"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ru, Here and Now

 Time to stop for a minute and think about this oldest boy of mine. What is he made of at the moment? Snips and snails and puppy dog tails undoubtedly but there are always a few unique ingredients if I take the time to pause and notice. Here's the rundown:

Ru Loves:
  • Dogs and calves. Dogs have always been his heart animal (and interestingly his Chinese birth year animal too) but lately he's been open mouthed and willingly slobbered on for any calf he sees in addition to all canines that happen by. I think the calf attraction comes from reading a lot of Farmer Boy and hearing so much about Almonzo's yearing to have a team of calves of his own to train. 
  • Stories of all kinds. I have yet to outlast his attention span...EVER, while reading to him from books. He frequently and eagerly requests rote, oral storytelling too and never wants them to stop. He will sit with books for hours on end, flipping through them and imagining the plots and we have several multi-cd books on disc that he listens and listens and listens too....every naptime, every nighttime, and most mornings if we end up in the car. Mommy eventually had to plea bargain for afternoons to be Mommy audio material time when driving. Pretty cool problem. The boy has ink in his veins. I like it.
  • Graphic novels. His particular passions involve the trio of Tin-Tin, Asterix and Obelix and Calvin and Hobbes although he'll dip into Star Wars, Zita the Space-girl or Garfield on a whim too. He heads right for the comic book shelf in the library and spends all his time there every week.
  • Playing outdoors. He is out every single day, no matter what the weather. He does all kinds of stuff...messing around with sticks, digging, lying on the lawn watching the sky, climbing the apple tree...etc. He loves to be out and he has no trouble making up his own fun. Makes a mama proud. :)
  • Avocados w/ lime juice and salt. He and I are the house avocado lovers. Anytime he sees me preparing the slice one open he plea bargains for half of it. I don't mind sharing though since it makes me so happy to have him share my love the divine "alligator pear." We sometimes snuggle up together and split one for a snack, half a lime for each of us and a few cranks of the sea salt grinder and then we eat them with matching demitasse spoons, right out of the shells. Mmmmm.....
  • Video game arcades. A has been taking the boys out for a special one-on-one Daddy Outing in rotation and Ru almost always wants to go to the huge video arcade a few towns over. He calls it his "most secret, favoritist place" and claims to be withholding it's identity and location from the rest of the family, lest we all discover the deep happiness to be found there. He pronounces it "art cave" which makes me want to giggle every time.
  • Lemonade. Whenever he's allowed a special drink for a treat at the store or a restaurant he always asks for lemonade. It used to always be orange juice but I think the tide may be turning. I foresee a sidewalk stand in our future one of these days.
  • The t.v. show How It's Made. He's obsessed! I'd never heard of this show until we accidentally bumped into it on Netflix on a whim but boy do I hear about it now. I hear it is a cable show from The Science Channel, basically the premise is that they take you into factories or wherever an object originates from and show you the nuts and bolts of how it is created. We've seen: snowboards, guitars, pencils, Cheerios, paintballs, kayaks and lots more, and I don't think this trend is going to be over anytime too soon. We've still got several episodes left. Love to watch his curiosity and hear him re-telling all the details to A over the dinner table later that night.
  • Scaring people. He has discovered the fabulous comic effect and power-tinged elements of the startle reflex. He's far too good at scaring his little brothers who are frankly a big jittery around him now and far too bad at scaring his father and I who always give him bland reactions. This interest hits the nexus of two of his favorite topics at the moment: joking and power. Interesting to watch him struggle to understand and agreeably execute the old "Boo!" trick.
  • Opening the car doors. A has started letting Ru have the car keys to go open up the doors on mornings when we're all trying to rush out of the house together. He feels like a million bucks to have his daddy's big jangly key chain and the responsibility of herding his two younger brothers into their seats.
 Ru Hates:
  • Soup. Once in a fit of sobbing angst he told me that I was terribly mean because I always pick on him by doing horrible things like always making soup for dinner. Poor A (a real soup lover) had a good laugh over that one, I haven't actually quit making soup all together but knowing that it will be completely boycotted by the younger set has taken my output down a bit. Ru won't touch the stuff beyond the obligatory mouthful which goes down with much shuddering, no matter the ingredients. 
  • Tension in movies. He calls it "scary movies" but the term misleads most people...we're not talking bad guys with guns and masks...he just means scenes of any tension or danger or stress or worry or fear. He can't handle it. It's fine in books, but these kinds of feelings in movies are too potent for him. I thought this was just a little kid thing until Dee grew past him in his tolerance level. We'll frequently notice now that Ru will leave the room in a dead panic and refuse the rest of a movie Dee is happily watching with no issues whatsoever. It's just the way this boy is wired. Tension gets to him.
  • Going to sleep. Still not a fan of naps or actually bedding down at night. He likes to keep himself awake as long as possible...and in the morning he's nigh unto impossible to rouse. Groggy to the core. Silly little mouse. Once he's down he sleeps hard and long and doesn't rouse at all but man, he sure does fight it.
  • Girls. We've reached the legendary stage when girls are icky. Although, to be fair...when coaxed a bit he will admit that he's not so much repulsed by them as interested and hurt when they giggle and run away or tease him. He really means he can't figure girls out. He insists that if the baby is a girl there will be hell to pay. Yesterday at lunch I floated the idea that maybe a sister would be good, "She could tell girls to be nice to you and help you understand them. And even if no other girls would be your friend, she would, right?" He seemed pretty into that idea. Again, Dee is so different here. 
  • Waiting for things. He really hates postponements and having people put him off or make him wait. Patience is not his strong suite. He is a bit prone to pestering, even after he's been told yes if the desired outcome doesn't happen fast enough. Trying to work on teaching him a bit about respect and patience and delayed gratification. Big lessons.
  • Taking his vitamins. He has all chewable, candy tasting vitamins and he says he likes the flavors, but every single morning I have to watch him to be sure he actually eats what I hand out instead of palming them into his pants or dropping them on the floor or shuttling them to the kitchen on his dirty plate. Still not sure what that's all about.

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