Friday, October 18, 2019

Xavier at Five

Xavier is half a decade old! I can't believe it's been five years since I had a fat baby to cart around, but he's come so far.

Xavier graduated from his beloved preschool in August, along with eleven of his classmates, ten of whom had been together with the same teachers for two years. It's the end of era for us as well, as we have sent all three kids to the same preschool, and won't be going back again. Boo-hoo!

But that also means Xavier has joined his siblings at the big school, in kindergarten no less. He goes to school every day, which is still somewhat of a mystery to him after two years of alternating school days. He asks most days if it's school day, and cries when the answer is yes. But he runs off to join his class every morning once he arrives without a second glance back, and he's happy to stay and play longer even after 6.5 hours of school each day.

For his birthday, we gave him a choice of a big party or a trip to Tractor Days. So I took him on a trip to see Grandma and Granddaddy and enjoy all the joy of tons of tractors the weekend before his big day. He got to make a rope, grind endless amounts of corn into cornmeal, ride tractors, drive tractors, and even sell a few muscadines here and there. Mostly, he spent his time browsing at the one booth that sold toy tractors, and talking relatives (and attempting to talk to strangers) out of their money so he could enlarge his tractor collection. He also learned to ask the seller to "shorten" the prices so he could afford whatever caught his eye. He came home with at least three more tiny tractors, who knows how many accessories, and a cotton baler which made his day, and a sprayer which made his other day there. He got off the plane and asked to go directly to Tractor Days. Though it was closed for the day, we still made a pit stop to enjoy making the rounds before the crowds the following day, when we spent the entire day there.

We flew home the day before his birthday. His class encourages non-food treats, and he wanted to take jello, but had to settle for rubber cows that squirt water. (Think rubber duckies only in multiple colors and cow shapes.) He enjoyed handing them out to friends and even a few siblings at the end of the day. He had to be reminded by his brother in the all school meeting that he had a birthday this month, though, and still is learning the months of the year and the counting of days, despite counting down to his birthday for at least the better part of the summer.

We spent the afternoon searching for the right cake, after a breakfast of pastries from the local bakery. Xavier, as usual, devoured a chocolate croissant, and we went back to check out their supply of cakes. but didn't find anything. We ended up with a chocolate Seahawks cake for the family, which he enjoyed because the blue frosting turned his teeth and tongue blue (one of his favorite things). For dinner, he choose Mexican, and he picked the one that makes their own tortillas with a machine you can watch (plus it had Mac and cheese for Vivian, which was important to him). We feasted on cheese dip before coming home for cake. He cried because he had to spend a large part of the day at school instead of playing with his new toys.

For his birthday, in addition to all the new tractors he acquired, he got a Playmobil rocket set from Babcia and Dziadzius. Vivian gave him a Playmobil dump truck, and Theo scored with a popular present of a Brio cargo helicopter big enough for wooden trains or tiny vehicles, another one of Xavier's loves. He also got a off brand play doh pasta maker set, which was high on his wish list, and a sand and water table meant for 18 month olds that has a crane and wave make and has been a huge hit with all three of our kids. Our sitter got him a Lego combiner (combine harvester) and trailer set, which he put together and played with extensively.

Then we had a small party with his friends from preschool as well as new neighbor and a couple other friends. We had everyone over at the new house, where we treated them to bagels, fruit, and a tractor cake with the field plowed into the number 5 and let them run wild with toys new and old. 

Xavier also miraculously remembered a box that showed up marked as a present for him more than a month ago on our old porch. It got forgotten in the big move, but with his reminder/interrogation, I managed to locate it for him. It's a set of bath pipes you stick on the walls with suction cups and can reconfigure at will, which he also loves.

Xavier needs more sleep than he gets,  because he stays up talking with his siblings every night. He no longer naps except on long car or stroller rides, and has mostly outgrown the stroller though he still loves to ride in it and will request it especially later in the afternoons when we walk places. Between the move, starting school full time, and multiple fall birthdays, he's gotten nowhere near the amount of sleep he likes. He would fall asleep by 7:30 most nights if left to his own devices, which rarely happens. And he is often the last to get up.

He still loves his fuzzy blankets, and sleeps in underwear so he can better enjoy the fleece fluffy feeling of his favorite blankets directly against his skin. He still sleeps with his head tilted back to avoid the sleep apnea, but generally has little trouble. He loves favorite lovie, although he can sleep without him in a pinch, it makes life tougher without. He loves to pile favorite belongings into his bed and overflowing onto the shelves next to his bed to keep them close. He took his birthday presents to school one at a time in ascending size order starting on the actual day.

Xavier loves Mexican food and can eat his entire plate of quesadilla or bean and cheese burritos and all the rice and beans on the table. He drinks in copious amounts, and prefer to have two or three types of drinks at his disposal at any one time. He is the only child who helps prepare meals voluntarily, because he loves kitchen gadgets and cooking utensils so much. We got him a tiny secondhand ice cream maker, and he adores mixing up his own batches, usually in fruit flavors like strawberry or blueberry. For dessert, he will almost always choose strawberry, and for his cake, we got marble with strawberry filling only because they didn't make strawberry cake.

Xavier wears size five with size 11 shoes, and now outweighs his sister by at least two pounds. She's still got an inch or two on him in height, but we gotten the "are they twins?" questions multiple times. while he's never been small for his age, and he isn't about to start shrinking, he still has some trouble managing when given direct orders or if things don't go his way. His favorite form of resistance is to throw things, and getting less sleep hasn't improved this behavior. But overall he's a happy guy who talks almost non stop given the opportunity and uses very advanced language for his age. Strangers often remark on his extensive vocabulary and phrasing.

At his check up, he tipped the scales at 43 pounds and 3 ounces, which puts him in the 65th percentile. He is 44.8 inches tall, in the 82nd percentile, and more importantly, only about 3 inches from the magical four foot mark which means he won't have to pass the swim test to go down the big slide at the community pool.

With his love for kitchen items, tools, gardening, farm stuff, and tiny vehicles, Xavier has come into his own personality. Or as he puts it, he loves anything with "moving parts." We love you and Xavier and look forward to all the joy the next years will bring!

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