My little big boy is really blossoming into a lovely person. He has slotted into school life with no effort at all. I’d heard of other children struggling with the first term and their behaviour deteriorating and if Callum had gone to school in September 2012 I’m pretty sure he would’ve been the same but being the oldest in his year at the start of September 2013, he was so ready. Stuart and I went to a parent’s evening before Christmas and the teacher was happy with where he was at. His learning progress wasn’t anything to wow about (every parent wants to hear their child is a genius and the top of the class) but he was where his teacher expected him to be…for a boy! One thing I was proud of was his behaviour. He would sit and listen and would stick with something he was asked to do until he was finished. The other thing was that he had lots of friends. That was enough for us to squash any concerns we may have had!
I’ve recently started to notice a real improvement in his reading. He brings home a couple of books a week from school and carefully sounds out the words but is needing less and less help. Likewise, his writing is getting better and less HUGE. When he sees his homework book, he always wants to write something in it. We rarely follow the requested homework (bad mummy) as it often asks for Callum to draw a picture of what he has done and Callum, although loves putting pencil to paper as if to draw, is no artist! He rarely draws a recogniseable picture and prefers to scribble anything and tell you its a picture of something. Instead, we practice writing and counting and maths. We do it during the course of the day as a natural thing but don’t always document it in his book as by the time I get round to writing in it, I’ve forgotten what it was we’ve done. I’m pleased that his school doesn’t push the homework too much and rather just encourages you to complete it at this stage and the tasks are set more as ideas – well that’s my interpretation!
When I think about Callum, more than his educational progress, I think about his character, loving spirit and what a wonderful big brother he is.
For example, he baked cakes at his after school club the other week and was allowed to take 2 cakes home early (before decorating as they had more than they needed) so he tells me one is for him and the other is for Millie. A couple of days later, he brings home three decorated cakes who he announces are for him, Millie and Daddy. He doesn’t expect to eat them all himself and I don’t prompt him, he wants to share with others. If he has a banana and Millie wants some, he’ll often share it with her.
Of course, he will often say he is ‘helping’ Millie with her toys as an excuse to play with them himself and will hog the ‘best toys’ regardless of who they belong to, to himself but he does interact with her and play with her. But Millie will always want whatever Callum is playing with.
It always amazes me how someone is brought into their life and they are not told to love this new intrusion but somehow they do and it is clearly evident how much Callum loves Millie. When I pick Callum and Millie up from nursery (his after school club is attached to the nursery), I pick up Millie first then Callum. It isn’t me he runs to hug hello, it is Millie! He genuinely cares for her.
In many ways, he is a typical little boy – he whinges, as I said in Millie’s post, he is a wimp when he bumps himself (tough love mother!), he tries to get out of washing his face and cleaning his teeth, he drags everything out to take so much longer than necessary, especially when you are in a hurry. He has already developed the teenager trait of not wanting to get out of bed on a school day and has uttered the words “I hate you” (to which I unhelpfully laughed!). He loves Superheroes and PowerRangers and spends far too much time on the iPad!
These posts of Callum and Millie aren’t meant as boasts of ‘look how wonderful my child is’ but as parents is it so wrong to be proud of your child and look for their good traits. I’m sure we tell them off and moan about them enough too so it is good to praise them and ourselves when what they are doing is right, surely?
It is easy to get caught up in the bad moments sometimes, and only see them but if you take a step back and look at the overall picture, I can’t help but be proud of how he is turning out and hope that it is as a result of Stuart and my parenting…somewhere!
Then I look forward to the years ahead – he is going to pay me back when he gets to his teenage years isn’t he!?
You may have noticed that I’m last in line for cuddles (I do get lots) and that I may not be the one he wants to share his cakes with but when asked “Daddy or chips?” he chose chips!