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Ethan 5.0

2016 January 11
by Becky


In the craziness of the holidays and birthdays and company and illnesses I completely neglected to write about all the things our giant five year old is up to these days. Ethan continues to be an incredible kid. Though we have tough days here and there, I consider him pretty darn easy. While he’s so self sufficient it often scares me, he’s still the lovey little guy that will snuggle up with his mom and dad any time.

Watching Ethan, we see a budding engineer. I never thought it possible to know this so early, but it’s very clear Ethan is following in his dad’s footsteps. He loves figuring out how things work, how things go together, and is always building. He tells us he wants to be an engineer like dad so they can work together when he’s big…but only part time. The other days he’ll be a paleontologist, digging up spinosauruses in a desert somewhere. College is going to be a fortune.

So it’s no surprise his favorite school day is Monday, because that’s when Ethan’s class gets to do STEAM Lab (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math). Lucky for us, the teachers at his school are nothing short of magnificent, so he’s always coming home with an exhilarating story about what experiment they tried or how they constructed a masterpiece. His STEAM Lab teacher gushes over him, telling me how involved and interested he is in class.


Luckily, he’s very well rounded so far. He likes to be outside, though sports aren’t his thing…yet. He loves gymnastics classes and swimming but baseball and soccer, not so much. He is very musical, singing and dancing around the house and soaks up what ever music we play for him—our playlists are diverse but it’s clear he’s a huge classic rock fan. He is creative, he likes so many different kinds of food, he likes to chill out with cartoons or a movie, and has whole conversations with imaginary characters.

Here’s a few of his favorite things:

Legos, Magnatiles…anything to build. Ethan can build for hours. After becoming a master at Duplo, this Christmas marked our switch to the real Lego bricks, sending him digging through bins of my old collection and the two new sets we gave him—they were assembled instantly. We also added 100 pieces to his Magnatile collection, now he can build even taller “Rescuebot Stations” and massive “ships”. He’s too young for K’Nex but has tried playing with the stash my parents saved…he’ll build with pretty much any medium.


Art. Never before has Ethan been the least bit interested in coloring, drawing, or writing…that is until about five months ago. He’s amazing!! Drawing pictures of dinosaurs and rainbows, signing his name on everything. He’s even become interested in coloring in the lines of more complex coloring sheets, so proud of his work. I pick him up for school and am usually told, “Mom! I’m not done with my drawing yet!” No class assignment goes uncompleted. He also loves clay, kinetic sand, and decorating his gingerbread house was quite the project this year.

Manipulation. This kid can talk his way into and out of a lot of trouble. He’s constantly playing the “Mom said…” and “Dad always…” cards and can turn on the tears in an instant. He has begun telling ridiculous tales to our babysitters, my favorite was that he “gets dessert in bed.” And if there’s something he wants? The negotiation tactics are improving at an alarming rate, it’s hard not to back down sometimes. Like when he BEGGED to watch Jurassic Park last weekend. (We caved).

Fashion. Every day, Ethan picks out his own outfits. He can put together a great ensemble, his top choices being some worn-in jeans or a pair of “skinny pants” (slim-line sweats I found at H&M). His ultimate desire is to wear PJs every day, all day. His favorite days are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday because he gets to wear his pjs down to breakfast. He barely wore anything else during our two week holiday break. The clothing item he can’t go without? Bombas socks. Pulled allllll the way up. He is OBSESSED.


Music. His little singing voice has made leaps and bounds in the last year, melodies ringing out loud and clear. Our house is rarely quiet, we love all kinds of music, and his favorites seem to be David Bowie (Space Oddity), and Emerson Lake and Palmer (Lucky Man). Lately we are all walking around singing the Star Wars and Jurassic Park themes on constant repeat.

Talking. Sounds weird to bring up, but this year Ethan’s speech changed so much. He started noticeably pronouncing everything, especially his “L’s”, so much so that HE noticed the change and is extremely proud. I love watching him annunciate harder words, repeating until they sound right, getting even more out of the incredible vocabulary he’s acquired…it’s endless.

Reading. We’ve never pushed Ethan to read or spell, just flooded his little brain with as many books as possible these past five years. We still read several books a night and have graduated to chapter books over 50% of the time, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Magic Tree House, and a few Ramona books. He especially loves detailed books about his favorite topics, Star Wars, dinosaurs, and space. To our delight, this year has marked major breakthroughs for Ethan’s reading and writing skills. At school he is sounding out words, spelling, scripting beautiful letters, and really enjoying it. His total lack of interest last year had me a tiny bit worried, but it just goes to show the difference a year can make. His teachers consistently comment on the interest and drive he has while doing his reading/writing school work.

Math. This one was a total surprise. Ethan loves basic math. We talk about it almost every day, he totally gets it and adds up numbers all on his own. Fingers crossed the interest continues!!

UnoUno!! Ethan beating us again.

A few other quick facts and milestones:

  • He lost his first tooth! Another one will be out soon, it’s hanging on by a thread.
  • I took him to his first musicals! We saw Beauty and Beast at the Muny, then Elf over Christmas at the Peabody.
  • He’s been in gymnastics once a week since the fall and loves it.
  • He has so many friends at school, his teachers say everyone wants to play with Ethan.
  • He is a bike riding fool! No training wheels, can go forever.
  • He loves to play Uno, and is really good.
  • He still loves animals, catching toads in the back yard was his favorite summer activity.
  • He always hugs his friends goodbye.Christmas-EthanMagnatiles
  • Once in a blue moon he gets our phones for a game of Angry Birds…he’s getting really good.
  • He saw his first “big kid” movie in the theater, the new Star Wars. Stu and I were so proud.
  • He is becoming a really amazing swimmer, he and Stu go to the indoor pool almost every weekend.

And overall, he’s a REALLY good big brother. Sure every now and then I catch him pushing Finn down to keep him away from a Magnatile creation or delicious snack, but more often I seem them playing together, making each other laugh, wrestling, or snuggling. Finn thinks Ethan is wonderful, wants to do everything just like his big bro…which is something we often explain to Ethan as he’s setting questionable examples. I watch them and can’t believe how lucky I am.

My itty boy is now huge and so smart. It just keeps getting more fun.

3 Responses
  1. Linda Johnson permalink
    January 12, 2016

    Ethan is one special grandson. He has the best personality and I miss him so much when I have to head back to Nebraska. He is growing up so fast and I love him dearly.
    Grandma J.

  2. Vi Spinner permalink
    January 12, 2016

    What an amazing year Ethan has had. Love how he enjoys school and gets so much from it. Very well rounded and a great brother. Lucky to have loving parents for good teachers and good examples. On to year five.

  3. January 19, 2016

    I love this post. Everything about it.
    Kristin recently posted..all clear on the top floorMy Profile

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