Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

And Then Small Was FOUR

Tonight it is Zachary's turn. Four. Although to look at him you would hardly believe it. My Small. Measuring still only 96.5cm in height and wearing the majority of his 2-3 clothes more than comfortably. This boy just doesn't seem to grow, at least not exceptionally fast! I expect one day he'll have the massive of all growth spurts and surprise us all. But for now he is still my Small. 

He on the other hand cannot decide what size he is. He isn't a baby, of course, but some days he's a Big Boy, sometimes he is too little and other days he is the middle sized boy. Basically Zachary is whatever size it suits him and works best in his favour given whatever the situation he finds himself in! I think middle sized boy about sums him up; figuring out his place of being a big brother and a little brother all at the same time. 

A few months ago I would've very much still labelled him as a toddler. But since his birthday he is slowly beginning to be a little bit more grown up. The last time he used a buggy was October half term and the buggy board hasn't had an outing out of the car this new year for example and the beginnings of being able to reason with him about behaviour are slowly starting to emerge. 

But boy is he stubborn! Zachary digs his heals in far more than Alexander ever has. He will not be persuaded if he has decided he really doesn't want to do something, not even a bribe will always work. Picking battles has never been more apt than it is with Zachy!


Oh Zachary. My boy I worry about the most. So regularly since September I have felt sick to the pit of my stomach that I'm somehow failing him. Still very much a Jekyll and Hyde character of two extremes, but sensitive and unsure of himself so often in the middle. He seems to lack resilience and belief in himself, so much so that praise is often met with a negative reaction (e.g. breaking up the Lego model he has just made, or scrunching up his picture, or will decide he isn't riding his bike or scooter anymore because he has noticed your beaming reaction and heard your well done.) or his interactions with his peers can often be punctuated by a bizzare crazy noise as if he's trying to find a way to connect by being silly or becoming so easily upset with his friends over the littlest of things. It doesn't make sense because in others areas he always seems to be brimming in confidence; introducing himself and striking up conversation with people in all manner of places.  

That being said he clearly has friends and runs straight up to them all leaving me behind at the school queue in the mornings. Why stand with Mummy when you can go off for a chat with one of your friends?!  For all my worries that is beautiful to see when he gives his friends a hug and it is reciprocated. 

School has been much less settled in parts since September. I don't know whether it was a combination of new nursery children and a new nursery teacher but all of a sudden, after assuming he was happy and settled in school because I had been told no different for two terms; I was now being told he was struggling with other children around him, struggling with sharing, struggling with personal space, whether it be not tolerating anyone being near him or touching him verses being very touchy feely with those around him, struggling with noise verses making some of the most noise, quickly being moved to tantrums and tears and upset and being overwhelmed in the classroom. None of it was a huge surprise to me - they were all of my worries when he had originally started, I know my boy, but the surprise was that it had only become a problem as a Rising 4 and not a Rising 3. 

His teacher and I have had many at length chats. It may appear he may not have been as settled for those two terms as I had been led to believe. The word 'Quirks' was used, I convinced myself he must be showing signs of some level of ASD. Beat myself up no-end that his SEN Teaching Mother hadn't figured it out with her own son. Things have been calmer for a while now and while I'm no longer jumping to an ASD conclusion, I do think it is clear he has some sensory sensitives and maybe some sensory processing difficulties. Maybe it is something, maybe it is just him needing longer to mature than the average 3-4 year old.  

His teacher has said he has his moments but also all the strategies she has put in place with him are working and he is trying very hard, his reactions are improving all the time and he is figuring it out in school now. But honestly my anxieties with Zachy are always sky high; because he is sensitive and he is fairly complex in nature. Not even I can always figure him out. I'm very aware my anxieties probably are not helpful. 

I regularly wish I could wrap him in cotton wool and just keep him at home with me, where he is more sure of himself and settled and has found his place.


Zachary Stephen M. I use your full name because that is how you introduce yourself. To everyone, people you know, people you don't know, the receptionist at the dentist and Doctors, the other Mum's at swimming lessons, people at the airport or just random people frequently in a lift. You are not just Zac, or Zachary. No, you are Zachary Stephen M. You even tell people that Stephen is your Bampi's name. 

You have learnt to write your name and enjoy showing people you can do it. Just this week at the dentist you decided you must show the lady how she should write your name. They found you a piece of paper and pen and you declared you were the expert. Well I suppose you are the expert of your name! Zacy is how you currently write it, I think it is super cute. 

Your writing and drawing continue to amaze me. Your letter formation is already super legible and you are leaps ahead of where your big brother was at the same age. Xander had no interest in writing or drawing when he was just turned four, but you love it! I especially love the detail you put into your drawing of yourself or other people; the little circles on the end of hands for peoples fingers and making sure everyone has got hair.   You love 'reading' too - recognising lots of sounds and already mimicking the pointing to a word and sounding it out. Whenever Xander brings a reading book home from school you have to read it to me too after he has finished, you insist on it, 'My turn now' you shout and start pointing at the words as you tell me what the story tells you in the pictures.   You are able to follow the plots of books and films now and are able to retell the main parts of a story back to me. 

I'm ashamed to admit I've spent barely any time on your phonics compared to the attention that Xander had; typical not the biggest child syndrome I'm afraid. Life gets busier and the hours in the day get shorter. But even with less input you constantly surprise and impress me with what you already know. 




At FOUR you have given me no end of worry. School got a bit tricky for a while but it seems we're coming out of the other side. I'm relieved because all I want for you is to be happy and surrounded by friends, fitting in and joining in.  You are growing up Zachy and learning how to interact with new people in lots of different ways. Social rules are sometimes hard to follow when you are only three and four and your emotions understandably still so often get the better of you. You are still a long way off 'school ready' for Reception in September but a lot can change in eight months. To be honest I can't believe I've already had to do your Reception application. How can you possibly be big enough for big school!?  This was this years school photo. The absolute diamond in an incredibly unimpressed Zachy photoshoot otherwise!  The sibling photo, can I just mention was hilarious, you could not have looked more grumpy! I've kept the proof for a giggle when you are older! 





You are getting much more independent though. I think we've just about ditched the buggy and buggy board now. I wondered if I would ever get you walking too far, but I think the buggy board will be making less appearances from now on. You still like to be babied and carried of course (just as well you are Small sometimes!) and I won't make you ditch it completely just yet in the case of a whole day out, but it is nice to be able to manage the school run with one less piece of equipment to lug in and out of the car! 

Since your half birthday update you have been on your first plane ride. Or in fact three plane rides, one there and two planes back. We went to Spain. Now you keep asking me every time we've had an overnight away since if we're going on a plane to get to holiday and if we're going to Spain! Flying was exciting for you. You even got to meet the captain on the first plane and sit on the pilots seat in the cockpit! Of course you have no appreciation what a real treat that was, but one day you will. We'll gloss over the bit on plane two (small domestic flight) where you somehow managed to almost fall between the handrail on the steps and in a super-Mum reactions moment I caught you nano-seconds before disaster struck and you fell onto the tarmac from top height. I've no idea how I managed it carrying bags and Luc too. You will my boy turn me grey sooner than I want to be! 



At FOUR you still love My Little Pony (Twilight Sparkle is your favourite),  Paw Patrol (Skye is your favourite) and Lightening McQueen.  I've lost count of the number of Lightening McQueen cars you have insisted on my buying these last six months. Every time we say you boys can choose a new Disney Cars Car every time you want another Lightening Mcqueen of some variation. I'm sure we must have about 10 of him now! 

But at FOUR your absolute favourite thing more than anything else is PJ Masks! You can't quite decide who is your favourite PJ Mask Hero; it changes weekly between Catboy, Owlette and Gekko! This week Owlette is your favourite, but the week before last you were Gekko. Your favourite colour has switched from Pink to Blue to be like Catboy, or maybe it is Red or Green too. You are still frequently telling everyone about your PJ Masks party at your birthday (it was a soft play party with a PJ Masks cake - but that themed it enough in your eyes!), and were more than thrilled with the copious amounts of PJ Masks toys and merchandise you have been given between your birthday and Christmas! We celebrated your actual birthday at Cantref Farm. You loved the speedy speedy slides, the animal pantomime and your very first ride on a pony. It was a very special, albeit cold day. You really did get the short straw for birthday days out at a wintery time of year! 




You are definitely growing up and changing. You are getting cuter than ever in your role as Big Brother. You spend many an afternoon now trying to get Lucas to chase you around the living room or deciding you know why he is crying, or simply showing him such affection. Although that isn't to say you equally get very cross about his shared love of Catboy and him trying to play with your PJ Masks toys!  You have this beautiful exchange where you will say to Luc 'Its cuddle time Luc' with your arms open wide and then you just wait for him to throw himself at you to give eachother a squeeze. You love your baby and are always so proud to point him out to people and tell them that he is 'Your baby Luc'... Yours! *all the hearts* 



It is well documented that you have your moments, and that you find some things tricky, like all children do, but at the heart of it all you are my loving, cheeky, funny, gentle, thoughtful, affectionate little boy. You give kisses and cuddles aplenty to us all and you have a sparkle in your eye that I adore. You are so thankful for all the little things and are always so quick to say thank you for the things people give you, get for you or do for you. I'm going to treasure these next eight months with you more than ever because I'm not ready to give my next one to school full time at all. 

You are a beautiful boy my Zachy Small. Inside and Out.  Don't ever forget what a special person you are and all the things you can do. We're so proud of you. 



We love you so very very much, always. 

Mummy and Daddy xXx 





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After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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