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When I look over at Brayden as he is talking to me, I see a child. Not a little child, not a preschooler, not a little one at all. I see a child. A child missing several teeth (we call him toothless these days). A child with mature concerns. As we have come up on his birthday season, I have reflected on his birth and those early weeks with him and just really can’t believe he is a seven year old little guy.
These last few months have really been idealic with Brayden. He seemed to get an extra boost of maturity or something. He has become so great with his sisters. He was great before, but he has matured into putting their needs, wants, and desires before his own. One day, he was watching a show on TV. I went into McKenna’s room to get her up from her nap, and when I came out with her, he had stopped his show and started her favorite show. It was such a sweet moment. She actually likes the show he was watching just fine and I am sure she would have sat and watched it without complaint, but he decided to stop his own show and turn on her very favorite. He has been doing so many sweet big brother things like this.
I think that something that has influenced this sweet behavior was us finding out the next baby would be a girl. He was very disappointed. He wanted a brother so strongly and he had even picked out a name for his brother. We really pondered and prayed over how to help him to be excited to have a sister. One thing we felt we should stress was that he got to be the big brother and protector of all of these sweet sisters. We pointed out how much his sisters love him and look up to him and that he could be counted on to always be there for them. I think that has made him think more about that role and he has really embraced it.
Eating is good with no big news to report.
Sleeping is also good with no big news to report. Oh, I guess something of interest is something we noticed when he was two. Brayden will wake up with night terrors if he is too hot at night. Now that he is older, it is funny because he has zero memory of it happening the next day. This was often an issue in our previous home because his room was really hot. In our current home, his room is not so it has never been an issue here until recently. That is because it has been warm plus he thinks he needs about ten blankets on at night. We have been removing blankets to have as many as he can handle without night terrors. I think we have found it.
He has had a couple of times of growing pains in the last few months.
Nothing of significance here.
Things at school have been going very well. He is in the last few days of school now for the year. He was recognized for his citizenship for the month of April and received an award and best of all, got to eat lunch with a deputy. I don’t know if all children are like this, but my children love police officers. They are celebrities to my children. One day, we saw some eating lunch at the same place we were eating lunch, and the kids stopped and stared at them in awe. They were nice and smiled and said hi and even Kaitlyn was too starstruck to say more than “hi!” and giggle. So this was a great reward for Brayden.
There have been several times recently that Brayden has had nice notes from school. They have done nice notes for various reasons (one includes birthday). Something I have noticed as a common trend is he always gets comments that he lets everyone play and that he will tell someone who is bullying to stop. Those comments just warm my heart as a mom! I love that he is known for being someone who accepts everyone and even someone who stands up for people. That willingness definitely stems from his “bossy” nature. It just goes to show you that pretty much any quality can be used for good. You don’t want to squash innate qualities in your children–you just want to harness them in the right direction. He has been working so hard on not being bossy, but has no problem standing up for people who need it.
He has also been getting far ahead of his class during what is called “self-start” time, so his teacher has had him reading books and testing on them. She let him start out with first grade level books that he could read in about 20 minutes. Then she wanted him to move up to more difficult books. He went up to fourth grade level, took several days to read the book, and still scored 100% on the test. You all know how much I love and value reading, so you know that is something that makes me happy, too.
Like I said earlier, he has been so great at home. He is working so hard to do everything right that he should. He does things without being asked (like get ready for bed). He is kind to his sisters. He is helpful around the house. He jumps in and helps where he sees a need.
He also recently spoke in primary and wrote the talk all by himself. I was worried, but didn’t intervene. He did a great job! He even had a thesis statement, supporting information, and ended on a thesis statement again. I couldn’t have organized it better myself. He also bore his testimony in church by himself and did a great job (this was another terrifying moment for me–children can be so unpredictable!).
Things are just going well right now. Brayden is trying his very best every day to be the best he can. That isn’t to say we never have to correct him, but overall, things are just serene. This has been a period in parenting where you see efforts come to fruition and it gives you strength to carry on and continue efforts into the future.
A goal to set for Brayden now to work on would be contentment. Some people have a natural propensity for being happy for what they have while others seem to more look at the one negative among the 10 positive things. Brayden often will have moments like this. I am not sure if it is a personality thing at this point or a maturity thing. So we are working with him to learn to see the positive and to be optimistic. Optimism is a great skill and really helps make people happy. There is so much to be grateful for, even when there are hard times.
Favorite toy is still, hands down, Legos.
WHAT WE ARE READING
We are still reading the same series. I should add he also reads various picture books as well as science books.
- Harry Potter Harry Potter Paperback Box Set (Books 1-7)
- Chronicles of Narnia Chronicles of Narnia Box Set
- How to Train Your Dragon How to Train Your Dragon
- The Indian in the Cupboard–this was a very favorite The Indian in the Cupboard
- The Boxcar Children
The Boxcar Children Books 1-4
- The Adam-Joshua Capers
The Monster in the Third Dresser Drawer
I don’t want to post a detailed schedule of his day on the internet, so I will do generalities.
Before School (day starts at 7 AM)
Before school he does these activities:
- Gets ready (shower, dressed, pray, brush teeth, make bed, eat breakfast)
- Read church magazine (I like to read an article from a church magazine we get to help him have a peaceful frame of mind before going to school)
- Plays with Kaitlyn
- He sometimes practices his piano before school–sometimes after school
- School stuff
- Practice piano if didn’t do it in the morning
- Video game time (three days a week)
- Play with siblings
- Family time
- Get ready for bed (in bed by 8-8:30 PM)
Right now, he has baseball and swimming lessons. We recently finished up piano lessons for the summer and just finished a season of soccer.