The Schmoop turned six on Superbowl Sunday, which was fitting because a) he was born on Superbowl Sunday 2002, and b) the New York Giants won. He had a reptile and amphibian party at the Audubon Naturalist Society with about 14 kindergarten classmates and a couple of neighbors and friends. He and his pals not only got to touch Sam the black rat snake, they also went on a guided hike and saw several deer up close. It was a short but memorable party for our not-quite-so-little boy.
This past year, E has become incredibly independent, which is a sigh of relief since he's about to become a big brother again. Since turning five, he's learned how to do his entire morning routine (except for making a hot breakfast) with little supervision. He no longer needs help in the bathroom (hooray!) as long as there are toddler wipes at the ready. He is unlocking text and reading short little chapter books. He is a whiz at operating the TV, DVD, XM radio, and any other electronic equipment in the house. He's also inherited his father's curiosity about how things work and are made.
He knows when to come get me if his sister is in (or making) trouble. He adores his four older cousins and constantly asks when he can see them again. He is helpful in many, many ways and cries a whole lot less than he did just a year ago. He has grown at least five or six inches and is somehow one of the taller boys in his class (how this happened, we have no clue). He is showing us glimpses of the kind of gregarious, big-hearted older boy he's growing into all too quickly.
I can still remember every moment of his unexpectedly early labor and birth -- from my water breaking to pushing his head out exactly seven hours later. His birthday is not just an annual commemoration of his life but the anniversary of when the husband and I became parents. He's our firstborn, the guinea pig in the life-long experiment of our parenting skills. We hope he'll forgive our many errors and remember how deeply we love him and delight in his contribution to our family's happiness.
Many thanks to my good friend Bre for custom-stenciling E's birthday snake shirt!