i feel like i haven't done a real kid update in a while, so i thought i'd take a moment to talk a little about ek at almost 4.5 and hollis at 2+almost 4 months.
hollis: this kid. the other day i was dropping him off at school and one of the teachers said to me: "hollis is a very, very unique child. i've been doing this for 30 years, and i've never met a child quite like him". i'm not sure whether to take that as a compliment or an insult, but i can see where she's coming from. my dude is reflective and very independent. he's stubborn and can be very impatient and willful. he's funny and playful and prefers to be in small groups where he knows everyone well (aka our family). he's extremely loving with those close to him and can be very wary of new people. he's focused and can concentrate for long periods on whatever quiet activity he's interested in. he is good at puzzles and he carries a book with him pretty much everywhere. he adores emme but is trying to figure out his own identity these days and doesn't just blindly go along with whatever she's doing.
hollis does get more worked up/emotional than i would expect out of a kid his age, and especially a kid who's as verbal as he is. but he's got big feelings and he's super sensitive. i'm sure he gets that from me, so i have more tolerance of it than others, maybe. anyway...he doesn't like to be corrected or scolded - it makes him kind of withdraw and shut down. it's really pitiful. so we're working on figuring out how to teach him manners, right & wrong, etc. without just destroying his little world.
he likes to be outside and works hard on his timidity, though that's definitely his natural tendency. he's a terrible eater (compared to emme, especially). i recognize that he might not be super terrible by some standards, but i feel like mealtime is almost always an ordeal if i'm trying to get him to eat protein or veggies. he will eat eggs and cheese (in certain forms), but rarely eats meat and won't even taste it if it's green. sigh. we are working on that too.
but i love this boy with every ounce of my being. he is delicious and a joy to mother.
and then there's my goose. how lucky am i to know this girl? emme is spunky and fun and opinionated and exuberant. she's vivacious and social and eager to please (most of the time). she loves her babies (every stuffed animal and/or doll in the universe), loves rocks and shells, loves collecting very small trinkets and treasures and guarding them fiercely. she is super feminine - she'll individually compliment every piece of jewelry i have on, and she loves to wear anything with a long or twirly skirt. she'll tell you her favorite colors are pink and purple and red and blue and green and orange and yellow and all the colors! which i think is kind of a metaphor for her unbridled love in general. she is (usually) very inclusive, especially about her family, and will say she's going to make something for everyone in our family, while listing out everyone's names, including the animals.
emme is also willful and trying to figure out how to harness her powers for good. she hates to be corrected and will tell me i'm being mean when i draw a firm line (i.e. no, you can't have candy at 7:30am before you've had breakfast). her notions of fairness are extremely strong when it comes to herself, and we're working hard on developing an awareness for and sense of compassion about others - so far, this is somewhat inconsistent. she's a champ eater and sleeper - she will almost always try at least a bite of something new. she's still napping 90% of the time. she is silly and adventurous and so so strong. she can rock some monkey bars like i can't even believe and she will climb or scale any piece of playground equipment.
ek is curious and an eager learner, but she (also) hates to be corrected. her teachers love her and tell us daily about how affectionate she is. she tells me she wants to be a cheerleader when she grows up, and i'm working hard to be patient and supportive with that desire. sigh. she's really great with animals and babies - super gentle and nurturing. she's definitely still four years old - we get our fair share of her being obstinate and defiant, crying or screeching or pouting or whining, particularly when she's tired, hungry, or being told no. but mostly, she's really an incredible joy and i love everything about her.