What should probably be a few different blog posts

I forgot about this picture until I found it on my camera today. My dad made Zekey a robot costume while my parents were visiting a while back. He played with it constantly for about a week, at which point it was destroying in a failed attempt to use it as a slide.
Thank the heavens for 3 day weekends. I was able to fit in not only one on one time with each of my boys but even one on one time with my husband (I very cleverly pushed Zeke's entire day's schedule an hour ahead on Valentines day, which resulted exactly as planned with in him in bed asleep at 7:30 none the wiser and the two of us able to enjoy a nice romantic dinner with just a newborn in arms...and since Mal went to bed himself around 9 we even then got *gasp* alone time). Josh also got one on one time with each of his sons this weekend. Zekey enjoyed this so much that when Mal fell asleep and I went to join the two of them for their joint nap Zeke pushed me off the bed and told me "no". I went and slept on the couch.

Now that I think about it, not only did I get one on one time with each of the 3 men in my life, I even got an hour completely and totally to myself, my first in over a month. My Valentines gift from Josh was the ability to take a baby-free bath (and also a surprise flower delivery, though I had said no "real" gifts this year). Josh got the above mentioned romantic dinner, as well as the delicious velvet cake balls that Zeke was kind enough to help me make.

Zeke is my little helper in all things. Especially in cooking and dishes. Its amazing how having a newborn in the house serves as a reminder of how much Zeke has grown and developed. It has only made us closer. Its funny how I've taken for granted the way I can talk to him now, and how much that he understands. I often feel like Zeke is my little partner more than a plain dependent. He can grab me a diaper and wipes for the baby, or help me set the table for dinner, and often he gets to Malachi and comforts him with binky or soft touch or turning on the vibration in his chair before I can.
He is growing up in so many ways. Not only does he have his face and body parts, the hand motions to all of our nursery songs, counting to 3, and all the animals and their sounds down pat but I recently discovered that he knows all his colors as well. For a long time I've thought that he just knew the colors yellow and red but he picked a colors book from the library this week and went on to name them all (poo-purl was my personal favorite). I guess next I will have to start on his ABC's, which I am sad to admit I have done nothing with because of my sheer overwhelment with the idea of teaching someone to read.

His intelligence is almost scary at times. Especially during those "he is always listening" moments, like when I mention to Josh that we need to go to the grocery store today and suddenly we notice Zeke putting on his shoes and coat. Or when he learns to open YET ANOTHER kind of child safety lock. Its a good thing that Im not huge into child-proofing and a great thing that I keep very few toxic cleaners in the house, because that kid breaks into any child proofed container after a few hours of studying. I have resorted to all of my non-homemade cleaners being kept in the basement (he loves to clean so much that these are irresistible to him) and not allowing Zeke to even look at child safely locks anymore.

I just finished the book The Highly Sensitive Child. It was recommended by a friend who read it and immediately thought of my Ezekiel. It was good timing for me because I have been thinking alot about the balance of nature vs nurture lately.

As in, Zeke is very sensitive. Im not talking about emotionally sensitive, by the way, although that is part of it, but sensitive to outside stimulus. For example he thrives off of a predictable schedule and an uncluttered environment, he is overwhelmed by loud and/or crowded places, he is easily upset by tense or dramatic TV, while he is very adaptable in the long run he is slow to accept new situations and people, ect. How much of that is nature (ie that is the way he was born) or nurture (that is the way he was raised).

The book's stance is that most of it is nature, and that 15% of people are born highly sensitive. It goes on to describe and explain what high sensitivity is and how it works and give tips on how to handle this in your child, as well as point out the wonderful things about this, lets admit it, sometimes frustrating personality trait. The best part of the book for me, however, is just the reassurance that its probably nature. Being highly sensitive myself (I also hate loud noise, thrive off of schedule, cant stand clutter, always overwhelmed, and cant watch horror movies, tear jerkers, or CSI-type TV) I've always been slightly afraid that I created this monster. Well, I guess either way I did but at least I did it genetically and not by poor parenting. ;)

The book has a great chapter on the 9 temperament traits. The Positive Discipline series also goes into that and while I totally recommend any of the Positive Discipline books, this book xplains them a lot better. The 9 temperament traits are the kind of thing that I just eat up, although I fully realize their uselessness. If you know who your child is, and the way they are, what is the real use in putting a label on it? But anyone that does Facebook quizes totally understands the draw.

Anyways, Zeke is up so I better jet.
But real quick, before I forget, at the grocery store an elderly lady said to Josh and I "He's very friendly isnt he?" reffering to Zeke. Let me assure you, I love my child, I love his sensitivity and there are so soo many great things that come from it. But one thing that has come from it is the fact that that no one, NO ONE, has ever EVER called Zeke friendly. Ever. There has never been any reason to. He is so very shy and so very untrusting of strangers that his typical response to them is either hiding or glaring.

Yet she called him friendly...because he WAS.

Josh and I literally walked 4 more steps and then did a happy dance.


Sheena said...

Cardboard boxes are one of THE BEST "toys" a child can have. days of endless play. Thanks for the reminder.

Also, my favorite methods for teaching abc's and 123's:
when you help Zeke wash his hands, sing the abc song. this not only helps him learn the letters, but ensures he washes his hands long enough. I finish mine with "now your hands are nice and clean, and it's time to dry them off."

123's- count his teeth as you brush them. My boys are both up to twenty teeth and Ellis can now count to twenty. again, it teaches them to brush slowly (count slowly) so all the teeth have a chance of getting cleaned.

Ellis may not recognize letters yet, but he is getting an understanding of their importance.

kate said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Kim said...

I love the photo of Zeke and Mal! Zeke looks like such a great big brother! We're trying to do the ABCs around here too. I've put it off far too long because it really just seems so overwhelming. But with Preston pointing out half the letters in the alphabet and singing part of the song, I really don't think I can put it off any longer. lol.

I do a lot of the nature vs nuture thought too. I'm glad that you read and fully enjoyed the book! And too funny that after you come to peace more with Zeke's shy-er personality someone comments on how "friendly" he is!

Anonymous said...

Well... that's quiet interessting but actually i have a hard time understanding it... wonder what others have to say..