Sticky #3

Despite the roller coaster he keeps me on, Javi never fails to tickle me. Here's why:

* A few weeks ago, Billy traded our old Power Mac G3 for a small Acer pc that came stocked with anti-virus software and kid-friendly games. Javi almost lost his mind. He immediately wanted to surf the Internet and spent an entire afternoon playing Club Penguin (his favorite). Then he had to have a farm on Facebook and he had to test out all three of his Funkeys. Suffice it to say we had to lay down the computer law early on. But the love hasn't abated. Now he balances gaming with "research," such as finding out how to remove or cure Cherry Tree Syndrome.

As the summer has worn on, my little boy has gained a lot of confidence and maturity. He watches the clock to make sure we leave for all his activities in plenty of time, he gathers his materials and leads the way to whichever room or building his camp is in. He also lets me know if and when he's ready to leave after the camp is over (sigh). But I didn't realize how capable he is until I had to get to a meeting that started at the same time as his 3 pm art camp class.

All week we saw kids in the class coming and going through the building that houses the art studio (a collection of shops by crafters). So I took a gamble. I walked Javi to the elevator (the studio's on the third floor), but didn't accompany him up. At first, he was stressed. He pushed the button for himself and then talked through what to do once he got in the elevator (wait for the doors to close, push the 3 button, get off, walk into the room). He was nervous, but he took a deep breath and went for it. When I returned an hour later to pick him up, he was trying to convince the camp teacher that he was supposed to wait for me downstairs ... because he's "a pro at the elevator."

We put a stop to that line of thinking, but I definitely became his tagalong at drop off and pick up as he deftly and assuredly worked the elevator while rolling his eyes that I insisted on coming with him. I did warm his heart by not walking him into class though. For that, I got a big squeeze every afternoon.

* Because Javi is a bit taller and bigger than many children his age and because he likes to act like he's 25, Billy and I have a habit of treating him like the third parent or the teenaged older brother. We've been trying to dial it back, but some damage is already done. For instance, Javi can often be found putting Bella in timeout for some horrible misstep (such as touching his lego creations) or lecturing us on letting the milk run out or pulling things out of the garbage that we should've put in the recycling.

But I literally guffawed when I overheard him playing with his little neighborhood friend. The boy was strowing clothes and toys around Javi's room, and Javi was definitely exasperated. He yelled out, "Listen! If you want to act like a baby, I'll treat you like a baby! So snap out of it before you aren't allowed to play with me anymore!" Whoa, buddy. Good thing I broke it up and got everyone in line before Javi had to ground him.


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