Monday, January 28, 2013

Three Years at Home

Oliver--January 2010, one week home.

Three years ago this month we brought Oliver home from Ethiopia. It was quite an adjustment to go from one child to two, I found it especially hard since the kids were 5 years apart in age. Chloe was active and in lots of activities and Oliver was very much a baby. The transition was especially hard on Chloe who had to learn to share Mom & Dad and the excessive attention Oliver got at various check-ups and out and about. Add into the mix that Oliver was sickly, suffering from asthma and pneumonia.

Three years later, Oliver is now 3.5 years old and is moving out of the toddler stage and into the really big boy stage. That 5 year age gap between the kids is still trying as Oliver wants to do everything his big sister does. There is no convincing him that he’s three. He fully believes he is 8.

The tiny, sickly baby we brought home from Ethiopia is a big, tall boy. He’s one of the tallest in his pre-school class. He is stocky and muscular. He’s built like a running back. His health is markedly improved, which we are so thankful for.

He is a character and a clown. Most of the time, when Oliver gets in trouble it’s usually because he doesn’t know when to stop, when something isn’t funny anymore. He carries things too far, gets wound up and gets too rough. Typical boy.

Oliver is headstrong. Really headstrong. It’s his way or the highway, which makes it a challenge to remain calm and stay patient. Daily I remind myself that his character traits---decisive, headstrong, independent, confident, certain of what he wants and what he doesn’t want/like---are all things that are admired and needed when he gets older. Unfortunately, they are often characteristics people want to squash in a young child to keep them in-line. We try our best to let him assert himself as long as it doesn’t usurp what everyone else wants (which he can be really good at doing). In other words, we always try to have a Plan B on family outings where Oliver is concerned. We’ve learned this the hard way (a la our vacation to Hawaii---what WERE we thinking?).

Oliver is doing great in pre-school. He is the type of kid who gets in the car and begins to give you the rundown of all that was said and occurred. He will even tattle-tale on himself! I love pick-up from school because I can’t wait to hear about his day.

Oliver is the type of kid who has what I call “street smarts”. He just gets things and can read people pretty well. If you give him an inch, he’s going to take a mile. Case in point, the iPad, DS and TV. Turn your back, take a telephone call or go to the basement to move the washing over to the dryer and boom, when you return the TV is turned on and he has grabbed the BBQ chips out of the pantry. Put the iPad on lock-down so he can’t search for apps to download/delete  and watch YouTube videos he’ll figure a way around it.

He keeps you on your toes.

Oliver loves sports camp, pre-school and soccer. He is super-excited about the Super Bowl this weekend and has been practicing his “Touchdown!” cheer and stance.

Lately he has started expressing his wishes and desires in clothing. Like the Ang*ry Bir*ds shirt he loves and has worn for three days. He won’t take it off, but he will let me put another shirt on top of it.

Pick your battles I say.
 
And, as if on cue, I finish this post to discover....
The iPad (which was on top of the pantry cabinet) and the tell tale sign of chips broken in the carpet.

Coloring on the built-in media cabinet in purple sharpie (which shockingly enough are under lock down...or so I thought). This did come off with lots of elbow grease, bleach and a magic eraser sponge.

Perhaps this is his guilty look? Highly doubtful. Notice the shirt? This is day 3.
 

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