The Foolhardy Fives
Oh yes, here we are, in the very early stages of the Foolhardy Fives. As Bette Davis famously warned ‘Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night [ride]’. She wasn’t kidding. She must have been a mother to a 5 year old…
Let me begin by expressing to all that I am no expert on child psychology or child development. I am merely a mommy struggling through this compelling and often daunting task of parenting. I have encountered the many stages of the ages, as mentioned in my previous parenting posts (take a read if you dare!), and I now find myself in the newest phase – the 5 year old phase – and wow it’s a wild one!
The tempers we witnessed at the ages of three and four have thankfully relented; but what has replaced those screaming assaults is a stubbornness and a defiance that exasperates the hell out of my husband and me. Our little 5 year old does not like transitions. He does not like to deviate from the play he has established for himself, nor does he like having to do as he is told. He wants to make the decisions on his own, at his own pace, on his own timeline. Expect him to depart from that and be met with verbal assaults, talking back, ignoring, and arguing. And our little Liam is very good at arguing his case. He can drum up a swift defence for himself, arguing points as though he were a lawyer-in-training. It is exhausting, yet it is also a little bit humorous. I know I shouldn’t, but because there are times when his argument is so deliberate I cannot help but giggle, just a little. How did my son develop into such a smarty-pants? When did he get so cheeky?
Accompanying the stubbornness and defiance is the I can do it myself attitude, which is great, some of the time. And he will do it himself but, as mentioned above, it will be at his own pace and on his own timeline, which never aligns with the timeline required. So, trying to get out of the house is often a battle of wills. To win the battle I have to threaten … it works (hot wheels held ransom!), but an argument always ensues … and my beautiful blonde curls are slowly turning white from all this squabbling.
Yes. The Foolhardy Fives are exasperating. But, they are also pretty cool. I’m witnessing a very big shift in my son that is quite extraordinary. He has a tremendous imagination and he excels at creative play. In fact, he is so confident in his ability to imagine that he draws others into his stories. He is becoming very social and forming new friendships. And his humour! Oh my he can be devilishly funny, making all those around him laugh! He is curious and not afraid to explore. He is fascinated with the world surrounding him, and asks thought-provoking and challenging questions. Some of the questions are remarkable and I cannot always answer them. To remedy this, we search for the answers together. This engages him, and allows him to be a part of the discussion as well as offer his own theories on the subject. Then, he turns these recent discoveries into creative play, understanding the topic on a deeper, more impactful level. It’s so inspiring.
And truthfully, I cannot seem to prevent my surge of overwhelming emotions when I think back to 3 years ago that this – THIS – is what I was scared of missing. These milestones. These experiences. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer my blood ran cold at the very idea of missing out on Liam’s life. Yet here I am, 3 years post-surgery, still in active treatment, and still very present in my son’s life. I am his mommy. No matter the hurdles, the challenges, the frustrations I experience as a parent I am forever grateful. I am grateful I can be frustrated. I am grateful I can be amazed. I am grateful to be present.
The Foolhardy Fives is electrifying. I have fastened my seatbelt. I am ready for the bumpy ride.
The Foolhardy Fives. Published by Crystal Joy Hall