Sunday, July 31, 2016

All about Nicholas

Nicholas is 7 1/2 years old and going into the second grade. This post is all about my enthusiastic, energetic, extremely opinionated boy with a soft spot for animals and babies.

He'll be the first to tell you that he's not seven, he's seven and a half, and he gets really mad when kids tell him he's short or assume he is younger. He wears adult-sized shoes (he's a 1) for goodness sakes--he's not a little kid! (Nick also speaks in italics--you can hear the emphasis in his voice all the time. When I find him new shoes, he gets really excited--he must get that from me.

He loves riding his bike (yes, with training wheels), swimming (but not in the deep end), and reading with his "reading glasses". Nick will tell you that he needs glasses. He told that to the optometrist, too, but the optometrist said that Nicholas had 20/20 vision, which made him cry. Anyone who is anyone wears glasses, don't you know? (Harry Potter, for example.)

We found him some clear glasses at the Saver's, so at least he isn't ruining his 20/20 vision.

Nick can be a good helper, depending on his mood. This summer, he's helped me with weeding, watering, and laundry. He's big on "fairness," so when makes a mistake, I often have him make "reparations." Once he did a whole load of Henry's laundry after smacking him. I'm sure his future spouse will thank me for the laundy skills. Nick enjoys working in the garden with me, and he can already recognize many different plants. He's smart enough to recognize the weeds, too, and on one particularly hot day I paid him $2 to pull all the weeds from the garden in the corner of our yard. He did it, too!

Art and music are very important to Nick. Right now he takes individual drum lessons and plays with a kid band every week at Rock 101, an introductory class at School of Rock. He pretends to play all kinds of instruments, though, and can play a little bit of piano and guitar as well.

This summer Nick went to art camp and did lots of drawing and painting. He loves looking up "how to draw" videos on YouTube and following the directions. Unfortunately, he goes through a lot of paper because he insists on drawing with a "Sharpie" just like the people in the videos, and you can't erase permanent marker.

He loves animals, especially our cat Molly and my mom's dog Rusty.

Nick will even go outside and pick catnip especially for Molly. Once he figured out catnip was the main joy of her life, he started regularly sneaking out to get some.

Today we went to the pet store (we're thinking of getting some fish), and there was a customer there who brought in his snakes. Nick happily stroked this five-foot long blood python that was as thick around as my upper arm.

Nick is extremely creative in his play, and he'll often have elaborate play scenarios with Henry that really surprise me. Once, they set up their bunkbed as the Starbucks Drive-Thru and had me and Greg order drinks and snacks. Nick was able to quote my regular order, and he even remembered to ask for my phone and scan it to pay.

Nick can be very strong-willed, but he always knows what he wants and goes for it. He also has an excellent sense of direction. Today we took a little walk in the woods, and were temporarily turned around a bit. Okay, we were lost. I was distracted by the mosquitoes and the mud. It happens.

Nick was able to recognize both the general direction we'd come from, and the way the road should be. I asked two teenagers (each with bloodshot eyes and carrying a huge bags of chip--must've had the munchies) which direction the dog park was and they pointed. Nick insisted (and kept insisting) that they were wrong and we were going the wrong way! He turned out to be right, as verified by the lady jogging who explained (in a far more clear-eyed way) which path to take.

Finally, Nick is a very good big brother. I would say that about 90% of the time he's protecting Henry, helping with his seatbelt, pulling him in the wagon, or getting him a snack. The other 10% of the time they're fighting, as brothers are wont to do. Nick will not tolerate anyone else messing with his brother, though--Henry is his brother to tease.

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