On turning 5

Five years ago was a momentous day in our household! I was scheduled to be induced for baby #4* in the morning of January 15, 2015. But he had his own ideas about his arrival, and I woke up in labor at 11:30 p.m. the night before. Despite this being my fourth baby, I actually didn’t know that was what was happening. I’d never gone into labor spontaneously. By the time we figured it out and were en route to the hospital, my contractions were coming every 2 minutes. The GPS in my husband’s car put our arrival time in the parking lot at 1:13 a.m. The baby’s birth? 1:32 a.m. Fun 19 minutes! My favorite moment was the L&D nurse asking me, after he was born, if I had a birth plan. I guess it was just on the list of questions they were supposed to ask, none of which had actually gotten asked in the frenzy.

Anyway, he’s continued to do his own thing ever since. There are inevitably personality clashes. Readers of Off the Clock know all about our bedtime battles. The good news about him being kid #4 is that I’ve relaxed a reasonable amount. I’m not going to die on the hill of whether we eat crackers for breakfast.

And when he does do his own thing, he’s quite the champ. I am impressed with his physical coordination. He loves his karate class. He once scored something like 8 goals in a game in his 4-year-old soccer league. He’s eager to learn whatever he can, especially (in classic rebel fashion) if one of his older siblings is claiming he’s too little to know something. This morning at breakfast one of the older children was quizzing him on multiplication and he nailed the answers. (Yet another reason fourth children don’t need flash cards…)

He is adjusting to his new role as big brother, rather than the baby of the family. I can’t say it has been easy. There has been a lot of acting out, but when he snuggles his baby brother, it is the sweetest thing in the world (see Instagram, @lvanderkam, for a few pics). And we’re trying to spend some time together, during which I occasionally see the softer side. I took him to his Little Gym class last Friday. On the car ride home, unprompted, he announced “I love you mommy!” The other kids never do that anymore, so I’m totally there for this. Happy birthday little dude!

*I generally don’t put my children’s names on the blog, not because it’s a big secret, but because of the search engine factor. I imagine they may want to create their own digital identities some day; my 12-year-old, for instance, has used his real name when guest blogging here because that’s something he does want to put out into the world.

5 thoughts on “On turning 5

  1. Best wishes to little “Quattro”! Today is my younger son’s 21st birthday. We had a lot of the same struggles (bedtime, waking, stubbornness and impatience) and moments of amazement (the multiplication tables story was similar, too. When he was 3, beating the 8-year-old at flash cards, we had to create operator-change rules for the younger one. He still was faster.) It’s been an exciting 21 years, wishing the same, well maybe not quite as exciting, for you all!

  2. Happy birthday and congratulations on all of your family milestones in recent weeks. Good luck with the running and let me know when you can run in Raleigh–lots of good races down here to prepare you for 26.2!

  3. Happy Birthday to your little man! I can relate to the postpartum questions. My 2nd came in a big hurry. We were at the hospital 23 minutes before he arrived. My favorite question the nurse asked me afterwards was, “Do you want to have an epidural?” Ummm….not now, thanks!

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