Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What's Next?

Y'all know what all's been going on with Punkin, but I haven't updated y'all about Bubba in a while.

Bubba has been doing great. As usual. Bubba, for the most part, seems to be one of those kids on whom the sun is always shining. Bubba has never met a stranger. He's very outgoing and he has a great smile and people are just drawn to him. I'm sure it has nothing to do with his dimples or his three inch black eyelashes. Bubba is also great at making friends with older kids. Older boys just seem to think he's cool and he just eats up their attention.

Bubba had a wonderful kindergarten year and was accepted into the school's gifted program for first grade. And unlike most children, he wasn't really looking forward to the summer because he didn't want to go to (the horror!) camp. Not even overnight camp. Just daycamp at the local YMCA. I don't know what he thought was going to happen at camp, but he was sure it wasn't good.

Until he went.

At the end of the first day he climbed into my car and said "Mommy, this was the BEST.DAY.EVER." And he totally bought into everything the camp was "selling." You couldn't have asked for a more loyal and enthusiastic camper. He could rattle off the camp credo at the drop of a hat -- respect, responsibility,'m sure there are two more but I can't remember what they are. He could tell you, I'm certain. He also learned all the camp songs and sang them with gusto. Repeatedly.

And for his enthusiasm he was rewarded in week 4 by being named Camper of the Week. The weekly winner of this award received a YMCA Staff shirt signed by all the coaches, a prize worth more than gold. At the end of week two, as we were walking to the car, Bubba was telling me who had won for the week and I, a little worried that he would be disappointed if he never won, asked him how he would feel if he never got that award.

"It would be okay," he stated with equanimity. "There's lots of fun stuff about the Y besides Camper of the Week." And I could have just burst with pride right then and there at his great attitude. But apparently I wasn't the only one who noticed because just two weeks later Coach Lauren called me to tell me that Bubba had won Camper of the Week and could I come for the ceremony that afternoon. I would give anything to have been able to capture for posterity the look on Bubba's face when his name was called, but even though I didn't have my camera my heart will never forget that smile.

And now first grade has started. And I don't know who told him he could do this, but all of a sudden Bubba has started having ideas. Opinions. About how he wants to dress. About how he wants to wear his hair. About the types of activities he wants to be involved in. Until now, Bubba has always been my passive child. I've joked that if I didn't make him physically dress himself, he would be content to stand there like a little king while I dressed him. Frankly, I'm still not sure I won't have to go with him to college to wash his hair.

But now, now things are different. And today Bubba wanted to wear a mohawk to school. A mohawk. In the past whenever I was fixing his hair I'd put it in a mohawk and he would freak out. He like his hair flat to his head, thank you very much. I don't know what changed, if it was the skaters he saw over the weekend or the influence of friends at school, but all of a sudden he wanted one. He'd asked earlier in the week and I said no because I was afraid it would be a distraction in school, but he pointed out and I remembered seeing several children in the halls with mohawks. So, this morning I said yes. And while his hair was really more of a fauxhawk and didn't last the day, today was a big milestone for both of us. I've always said I was going to pick my battles. This one just didn't seem worth fighting.

A slightly bigger problem is that all of a sudden he's testing our boundaries a little bit. Getting a little sassy. Seeing how far he can push before we push back. It's a delicate dance we're all doing around here these days, trying to give him some autonomy but trying to maintain the level of respect that Mr. Daddy and I require. We don't want to squash him completely, but we all know that if you give a kid an inch they'll take ten miles.

I don't know who told Bubba he could grow up on me, but I guess I'm going to have to get used to it.


Laurel said...

Ah, yes. The opinions. Logan has had opinions since she was 4, thank you very much. I don't dare shop without her because if she doesn't pick it, she won't wear it. I just love opinions. Glad Bubba's are tempered with a sweet disposition.

Little Murray Sparkles said...

I'm always impressed with how you handle the delicate raising of chilrin'...keep it up!

for a different kind of girl said...

That is the face of a leader (or if not the leader, the leader's head PR guy!). It's a slippery slope when we realize our kids suddenly have these grand ideas and opinions, isn't it? It sounds like he's working a decent balance of good attitude and high interest, and truly, with a smile like that as the reward, I'd probably cave to him a ton!

Katie @ Can't Get There From Here said...

Oh, I envy you the two years you got "free." Gracie has been dancing this dance with us since she started pre-k! Right now - on top of the sass and the bossiness - I'm dealing with lying. Little things, like saying she's brushed her teeth when she hasn't or that she didn't have gum when she did, but they're EXHAUSTING for her poor, tired momma! It's a good thing she's a good kid just going through some growing issues or I'd just collapse now.

calicobebop said...

Would you just look at that happy confident little boy! He sounds like a great kid. And yeah, I totally understand that "pick your battle" thought - sometimes it's just not worth the effort. Yay for Bubba!