Patrick amuses me every day, even on the days when he's "challenging". The other night when we were in the car driving home, he was regaling me with a story about a caterpillar that crept across a branch and made himself a cocoon. And he was explaining how he was peering through a window to look at Jason at one point. He also told me that he had noticed his friend on the playground at school. It's really funny when an almost 4-year-old uses words like crept, peering, and noticed in proper context and with his adorable little voice. He's had some other good ones lately that I can't remember, but actually has been a favorite lately as well...as in "Actually Mama, I would like to have some chocolate instead of baby carrots."
Jason's been teaching Patrick to add numbers. He uses his fingers and we're working on how to go higher than 10--he's OK if he's only going to 11 or 12, but gets a little confused beyond that. He's gotten very good at visual number references--he can simply look at a group of objects and no longer has to count them out loud to figure out how many there are. That's one of the things that's helping a lot with adding. When we drive home, he likes to practice adding. The other day, I asked "Patrick, what's 2+3?" and he replied (picture counting on fingers--two on one hand, three on the other) "One, two, three, four, FIVE!" Then I asked "What's 3+4?" and he replied "Achat, shtayim, shalosh, arba, chamesh, shesh, SHEVA!" He did it in Hebrew. I was mightily impressed.
Before this past summer, he would cry nearly every day when we dropped him off at daycare. He was always perfectly happy right after we left, but it was heartbreaking to leave him with tears running down his face. Now, however, we get halfway to school and he's saying "I want to be at school now!" This morning he said it while he was still in jammies. I don't know if it's simply that he's older or if he just loves the JCC as much as we do, but it does my heart good to know that he's so happy there. He's made a lot of friends, which is wonderful to see for a shy boy like Patrick*, and is excited to see them and play with them every day. He is learning so much and we're thrilled that we switched him to a place where they don't focus on academics, but there's a lot of learning incorporated with the playing. We'll be keeping him there for official pre-school next year.
His birthday is on December 3rd and his party is on the 2nd. For those of you who are also Jewish, you can probably see the problem we're going to have. Party on the 2nd = presents. Birthday on the 3rd = presents. Hanukkah on the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th = presents from both sides of the family. Oh wait, then we get two weeks off and then Christmas on the 25th = presents from Jason's side of the family and my dad's side of the family. We do bring at least half of his toys to the basement to be brought out at different times of the year (we trade out toys--if he wants a new one from the basement, he has to bring one of his other toys down there). But still. He's going to be spoiled beyond belief by New Year's.
Especially since we bought him the present he's been asking for since almost his last birthday--drums. Bongoes, really, but he'll be thrilled all the same. And yes, we're insane.
*Don't laugh, he really is shy when it's a new situation and new people. Ask his teachers--he barely spoke the first two months at the JCC. You all just know him well and can't remember that when you first met him, he was probably hiding behind my leg.