How My Four-Year-Old Taught Me About Optimism With a Game of Chutes and Ladders

It always amazes me how different each of the boys are.  They really do have different personalities, likes, dislikes, and of course, funny sayings.  Lately, D (4.5 years) has been obsessed with the game – Chutes and Ladders.  He has played it with different people, but God bless Grammy for playing with him over and over and over again when she came to visit a few weeks ago.  Oh, to have a grandmother's patience!

Chutes and Ladders

D started half day pre-k yesterday.  He has stayed home with me all of his life, except the two times he went to Parents' Day Out (it was his idea to go so after he didn't want to go anymore, and since the rest of us minus Daddy were staying home, I let him quit.  Some may say that was bad, but I wasn’t going to force a three-year-old to go if he doesn't want to.)  He also went with his older brother three hours a week to "school" with a teacher friend from church, which was a very beneficial supplement to homeschool.  He learned so much and had fun, but he was also the only other student besides the Captain.

So, I NEVER thought he would actually enjoy pre-k.  Monday was the first day and he didn't shed a tear.  In fact, I was kind of hanging around his chair as he began coloring his paper and he turned to me and said "ok, you can go now."  I was SO proud of him, but yikes, rip my heart out, kid!  Yesterday there were near tears, but he ended up having a great day and even earned a certificate for good behavior!  He can't remember what he did to earn it, but hey, he's four.  

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The Boy That Never Yawns

The other night, when Daddy and I were telling the Captain bedtime stories and Baby D had already gone to sleep in his own room, something happened that was strange….the Captain yawned.  After four+ years of being the mother of this child, I realized that he doesn't yawn very often.  I asked Daddy to confirm and he laughed and agreed, although we hadn't thought about it, really.

It's strange….Baby D yawns ALLLL the time and is a pretty good sleeper, but the Captain rarely yawns!  I was reminded of back in the day when all the sleeping experts said to watch for cues that he is sleepy so we would know when to put him to bed.  Well, one of the most obvious clues was yawning and he just would never yawn so we would never know.  And if he did yawn, you bet we'd put him down that very instant!  Which, often times, we'd put him down after a yawn and alas, he'd talk to himself in his crib for an hour before falling asleep, which stressed me out, but I got over it.

So what other cues were there to show he was tired?  That's a good question.  He's only told us he was sleepy a handful of times, mostly when he is sick.  On New Year's Eve, we allowed him to stay up past midnight for the first time in his life.  He went to sleep at about 12:45 and woke up just an hour later than his average time.  He then took a nap of regular length and acted completely normal (for a four year old boy.)  Weird.  I'm still trying to catch up on the sleep I lost when the Captain was a baby.  And no, I'm really not kidding!  This kid slept 45 minutes at a time off and on until he was a few months old and as I've said many, many times, didn't sleep all the way through the night consistently until he was 18 months old.  So, yeah, still catching up on that sleep.  wink

The Captain hasn't always shown signs of exhaustion like I've heard that other children do.  Sure, he gets a little grumpy if he misses his nap, but that boy can roll on and on without passing out until we MAKE him go to bed.  With Baby D, you KNOW when he needs to go to sleep and that he can't make it much longer without closing his eyes and falling asleep…

So how can this be?  Daddy loves sleep.  Mommy loves sleep and doesn't function well without 8 hours.  Baby D loves sleep and sleeps 11-13 hours a night and has slept through the night for most of his life AND usually is happy when it's time to go to bed!  Then, there's the Captain, who rarely yawns, only ever fell asleep in his high chair once in his babyhood, fell asleep on the couch once, is bright eyed before all of the rest of us, no matter what time he went to bed, and told us last night that "I have energy all the time, I don't need to sleep."  This is the kid that STILL​ wakes up in the middle of the night and comes to sleep on a tiny fold out couch on our bedroom floor, which CAN'T be quality sleep.


I heard a report once…and Business Insider reports, as well, that a small group – 1 – 3% – of the population can function very well on just a few hours of sleep.  Some of these sleepless people are very successful, such as Donald Trump, who claims to only sleep 3 or 4 hours a night, Jay Leno, who only sleeps 5 hours a night, and Martha Stewart, who sleeps LESS THAN four hours a night.  I am very interested to know how these people slept when they were children!  Maybe they all caught up on their sleep as children so they didn't need as much as adults?  ha!  Either way, I'm not giving up on the Captain until he's a teenager and doesn't sleep until 10 or later on Saturdays…..

How much sleep do you need?  What about your kids?

Captain Fussybuckets’ Birthday Interview

I saw this idea on a blog once and so we gave it a shot!  It turned out really fun!  Check out Captain Fussybuckets' birthday interview:

1.  How old are you?  "3….I mean 4!"

2.  What is your favorite color?  "green"

3.  What is your favorite food?  "lasagna"

4.  What is your favorite thing to drink?  "Dr. Pepper and water"  (I should point out that he has had DP VERY rarely!)

5.  What is your favorite toy?  "a huge dump truck….I mean a trumpet"

6.  Who are your favorite friends?  "my cousins and my friends from school and my friends from church"

7.  What do you like to do?  "play with my brother"

8.  What do you want to be when you grow up?  "a youth minister"  (haha!  Like Daddy!)

9.  What color is your hair?  "red"

10.  What color are your eyes?  "green"  (except they're really blue!)

11.  What is your favorite sport?  "soccer"

12.  What is your favorite song?  "Behold He Comes" ("Days of Elijah")

13.  What do you like to do with Daddy?  "play band"

14.  What do you like to do with Mommy?  "make crafts"

15.  What do you like to do with your brother?  "play dance"

16.  What is your favorite restaurant?  "Chick-Fil-A because there's a playground"

17.  What is easy for you to do?  "ride the gator"

18.  What is hard for you to do?  "play the real trumpet"

19.  What is your favorite thing to do at school?  "have snack"

20.  What is your favorite thing about church?  "when we play with Noah's ark"

21.  What is your favorite thing to wear?  "My favorite shirt is the Texas Rangers shirt."

22.  What is your favorite show?  "Peppa Pig"

23.   What is your favorite book?  "Are You My Mommy?"

24.  What has been your favorite place to visit?  "To Oklahoma"

25.  What is your favorite thing that you did when you were 3?  "When my birthday came."