Abraham, Rachel, Soren and Liam. Our life together in Smalltown, Idaho.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Soren: January 2011

Sometimes I start these posts weeks before I actually publish them, jotting down notes so I don't forget things before I get around to the actual writing process. This month, when I opened the draft of Soren's "update" post, I found the following list:

Soren's basic life premises:

1) Mommy can only love one person at a time. I must be that person. If Mommy loves anyone else, I will wish them dead.

2) If Liam has it, I want it, I will take it, and then I will hurt him for having it.

3) (As a corollary to the above) If I can't have it, I will surely die.

4) Sleep is a parental conspiracy to cause me only misery. I must resist it at all cost. I don't need sleep to go on; if I get too tired, my body will continue onward in "auto-defy" mode, effectively resisting all parental requests without my conscious guidance.

5) Food that doesn't contain sugar is bad. Sometimes fat-based foods like peanut butter and Doritos are acceptable, but sugar foods are the preferred source of energy. Fruit is an occasionally acceptable source of sugar.

5) (As a corollary to the above) If it's for dinner, I hate it. I don't care if I've never tried it. I don't care that I ate it before and liked it. I don't care if it's made out of ingredients I generally accept. It's yucky and I won't eat it.

7) Liam's eyes shoot secret laser darts that destroy my belongings and wound my soul. If he looks at me, I must counterattack by yelling at him. Hitting or shoving might also be appropriate, depending on the intensity of the laser eye assault.

Someone must have said that I loved them. My little Oedipus.

But I wrote all that when he was three.

Turning four has made a new child out of Soren. Okay, so not quite, but he does seem to have made significant strides in the right direction since his birthday. Some of the lessons we've been teaching him are finally sinking in and his logic/processing/forward thinking skills are slowly beginning to develop. It's been, to say the least, a joyful thing.

Soren himself is aware of the transition he's been undergoing.

"I'm changing, Grandma," he recently told my mother.

"Oh yeah?" asked Grandma. "What are you changing?"

"I'm nicer to Nyeeum. I let him come to my room sometimes and we share toys with each other."

And it's true! They've been spending more time with each other, engaged in mutually satisfying playtime activities. Soren's become increasingly willing to share. And when he gets angry at Liam and wants to hurt him, he's learning to stop himself and run to another room instead. He's not perfect, but he is getting better.

And he's becoming increasingly open to following directions from Mommy and Daddy as well. Just last week I went to his room, stuck my head in, and, finding him playing happily with duplos, said, "Soren? You left your clothes and wet pull-up on the floor out here. Would you please come take care of them?" And do you know what he did? He got up, picked up his clothes, and put them in the laundry basket. He picked up his pull-up and threw it away. Then he went back to playing. There was no whining, there was no "why?", there was no defiance....there was only cheerful obedience. It was a miracle!

In other news...

Soren's been very interested in phonics as of late. He loves to learn about the sounds the letters make and find words that begin with the letters. "O is for 'on' and 'off,' Mommy," he'll tell me. "'C' is for cookie and for 'cool.'" There's one letter that gives him a bit of a problem, however: the letter "L." One day, quite out of the blue, he remarked to me, "I need to learn how to say the letter 'L.' L says wuh. Wuh, wuh, wuv. Wuh, wuh, witto. Wuh, wuh, Weeum. Wuh, wuh, Wook." I tried to show him how to put his tongue on the roof of his mouth to make the "l" sound, but it didn't make any sense to him. He continued saying "L says wuh." To which I say: no big deal. Nothing makes me happier than hearing him exclaim excitedly, "Oh, I wuv it! I WUV IT!"

Sledding trip! Sliding down the hill at top speeds motivates him to say, "I wuv it! I WUV IT!"

Soren also pronounces other words adorably: two that come to mind are "mikemoremave" (for microwave) and "pajick" for "package."

Our four-year-old is growing increasingly independent and capable. For instance, one day while I was at work, he decided he wanted a little snack. So he went to the pantry, found a package of mikemoremavable popcorn, got out his safety scissors, cut open the plastic, dragged his Lightning McQueen chair over to the microwave, climbed up, put the package in, closed the door, and turned on the microwave, cooking the popcorn for just the right amount of time. Abe didn't know anything about it until he heard a "ding" in the kitchen and a little voice asking, "Daddy? Would you help me get this bag open?"

Soren's interest in imaginary play has increased exponentially during the last couple of months. He turned a box in his room into a magical door that could take you anywhere you wanted to go. He used a laundry basket as a "two-er machine" to replicate things. He makes everything from spoons to toy trucks talk to each other. I explained to him recently that he was once in my belly, so sometimes he likes to climb up in my robe and pretend to be in my belly. Then he'll be "born" and crawl around talking like a baby.

Soren's early experiments with installation art. I think he has a promising artistic future.

Soren playing "Three Blind Mice" on Grandma's piano. Maybe he'll be a musician.

But anyway. It's been a pleasure to observe Soren, offering guidance, direction, and spankings here and there, as he makes this transition from babyhood to childhood. He's such a strong little person. I love him so.


Collette said...

What a wonderful little human being. I like him a lot. I like his erudite and aloof expression in the photo of him and his artwork. And I relished every well-constructed, punchy sentence of this post.

Lara said...

A budding genius indeed.

Kristy Skoy said...

He sure is growing up!

Natalya said...

I loved reading this, as usual. I LOVED the premises! I've got to do that with my kids--it will so help me understand some of their behavior better. Maybe they're doing what they're doing because of a basic belief, duh!
Just a linguistic side note: I once saw a chart in which it said kids don't generally master 'L' until around 7. Which I am excited about, because it is the most endearing of the baby phonetics, so I have a few years left to hear "I wuv you."
Isn't obedience amazing? I was shocked when my kid hit a certain age and started being obedient. I still can't believe it's true.
I don't know whether Soren will be an outstanding display artist or musician when he grows up, but I'm sure he'll be an outstanding something.

Collette Smith said...

Still giggling over that list of premises...


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