You must understand, my 5 year old son Gus is a bit of a bruser, a bully of sorts, a bull in a china shop kind of child, a child that embarrasses me with his abrupt nature and ability to call things like he sees them. He is the biggest in his kindergarten class and bigger than his older brother, Jack. He loves to play with swords, play guns, and knights. When neighborhood boys come to the door to play, Gus is the first one to get his shoes on. He always gives his opinion...unsolicited... and grunts and groans when he does not get his way. He's honest, independent, smart, confident and LOUD! He rarely uses his napkin, he prefers to use his hand. More times than I would like to admit, he "relieves" himself OUTSIDE of the house instead of trekking inside to use the more modern facilities. He sleeps spread-eagle in his bed; it would be impossible to sleep next to him since he is a bed hog. Kids are naturally attracted to him. He brushes off other "wimpier" kids his age who try and manipulate him into doing what they want. He's not interested in negotiation or reason.
But there is another side of Gus, a softer side, that only a few see:
Gus has two stuffed animals that he carries around as his best buddies. He lovingly kisses King Henry every day and whispers secrets in his ear. He loves to listen to story after story before bedtime and laughs a huge belly laugh at the funny parts. He sneaks into Nick's room when everyone else is sleeping and crawls into bed with him and snuggles closely. He is theatrical and funny. He loves to draw pictures and hang them on the doors of the house. Just the other day, he handed me a awkwardly spelled note that said, "I lov u mom...gus" He always notices when I am dressed nicely and tells me that I am beautiful...(that makes me melt). His blue eyes sparkle with mischief when he asks for his candy. Imagine my surprise when he handed me a Playmobil toy that includes a Princess, Prince, flower arbor, and bird bath. It was most definitely a pink kind of girl toy, but he was totally enamored with it. He insisted that it was NOT a girl toy and that the birdbath included a cool gold dragon that was for boys. This is the softer side of Gus, the baby side that I sometimes forget. He IS still a baby, but is trapped in a big boy body. Sometimes I feel sad for Gus since he never had a baby-like childhood. Because of his older siblings he flew past the "Barney" "Teletubby" stage and went straight to things like Star Wars, Playmobile and Video Games.
Gus is still a baby in many ways. I'll try and remind myself of that more often. Meanwhile, I'll try and stay sane while we raise him into the strong man he will, no doubt, one day become.