I'm glad to be getting back into the habit of doing updates for each of the boys. It's been almost 3 years since my last Nathan update.
Nathan's schedule's pretty full these days. He goes to school from 8:40am to 3:00pm everyday. He has swimming lessons, soccer practices and games, and Mandarin lessons, not to mention all the playdates he goes to. Sometimes I feel like I barely get to see him or hang out with him anymore, but writing this post has helped me to spend a little extra time focusing on him again.
Right now, Nathan...
... loves to tell jokes. But more than telling jokes, he loves trying to make up original content. It's an interesting process as he tries to work out wording, testing it out on Andrew and I. It's hard when we have to tell him the joke doesn't quite work, but he takes it all in stride. When he notices me trying to say it could be sort of funny, he tells me "it doesn't have to be funny" and continues to come up with something better. He just wants honest feedback and I love that.
... creates loom band bracelets whenever he has a spare moment. He's created an armful for himself, given a few to his friends and of course, made a bunch for Caleb. He learned how to make the basic and fishtail designs when he first discovered loom bands at a play date. Since then, he's bought a kit with his own money and is working on learning new designs via YouTube tutorials.
... has just moved up to the next level in swimming and he's in the pool for 45 minutes each week. At first, we wondered whether he would be strong enough because after a long day of school it can be tiring but he's been doing well. I really admire his long and calm stroke style. It just shows how relaxed and confident he is in the water.
... gets lost in books. Recently, he finished reading the Treehouse series and is working his way through the Geronimo Stilton books. I love that he loves reading, but the moment he picks up a book, the world is dead to him so it gets a little frustrating when he decides to start reading when we're in a rush to leave the house or when he doesn't even realize someone is talking to him. However, he is constantly surprising me with how much information he retains just from reading books, and the conversations he has because of that, so sometimes I let it slide.
... spends more time with his friends than I ever did at his age. His school highly encourages playdates and many of the parents are keen on doing that, so Nathan is constantly spending time with his friends outside school hours. His schedule is packed with after school playdates, birthday parties and sleepovers.
... constantly asks, "what's your favourite____" usually starting with cars, then colours, then numbers, then letter, then sport, etc.
... is slowly getting back to being the confident soccer player he was at the beginning of the season. At the start of the season, his coach told him he had a lot of potential and if he kept on working hard, he could do well for himself next year. Somewhere along the line, he's regressed in his skills. He started to slack off on the field, letting other players blow past him when he should have tackled. I don't know what caused it but we've had a talk with him about putting his best effort into playing the game because his team is counting on him to do his part and he's starting to get it.
... talks about fast cars whenever we're driving in the car. His current favourites are the Bugatti Veyron, Bugatti Grand Sport and the Lamborghini Aventador.
... wrote the NAPLAN recently and despite all the concern about tests of this nature being stressful for children, especially those in Montessori schools who are not familiar with being tested, Nathan didn't show any signs of discomfort, stress or inadequacy. He may actually have been a little overconfident. After his practice tests, I asked him which part was the hardest, he told me they were all easy. He was quite happy to have been given his "NAPLAN pencil" to bring home after his tests.
... is doing quite well in his fortnightly (bi-weekly) Mandarin lessons. He's learning to speak, read and write and he has now reached the point where I am struggling to help him with his homework because he's learning and retaining more than I know. I'm nervous and excited at the same time, but I really hope he can continue to learn this language until he is fluent.
I have come to realize that we can be quite tough on Nathan sometimes, with all the things we expect him to learn. We see so much potential in him and we want to help him strive for excellence (not perfection) so we push him hard. But then, I'll hear him giggle uncontrollably because of something funny that's happened and I remember he's still just a kid and so I back off a little and just let him enjoy his childhood.