I cannot believe that it's been 4 years already since Pollito came home! He had the biggest head on the tiniest body of any child I had ever seen! We still joke about that today although thankfully his body has grown to match his beautiful head! He was tiny and had a head full of curly hair, constantly runny nose, boundless energy and some serious asthma. At 6 1/2 years old he is still small for his age(size 5T is a stretch) and has boundless energy but the asthma and constantly runny nose are things of the past. He had almost no words/sounds except for "mine," "baba" (bottle), "nana" (banana), "ma" (any female) and "wawa" for water. Other than that he could tag on "dat's" (that's) to each of those words to articulate his needs. These days we cannot get him to be quiet! He still struggles with vocabulary, pronunciation and enunciation (in fact we seem to be in a regression) but he is our most silly, chatty, funny, and clever child.
So many things about him have not changed over the past few years. He still loves many of the things he loved when he first came balloons, bubble baths and bananas along with trains, planes, cars, dinosaurs, purses and accessories. That has not changed since Day 1. He is still a ham who loves to lip sync to every kind of music and who dances even when he is trying not to. His current favorite activity is dance and he is taking a ballet/tap/jazz class and a hip hop class. We see some serious hip action from that kid no matter what he is doing! I think he still loves his tricycle and "bubble" car and will choose them over his "big boy" bike any day. He is still madly in love with his former Pre-K teacher Mrs. W. It's been two years and this love doesn't seem to diminish one bit. As we prepped for our Christmas cookies and fudge Christmas deliveries he was quick to point out that we couldn't forget her. We have even managed to get her teenage daughter as our babysitter which gives him a chance to send love notes, pictures and messages to her. I won't get worried about this for a few more years I think!
He still seems much younger than his chronological age but I can also see he is growing and testing and maturing. Last year he started many of those "annoying" behaviors that show just how comfortable he is. He has learned to push his brother's and sister's buttons quite well so he most definitely has earned the "annoying little brother" label!
One of his passions is still cooking. For years he has loved to play "pretend" restaurant, mommy, cook, and chef. We got the two little ones a play kitchen two years ago and I can honestly say it was a great investment. This child plays with it pretty much EVERY SINGLE DAY for hours on end. We have had to replenish the food and the dishes and added pots, pans, and aprons. In the real kitchen he is equally at home. If I let him he would attempt to do all the cooking and cleaning. Each of the kids gets to pick their meal on their birthdays. He chooses the meal he wants to COOK and insists on doing every phase of it. It is wonderful to see just how passionate he can be especially since when he first came there was such little affect about him.
His nightmares and night terrors have FINALLY (dare I dare say it) ended. It has been about 6 months since he let go of the NIGHTLY night terrors and nightmares that plagued him since he first came. He is firmly attached to us but still has some attachment and PTSD issues. He wants to hear his story often and doesn't yet understand that he wasn't born to me. He knows the truth and has seen his mother several times but insists that there was another time and another life when he was born to me that he remembers. I think this is part of his attaching process. If he had his druthers I think he would choose to be a baby again so we still give him plenty of baby time.
School and learning to read are a still a big challenge for him. He is much happier now that he is homeschooling although I think he missed playing with all the different children in his class since he was the favorite kid in the class with both the boys and the girls! He loves books and having stories read to him but he has absolutely no interest in learning to read. I think part of this is that he is intimidated by this and he just isn't ready. In general he tends to lapse about a year or so "behind" what is typical for kids his age but he has continued to make steady progress so we try not to pressure him.
I love to watch him play outside in the sandbox or with his truck. He is so engaged and thoughtful and fully present without any of the anxious behaviors that accompany some of his group play or when he is surrounded by lots of other kids. I also love seeing how MilagroPollito looks up to Milagro too and in many ways they are peers despite the 3 year difference in ages. They currently share a room and it makes both of them incredibly happy. They will spend the mornings after they wake up making plans for they day. They plan what stuffed animals will come downstairs, what "play" they will perform and what movie they will try to convince me to let them watch. They are both so serious in their planning that it can keep them busy for up to an hour each morning. Pollito still hates going to bed and we still have a bit of crying about that on most nights but I think this is getting easier is is probably linked to the years and years of nightmares.
There are so many times when I marvel at how wonderfully Pollito is growing up. He is healthy (no asthma) and happy so much more of the time. We have so much fun playing games together especially when we have "down" time and we copy each other's faces until one of us laughs (usually me!) He still melts my heart when he has to jump out of his chair at the dinner table to give me a hug or he just nuzzles next to me and asks if we can "hang out." Happy anniversary to my sweet boy. You have changed my life!