12.15.2015

My Five Year Old

Anthony was the most wonderful surprise because he came so easily. We were so excited to have a sibling for Charlie, and when he was born my cheeks hurt from grinning. “Two boys” is all I kept saying. We didn’t know what we were having, and to have a brother for Charlie was a dream come true! 

AJ was huge compared to Charlie. A pound heavier, an inch longer, and rather than working his way up to a full blown cry he transitioned immediately to the loudest of wails. He learned to get what he wanted quickly, and what he wanted was to be fed every 2 hrs for 9 months. After he refused a bottle for 13 hrs for my mom at 9 months, he was busted. I would comfort him, but not feed him in the night after that, which he decided wasn’t worth waking for. But that was when we knew what we were in for with AJ. This child knows perseverance.

AJ was a great easy baby. Unless he didn’t like something. And then he learned how to let you know very young. When AJ has reached his limit of anything, you know it. And he wants everyone around to know it too. He has been carried out of mass stiff as a board before. He has laid down on the grocery store floor in protest more than once. Anthony is a firecracker.

He was born ready to go. He jumps up in the morning and put his clothes on immediately. Shoes too! I don’t think they come off until the end of the day. He likes to know things ahead of time and be prepared. Like when he was about to change preK classrooms and he wanted me to teach him how to read and tie his shoes before preK began.

At the same time he is so laid back. He is a willing participant in most any scheme Charlie imagines. Charlie knows just how to get him excited and give him enough to pull him in. AJ is very good natured. If someone needs to step up and give up something because there isn’t enough, AJ is the first to give something over to Charlie. He loves his big brother very much, but he definitely knows how to hold his own against Charlie, an important skill for a younger brother.

AJ does things on his own terms, and he knows what he likes and doesn’t like. Mostly he loves sports. Playing them. Watching them. Acting them out with characters. Scores are very important to AJ. He assumes they are very important to everyone else, which is why he updates me on the score of the real or fake game every single time it changes.

AJ likes to high five with his forehead to your hand, exploding upward. I think that sums him up well. When he was one, we used to say we were a little bruised up from his strong forms of affection J AJ is extremely athletic and tough. AJ is really naturally talented and having a sports loving dad and big brother don’t hurt. While Charlie started basketball at 5 and had to adjust to a bigger ball and 8 ft goal, AJ has been dribbling and playing on that size goal for a year or more.

AJ rarely cries from pain. He is crazy fast and can tackle with the best of them. He can send Charlie to his knees crying, intentionally or unintentionally, and then give me the look like “why is he crying again?”

AJ is competitive and believes in people following the rules. AJ loves board games and picked up things like Sorry and Monopoly Jr when he was barely four. AJ does not like losing, but that’s okay because he doesn’t lose that often. AJ takes his job to keep Charlie honest seriously.

AJ loves the wildcats. In fact, AJ wants to be a wildcat. He wants to play football for K-state and he knows he can’t do that until he is 18. Which brings us to what AJ doesn’t like-being little. Everyday he laments the fact that he is not 18. To the point of crying in bed. We tried to help him have a more attainable goal by counting down to football season. And counting down to Halloween when he would dress up like a football player. AJ is so serious about being a wildcat football player, that when Craig exercises AJ will join him. He will do the entire workout series from beginning to end, because he thinks it will help him reach his goal.

AJ is legalistic. He knows that Charlie is two years older than him, and while he doesn’t love that, he accepts it. Until he realized Charlie was turning 7 and he wouldn’t be 5 for another month. Which was absolutely the most unfair thing in the entire world. At least once a day, when it crossed his mind, we would relive the pity party. He totally thinks he is one of the big kids and has asked me for playdates with Charlie’s classmates as well as various sports figures.

AJ doesn’t worry much, but when he does it is things like “what if another team picks me that isn’t k-state and then I will have to ‘reverse; k-state?!” There is nothing more tragic. Except maybe playing for the Jayhawks. AJ does not like the Jayhawks. Unlike Charlie who will try to root for KU if they aren’t playing a team he likes better only because he feels everyone is ganging up on me in this house, AJ is clear as can be he will never under any circumstances root for KU.

AJ doesn’t mind marching to the beat of his own drum, and Craig and I have no influence in some areas. Like when we went to watch the Chiefs played the Seahawks and AJ learned that Tyler Lockett played for the Seahawks. While Craig and Charlie rooted for both teams, AJ could be heard loudly booing the Chiefs in their own stadium.

AJ is super smart and could walk around quoting math problems all day, but he’d rather watch a highlight video than have a bedtime story any day. AJ is affectionate, but he is less likely to have calm snuggle time. He is too busy for that. For a long time we’d have to put in a show and sneak some love, but thankfully that has changed!

AJ is his own kid. He is a dream come true. He will always be my baby, but it seems he is growing at twice the speed his brother did. AJ may have some strong dislikes, but when he decides he wants to do something he is all in. He went from not likely mass to saying the rosary in the adoration chapel and then attending weekday mass with me upon request. There is no one I’d rather have in my corner. He has the biggest capacity to love and persevere. He is shooting for the stars, and we have no doubt he will accomplish anything he puts his mind to! Even if that means the NFL!