Lucien loves having a new surprise to open every morning – he runs out to his table, where he knows it will be waiting. I love how we are spreading out the fun. He is not overwhelmed and has ample time to enjoy and appreciate each gift.
(This tradition has also become a way to gently and naturally wean him from his morning nursing session. Most mornings he is too busy and excited to remember to ask, and the couple mornings that he did remember, I was able to have a heart-to-heart with him about growing up. We are now down to just one nursing session per day, right before bed.)
On the second day of Christmas Lucien got a house for his Calico Critters, thanks to Grandma and Grandpa. It even came with furniture. He loves putting the baby bunnies to bed. He also likes “planting” K cups in the yard. It seems no matter what fun toys are in the house, the K cups will always be a favorite.
The third day of Christmas was a new bubble gun and a bottle of bubble solution. Lucien likes to pretend he is a police officer and shout “Radar gun!” while shooting me with bubbles. Apparently I move too quickly through the house?
The fourth day of Christmas was a book and special certificate. Lucien has been asking to go to the Ice Palace for months, now, so his Dad and I decided to take him. He was so excited on the way there, but unfortunately the day did not turn out quite as he planned. Even with a walker to hold onto and Mom and Dad right there to support him, it was hard and it was scary.
As Dad put it: “I’m proud of the Mancub. We had a good mental hormesis and learning moment. We got him passes to the Ice Palace because he was enthusiastic about trying to ice skate. Then he realized that it’s hard to skate and even stand up. In the end, he made it on the ice even though he was deathly terrified. He was the youngest kid there, but he did it.”
I was so proud of Lucien, and so impressed with Dad, for the kind and loving, yet insistent way he taught Lucien that we don’t give up just because things are hard. He made it all the way around the ice. See that picture? His face was wet – he had been crying earlier because he was afraid – but he was smiling with pride because he did it!
On the fifth day of Christmas, Grandma and Grandpa gave to Lucien … more Calico Critters (A hedgehog family joined the bunnies in their house. They even come with combs so Lucien can brush their hair!) and a Kumon tracing workbook. Lucien and I have been having a lot of fun with this one, as evidenced in the videos…
On the sixth day of Christmas, Lucien got another book and certificate. We had let our zoo membership lapse, and it was past time to renew! We had such a fun adventure, seeing the animals, visiting with our favorite zoo volunteers, playing on the playground, and eating a picnic lunch under the shady trees.
All of this excitement, plus Lucien’s refusal to nap, hasn’t left him tired. Nope, not at all.
The seventh day of Christmas was also New Year’s Eve, so I got Lucien a wipe-off wall calendar and marker. We talked about the new year, the months of the year, the days of the week, and the days in each months. Good teachable moment! Then we filled in the dates and some fun activities on the calendar. I am hoping that a visual reminder of our schedule for the month will help Lucien be prepared for all the activity and travel and changes they we have coming up this year.
We also celebrated New Year’s Eve by visiting Target. Lucien told me he wanted to spend some of the money he got for Christmas. He chose a play doh toy, and was so excited about opening and playing with it that we sat down right there at the Starbucks tables and got everything out. (Great location, in my opinion!) He proceeded to play baker for an entire hour.
Later in the morning we joined in the New Year’s celebrations at the Discovery Center. We made party hats and even attended a countdown and balloon drop at noon! The afternoon and evening we spent quietly at home, and were in bed at our normal time. I wished Lucien a Happy New Year before he fell asleep. I told him how amazed I was by how much he has grown and learned in the past year, how it was an absolutely wonderful year because of him, how I think our next year together will be even better, and how I can’t wait to see how he grows in 2015.