As I mentioned in a recent post Nate is obsessed with Lego Star Wars the video game. He would play with Isaac all day long if he could. He talks about it all the time. He knows all these characters and their powers, etc. Sometimes it amazes me how much information he retains. I am pretty sure it is only a matter of time before he is smarter than me. ;-) While I have not been super consistent in doing "school" with Nate this year it is obvious that he is learning all the time. We go to the library and read together often. We do the occasional craft project together. There are a few educational websites that he is allowed to play games on - I'm pretty sure Nate is more computer savvy than some of his grandparents already. ;-) He can read simple books and do some simple arithmetic. Nate has inherited my brother's old Legos and he will spend hours building and creating vehicles and space ships and who knows what else. He is very curious and asks questions constantly.
I have been finding this stage to be a mixture of exciting and annoying. Along with being very smart, Nate is becoming more opinionated and defiant. He often asks a question and only to decide he doesn't like our answer and say that we are wrong. Not cool. He will decide that he doesn't like my agenda for the day and insist he has his own plan. Does not work that way, buddy.
Nate is becoming more helpful (sometimes) and in particular he helps me keep Joe from getting stuff he shouldn't now that he is so much more mobile. We have explained that Joe learns things differently than other kids and that is why he gets therapy, etc. But really we have attempted to not draw a whole lot of attention to Joe's special needs. So, given what Nate is used to at home he carries that over when he is at his cousins' house playing. When Nate seeing our 2yr nephew playing with "big boy toys" he tries to be helpful and take them away like he does with Joe. He is not making trouble, he really is trying to look out for the little guy. He does not really understand that other kids younger than Joe can do more than he does and play in ways that Joe cannot. I am not sure what to do. I don't want Nate to continue treating other kids like they are babies. However, I don't know if I want to explain completely how different Joe is to Nate at this age. Obviously he will know, there is no avoiding it completely. But I would rather wait until he is older. I want him to see Joe as Joe: his brother that he loves and adores and plays with... not Joe: his brother who is special needs and will always be different from other kids. Is that so bad? ** pictured below is Nate helping at snack-time by giving Joe a "choice" between his drink and a cracker.Even with the frustrations that come up in our daily life, I am trying to really drink in and appreciate all the joys and precious moments that also come with this phase as I know things will be changing soon when the baby arrives. I want to give my boys as much of my time and attention that I can now because its only a matter of time before I have another kiddo to need my love and care.