Five and a half has been a little difficult for me and Little Man. I was not expecting this. Generally, the older my children get, the easier parenting them gets. The older they get the better they can communicate, reason, understand consequences, etc. I had sort of assumed this trend would continue to be true until the teen-age years hit. And so I find myself a little perplexed at the what seems to be a bit of a regression to meltdowns and crying over things like Kiwi getting the color of cup that he wanted or his toys being moved. Sometimes I find myself thinking, "Why are you crying? You're FIVE."
Today when I dropped him off at school I gave him my usual goodbye hug, kiss, and "I love you." Perhaps feeling a little guilty over my recent irritated feelings towards my oldest child I squeezed a little harder and longer then usual and added a "so much" after the I love you. He hugged me and then ran off to stand on the wall with the other kids. He got about five feet before he stopped and turned around. He looked at me for a second and then dashed back into my arms for a quick second hug.
He was then off to stand with his classmates. As I got back into the van, I felt as if my heart would burst with love for that little blond head racing away with his Cars back pack. As I watched him standing there with the other kindergartners playing some sort of shoulder shoving came with the boys around them and waiting for their teacher to come, I had to swallow back some unexpected tears at how very fast he's growing up. And although he is getting older, he is ONLY FIVE. Maybe we expect a lot of out him because he's the oldest of our little ones, but he is still a little one (he still plays with plastic talking tools after all). And it's my job to be patient and try and continue to teach him how to act and express the emotions that sometimes get the best of him. Because someday he won't meltdown over a plastic cup, but he also probably won't come running back for a second hug (or even a first) in front of all his friends.
As if on cue, I hear a wail from the other room from that five year old of mine. Time to find some of that patience I was talking about...