Zayd on Family
He is an amazing big brother and can't wait to have a new baby to love. He says when he grows up he doesn't want to get married, but he wants to take care of 100 babies...but not if those babies grow up. He doesn't want "those kind of babies". He is excited to come to my next baby appointment because he wants to hear the baby. He has spent more time calmly sitting next to me, with nothing to do but wait and feel baby kicks. The kicks bring light to his adorable put-it-all-out-there face. I want to be clear that he has not foresaken his responsibilities to Zahra in anyway. He is her protector, best friend, mentor, and karate instructor. He treats her like an equal when she wants to be and like his special little sister when she wants things to go her way.
Zayd on Happiness
Zayd smiles more in recent months but he probably also worries more. He is coming to understand and express a fuller range of emotions. He thinks deep thoughts about love and family and even death and he asks lots of questions. He is happiest when he is being loved or praised. Hugs and kisses go a long way with this little man.
Zayd and His Brain
He is intelligent and is already reading and writing pretty remarkably. He is a list maker. He knows TONS about TONS of animals. He can list largest cats to smallest cats and might even name four African Cats you've never heard of. The Caracal was his favorite for a few months this year. He also loves whales: sperm whales because they attack boats, and blue whales because they are the biggest. He strictly checks out non-fiction books from the library these days unless Dad directs him towards the superhero section.
Zayd likes his hair and teeth neatly brushed. He independently dresses himself early each day. You will never have to tell Zayd to get dressed; by the time you are up, he is likely completely ready to start his day. He refuses to wear socks. He wears Crocs nearly everyday and claims to have itchy feet if you try and put anything else on. (The dermatologist confirms he has distinctly sweaty toes.) He has grown tall and is still rail thin.
Zayd would pretty much always rather stay home than go anywhere, except the zoo or possibly a "special-treat" place. Though he is apt to suggest you just take Zahra and bring him a donut/snowcone/milkshake. He likes strange strongly flavored foods like stinky goat cheese, or parmesan, super salty sheep's milk feta, cranberry juice, or sour lemon cookies. The only fruit he will eat is tart and crisp granny smith apples. He eats carrots at every meal.
I will try to get a movie up later this week, but here is a quick overview of his birthday:
First it was his walk around the sun at Montessori Schoolhouse. This should be his last Montessori walk. (Mom is teary.) He was serious, as always. When he was done, he got to release the kids from the circle time rug to set up for snack. He was only supposed to pick kids who were quiet, not fidgeting, and had their eyes closed. He didn't let a single kid go without making sure they were 100% compliant with Ms. Migdalia's rules. It probably took more than five minutes just to allow the 17 kids to go to their tables.
At home, we made a special dinner of parmesan, chicken, carrots, and rice with Soy Sauce for the birthday boy and bought his favorite gourmet Ho-Ho Cupcakes from Central Market.
He got some vintage 1950's Batman stuff, a huge 854piece Lego Police Station that should take about a week to build, and new size 5 clothes. (Mostly, the shorts are 4's but don't tell!) Zahra bought him a Lion King 2 action figure and wrapped it all by herself: cutting, taping and all. He gave her the biggest thank you hug and kiss but I didn't quite capture it. Zayd was patient and kind and grateful all night. I think we "filled his cup" and his happy face sure filled mine.