Five years old. That tiny 6lb 10oz baby born five years ago in the middle of a heatwave, is now five years old and about to finish his first year at school. It’s been quite a year for Toby and he has changed so much since he turned 4, he is definitely a proper boy now and there is nothing of the baby and toddler left of him.
I always start these six monthly updates with Toby’s vital statistics so… he is now 120 cm tall (5 cm taller than he was 6 months ago) and weighs 3 st 1 lb so has put on about 3 lbs in the last six months. He’s still super skinny though, although actually when they checked his height and weight at school it came back saying he was a healthy weight so that’s good. His feet haven’t grown much in the last 12 months and he’s still wearing size 11 or 12 shoes depending on the brand.
Although Toby has changed a lot in the last year, some things haven’t changed at all – his favourite colour is still purple and his favourite meal is still Swedish meatballs (I have to make special trips to IKEA to stock up on meatball sauce and lingonberry jam!). He still loves dinosaurs and Lego although I think his dinosaur obsession isn’t quite as strong as it used to be. He did still request a dinosaur cake for his birthday though (and I think I did a pretty good job).
Toby’s behaviour is good on the whole, he still squabbles with Gabe all the time, and he can be very cheeky sometimes. Four has been a tricky year to negotiate in a lot of ways – Toby’s attitude isn’t always great and we still get the odd tantrum when he doesn’t get his own way. He’s dealt with a lot of anxiety this year too though – he can get quite worked up and upset when things change, and of course starting school has brought with it a lot of changes.
He went through a really frustrating phase when he just seemed to be scared of everything, even things he had done previously, like climbing high at the park, or the big slides at soft play. He was absolutely terrified of dogs for quite a long time but with a lot of work he is mostly OK now. He still doesn’t like them, and won’t really go near them, but he doesn’t run away screaming anymore. He’s now transferred his fear to cats now though, even though most cats run away from him rather than even attempt to come close!
Toby is still going swimming every week, and although he’s made reasonable progress he still won’t put his face in the water and hates jumping in. I’m hoping that two weeks in a French gite with a private pool in the summer might help us build his confidence with that though.
One thing that Toby doesn’t seem to have any fear doing is riding his scooter. We got him a bigger one a few months ago (still 3 wheels though) and he is pretty happy scooting by himself now. He also got a bike for his birthday and has made a good start on riding that too. Hopefully over the next half of the year he can get more confident and we can start thinking about taking his stabilisers off.
Despite the trials and tribulations of dealing with a four year old Toby we are so proud of how well he has done at school over the last year. He has gone from knowing the basic phonics and letter sounds to being able to read really well, he surprises me a lot of the time with how much he knows, and can work out. His writing has come on leaps and bounds too. At his school they teach them cursive (but not joined up) letters from the get go so it has taken a while but he is improving all the time – he just needs to work on speeding up a bit now! His maths is brilliant too, and his love of numbers has continued through the year. I was always happy when he brought home maths homework rather than writing because I knew we’d get it done in half the time!
Toby and Gabe still fight and argue all the time, but they play nicely together a lot of the time too. Now Gabe can talk and communicate well they find it a lot easier to play together, although Toby isn’t always the best at sharing or taking turns. We’re getting there though, and it’s clear they love each other to bits even if they don’t always show it. They recently moved into bunk beds too – they’ve been sharing a room since we moved here two years ago but up until a few weeks ago Gabe was still in his cot. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well they’ve done with the bunk beds – they’re both happy to get into bed, and for the most part stay asleep all night.
I love my biggest boy to pieces, he’ll always be the one who made me a mummy and put up with me trying to figure out what I was doing along the way (and I still am learning every day). He drives me crazy sometimes when he doesn’t listen and has to be asked five times to do something. He frustrates me when he fights with his brother, or when he’s scared of things he would happily do six months ago. I wouldn’t change him though, he makes me laugh every day, he gives the best cuddles (but only when he wants to), and I’ll never ever tire of him telling me he loves me.
To my boy, Toby T, happy birthday kiddo, I love you a million and I can’t wait to see what the next five years brings.