses my attempts to smoother him with them. He runs away when I ask him to “give Grandma a kiss” unlike Leo who will still give cute dribbley baby kisses.
He has started being, well to put it bluntly, abit of a cocky sh*t at times too. The whole mimicking what I say and how I say it has started. I guess I was wrong to think that was an attitude reserved only for teenage girls.
He craves more independence too. He watches children playing in the street and wants to join in. (still too young mate.) He has also started helping himself to a snack and making his own breakfast. Sometimes he even takes himself up to bed! Massive shock as I seem to remember spending most of his infant years rocking him and just like that he’s walking off upstairs saying “night!”
Yet in a bizarre contradiction some days Henry tantrums like his baby brother and declares he has forgotten how to put a sock on. Four/five year olds tantrums are quite spectacular too. They involve a lot of jigging up and down, shaking limbs and the crying isn’t cute like a newborn either!
Henry questions authority a lot these days and can give you a quick witted and sarcastic reply at the drop of a hat and I find myself saying “cos I said so” just like my Mum did to me.
Yet instead of sighing at these changes and permanently trying to rein in his “attitude” I am going to try embrace his character. I mean, I kind of admire him in a way. He displays all his emotions, good or bad, which is something, at the age of 30, I still can’t do!
He voices his opinions now and when he says he doesn’t want to “kiss Grandma” then who am I to force him? I haven’t taught him how to make his own decisions to whip them away from right under his nose. Instead we blow kisses or offer high fives if he chooses that instead.
On hard days when I have had enough of his “cocky” side I will have to try to remember that he does this because he is confident enough to do so. As a Mum all I want from Henry at this age is to have confidence. I think if you have that, the rest will follow. His challenging me is his way of finding his place in the family and in his life. Of course I have to reinforce the rules. He needs those rules to feel grounded and secure and I hope these rules will help shape him into a gentleman.
His “answering back” and quick witted replies are signs he is developing a strong vocabulary and can (try) to use words to get what he wants. He is clever and if I don’t listen he can’t express himself and explore language. However he will not get everything he wants as I don’t want him to be become a complete ass but I will LISTEN and laugh to myself after at what he said.
It’s safe to say my wonderful boy has always been a sassy chatterbox and the loudest boy in the room. He is FULL of confidence, like really really full!! He is so enthusiastic it’s infectious and has everybody we meet smiling and laughing in no time at all. Even those mean faced business men (that are actually very nice to talk to) soon laugh when they hear his broad Yorkshire voice telling them jokes and throwing his head back giggling. Our Henry certainly isn’t shy.
Since we have welcomed Leo into the world Henry has had opportunities to show kindness, be patient, share and love someone other than us unconditionally. We are so proud of the brother he is and sometimes when we catch him climbing up somewhere to get Leo a toy or he runs off to get a snack and comes back with one for Leo too I could shed a little tear. It is always the smallest things that show the people we are.
So as Henry turns 5 today I am going to remind myself that he is learning, growing and developing and if sometimes hes abit of “cocky sh*t” that’s fine cos you know what…sometimes I am too!
So if you have a loud, confident and boisterous child my advice would be to let them be themselves. Lets not try stamp personalities out of children and force or mould them into something else. Little steps and little victories are all steps to the future.
A very happy 5th birthday to you my sweet boy! I love you for being you.
Love Kathryn, A Mum Like Me.