Thursday, December 24, 2015

Russell is 4!

Happy 4th birthday to Russell Sprout!

Four just seems so old, doesn't it?

Here is what Russell is like these days:

  • He weighs 28 lbs 1 oz, which is around the 10th percentile.
  • He measures 38.5 inches, which is also around the 10th percentile.
  • He wears 2T clothes.
  • He's obsessed, I repeat, obsessed, with animals.  Pygmy hippos, regular hippos, and rhinos are his favorites, but there isn't an animal that he doesn't like.  Sometimes he says he doesn't like "bad" animals (aka, predators), but most of the time he's still a fan.  
  • Loves to tell jokes.  His most common joke goes like this: Why did the chicken cross the road?  To make friends!
  • His favorite lunch is hot dogs and steamed carrots.  The only food he doesn't like is avocados.  He's a very adventurous eater and even enjoys spicy foods.  If his picky side ever surfaces and he starts refusing foods (it only happens when he's in a bad mood), we just remind him of our family rule:  We will put the food on your plate, but you don't have to eat it.  He always ends up eating it anyway!  He just needs to have a little control, that's all.
  • His favorite snacks are fruit leather and a piece of bread.
  • He can zip his own zipper, but has recently convinced himself that he can't.  Same goes for doing up his own car seat buckles.  
  • He wakes up early (ugh) and makes his own pop tart for breakfast (nice).
  • His hair is wavy and pretty thin.  I think he likes being the blond one in the family!
  • He is very thoughtful and is great at sharing with Caleb.  
  • He adores his baby brother and knows just how to talk to a baby.  He always makes Zach smile when he interacts with him in any way!
  • He is very, very...shall we say "strong-willed."  Ok, ok, he's stubborn.  Sometimes he'll have a fit over something small, like when we ask him to clear his plate, and it'll escalate to needing to scream it out in his room for 20 minutes.  But what he doesn't know is that his mom will always be more stubborn than him.  I learned a long time ago that one key to parenting is to be more stubborn than the child.  ;)  He's not going to get away with anything on my watch!
  • The most common source of distress (read: tantrums) for Russell is when we request that he change out of his pajamas.  He strongly prefers to wear pajamas all day, and refuses to wear clothes that aren't "comfortable."  I'm not sure if I should pack up all of his pajamas and make him sleep in regular clothes, or just choose not to fight this battle and let him wear pajamas all day every day and hope that this is just a phase.  I do let him wear pajamas most of the time as long as we're not leaving the house...after all, I would do the same thing every day, if I could.  ;)
  • At times, when he's having a tantrum, I've been able to say to him, "Russell, do you think you'll get what you want if you cry?"  And he realizes that crying won't work on me, and he stops.  Clever little manipulator.
  • He is also very clever in other ways.  He makes the most witty jokes, and notices the most obscure details.  I love that about him.
  • The dentist has been telling us that Russell has a small mouth and his teeth are close together and that he needs to floss better than other kids his age (which isn't a problem, Russ loves flossing) and that he'll need braces.  Yes, we knew when our kid was three that he'll need braces.  Real fun.
  • He has told me many times that he doesn't like being called Russ or Russell Sprout.  Only RUSSELL and SPROUT.  I still call him Russ all of the time, and he never corrects me, but if you have that conversation with him, he'll tell you he prefers Russell.
  • He gets a lot of compliments from strangers on his eyelashes.  Somehow all of my boys have lovely eyelashes.
  • He is very attached to Baby Bear, his small stuffed black bear.  He sleeps with him and brings him places when he's nervous (like to Church) and even uses him to wipe his tears.  Literally.

Russell, I'm glad that you're making up for your difficult infancy by being a wonderful preschooler.  You are full of whit beyond your years, you have an amazing brain for storing animal facts, and you are one of the most caring, giving, and gentle little kids I've ever met.  Russell, never change your gentle ways or your goofy personality.  We love you exactly how you are!

And now for an interview with Russell:

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