Thursday, June 27, 2013

Peter at 5

I don't think I've done a post on Peter in awhile.  I figured I ought to hit all the kids.  There is so much to remember and so little brain power to do so.

Peter seems so grown up to me.  In the last year he has gone from a tiny tike to a little boy in no time flat.  I'm going to blink and he will be a young man...so I've been trying hard to not blink.

One of his favorite things to do is to smile at me.  He somehow got the idea that I love to see his smiles.  I do.  But I never told him that.  (I think someone must have told him at school.)  He has dirty blond hair and freckles across his nose.  Combined with his big blue eyes I do try to remember so clearly these days.  Because someday in the not too distant future I will be looking up at him to smile.

Peter has discovered playing video games.  His current favorite is Sklyander's.  Talk about a money marketing SCAM!  You buy the game ($60!) and then you shell out $10-15 for each character.  It is a roll playing type.  Yipes!  Makes it easy to shop for him, but really...how many little figurines does a fella need?  He's got a drawer full.  His second favorite is Star Wars.  Yes, a boy after my own heart.

His favorite color is black.  He loves skulls and mohawks.  Perhaps he'll belong to the skater crowd when he grows up.  Who knows!

He doesn't particularly like cleaning and it is like pulling teeth to get him to help.  I've noticed he doesn't see details as easily as Rebekah does.  What I mean is...it is very easy for Rebekah to figure out to put the doll toys with the doll house, the legos in the lego box and the Mr. Potato Head parts in the right container.  Peter seems to see 'toys' and throws them in containers.  Period.  He reminds me of William in this way.

We've just passed through a rough spot where Peter was getting in trouble daily at school.  We had trouble with him exposing himself and playing "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" games.  Developmentally speaking, this is normal.  The only difference is that we had ONE problem with Rebekah.  We had two solid weeks of problems with Peter.  To top it off - we had several stealing incidents and he started 'racooning' again.
Racooning:  The behavior of getting up at night and taking things. Typically things taken are put under or near his bed.  Alternatively, getting into mischief at night.
Here are three stories (which I'm sure I'll laugh at someday) that demonstrate.

Story #1
At night William frequently will run to the store.  This particular night he had stopped on his way home from the casino and got some ice cream.  The next morning I woke up and noticed the gate open.  I knew someone had been up during the night, but I wasn't sure who.  I went downstairs to wake up the older two kids.  As I was gently shaking them from their slumber, Max came running downstairs and straight under the bed.  He started licking something.  I peered down to see what it was and immediately noticed an ice cream container.  It was the brand new ice cream William had picked up the night before.  Completely ruined of course.  Peter had gotten up, apparently looked in the freezer and found the ice cream and brought it back to bed...hiding it under there.  That same day I also found my stain remover and fabric softener under the bed.  I asked him why he took those things and he just told me he was keeping them safe.

Story #2
About a week or so after the first story, I went to pick up Peter and was told he had brought a 'tool' to school.  They handed me the tool and it became immediately clear why the confiscated it.  The tool was super sharp - I later learned it was used for drilling holes in sheet rock.  I poked its pointy end and asked Peter where it came from.  He looked downcast, as he always does when he his about to get in trouble, and replied 'the basement'.  I took the tool home and gave it to William, who confirmed it indeed had been in the basement.  He had used it to drill holes in the sheet rock when we had a water leak awhile back.  It was on top of a shelf over the washer/dryer unites.

Later that same day the kids came running in.  "There is a hole in the fence!"  Let me preface this by saying we have had a lot of trouble with boards falling off.  It is an old fence that really needs to be replaced.  So we asked if a board had fallen off.  The kids replied "No...it is an actual hole."  This puzzled William and I.  "Is it like where a knot was in a board?  A round circle that has fallen out?" I asked.  We have a few of those too.

"NO!" they replied.

"Well how did the hole get there?"  The kids shrugged their shoulder and told us they weren't really sure...but they were worried about Max (our escape artist dog) getting out.  So clearly the hole was large enough for him.

William made his way into the back yard to check out the fence. Very soon he came back in.

"Well there is indeed a hole in the fence.  And strangely, I found this chunk of fence on the ground.  It has a straight edge that perfectly matches the rest of the fence.  And so weird...I found this saw laying on the ground next to it.  I was pretty sure I left it on the shelf above the washer/dryer..."

The fence was fixed that day.  Rebekah supplied the idea and Peter supplied the tools.  They were trying to escape.

Story #3
On a Sunday morning I looked down and notice Peter's shorts weighed down.  There was clearly something in his pocket.  I point to the pocket and say "Hey Peter, what's in your pocket?"  The smile immediately disappears from his face and he fumbles around with his other pocket.  He pulls out a toy car, which I had already known he had brought.

"No...not that pocket." I said, trying to give him a chance to tell me the truth.  "The other pocket."

"Nothing is in that pocket."

I sighed and knew it must be bad.  Peter is not one to tell me the truth and it has really driven me batty.  (I'm a high truth person.)  "Peter, there is something in that pocket.  Take it out right now."  He slipped his hand in his pocket and pulled out a set of keys.

I went bananas.  I only imagined he had take the keys from somewhere and I had no idea where.  Someone was missing their keys!  "Peter!  Where did those keys come from?"  He stood there silent and unmoving - frozen with the keys dangling in the air.  I had to ask him 3 more times before he finally gave me an answer.

"At home."

They could have been from home, but I wasn't entirely sure.  I got down face level with him to make sure he understood.  Lying had been happening regularly so I really couldn't trust anything he was telling me. But he continued to repeat he got them from home.  I couldn't really do anything but take them home.  I later showed William and he thought perhaps they were the "lost" keys.  You know - all those useless keys you aren't sure why you are keeping?  All bundled together?

The very next day William ended up picking the kids up from school.  So he had the joy of being greeted by the teacher with her warm smile and poised disposition - the one that always told me Peter was at it again.  This time William got to learn that Peter had again taken the bundle of keys...plus a few more.  Our motorcycle keys.  He took the keys to school and passed them out to his friends.

We did get all the important keys returned to us and most (if not all) the unimportant ones. When I asked Peter why he took them he just shrugged his shoulders.  
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Oh the stories.  I'm sure there will be many more.  Peter is creative in his own right.  He isn't really all that interested in art, but he definitely has an interest in taking things apart and how things work. In fact, he has been waiting patiently for me to get all the pictures off my old phone so he can take that apart.  His patience has been amazing.

He struggles with self-control and impulsive behavior.  I'm confident he'll get that figured out one day.  Until then, we will just keep working with him.

He's funny, charming and confident in himself.  In fact, William told him the other day he was cute.  Peter was indignant and replied "No I'm not!  I'm awesome and cool!"  I love the confidence.  I want all my kids to know that they are absolutely awesome and cool!

He's also super caring.  He loves his baby siblings (he 'smothers' Paul the same way he 'smothered' Ruth!) and dotes on them.  He loves to kiss and hug Paul.  Ruth has been pushed to the back burner a bit (which we are working with Peter to understand that isn't nice), but I've had less trouble recently getting him to help Ruthie.  He's not nurturing like Rebekah.  But he is protective.  Fiercely so.  Don't mess with his siblings - that is for sure.  And I love that about him.

I also appreciate that if we hadn't had Ruth or Paul we would have never known exactly how loving this little boy could be.  I remember worrying, when I was pregnant with Ruth, whether he would accept her easily. I wondered if there would be jealousy issues.  There absolutely hasn't.  He's happy to share his space with those he loves.  And I would have never known if God hadn't chosen to bless us with 2 more special lives.

This fall is a huge milestone.  Peter starts the B.I.G. K. Eeek.  I'm not sure when that happened - but it is.  He's looking forward to starting kindergarten but I'm not sure he really understand what it all means. I think he mostly is just excited for a new adventure.  

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