Time seems like a rare commodity these days, but it’s time for a little update:
We’ve seen a lot of changes since last time, and welcome ones!
Personality: Still very strong-willed and wanting to do things a certain way. Enjoys rituals, private jokes (mostly sentences from Petit Ours Brun that he thinks are funny). Still loves his bears: Nounours, Tinky-Winky, Lala and Blanc. A very cuddly guy, who can never receive and give enough hugs (“Un calin!”). He still likes things organized and doesn’t mind putting things away.
Language: a marked improvement from a couple of months back, when we were starting to wonder whether the trilingual thing was getting to be too much for him. The frustrated/habitual screams have given way to rarer, much more tolerable low-grade whining. Yay! His French and English are slowly but surely improving, and German is rapidly regaining popularity (he was basically not speaking at all these past few months): his teacher says he now speaks more and more, and very importantly, now communicates easily with kids at school.
Socialization: Improvements in language and help from his classmates (“Axel, don’t scream!”) and an ever-patient and supportive teacher means that he now plays well with other kids (older kids in particular) at school. Since being in Kindergarten full-time, he also seems to be a lot more “épanoui,” like he’s enjoying his life and thriving thanks to school.
With adults he is less shy and is even starting to show a liking to social niceties and conventions when he is so inclined. His teacher says he insists on saying “Guten Appetit” every mealtime. He also makes sure to shake people’s hands before leaving school and says “Tschüssie” to all who are within earshot. In general I think he enjoys politeness (though of course as I’m about to publish this, he’s recently screamed in a couple of people’s faces as they were trying to say hello. Sigh.) When he helpfully hands me something, he systematically says “Merci Axel!” And of course he loves saying goodnight to his little sister when it’s time for her to go to bed.
Sleep: Beautiful. Bedtime is 8-ish, and is getting to the point where the slight fussing and endless negotiation is a thing of the past. And he generally sleeps until 6:30 or 7am. He loves his “real” bed and I think I can credit it for the huge improvement in his sleep. Very rarely naps at home anymore, sadly, but he will spend an hour in his room, more or less quietly.
Diet: Ugh. He is a very picky kid. I’d been hoping to slowly transition him into eating dinner with us, but though he inspects our food every evening, he refuses to sample it. So he’s still eating the usual handful of things. I think he’s the only kid I know who does not eat pasta. Well, not at home anyway. I think he’s easier to feed at school (but then peer pressure is always helpful). At least, one great thing that he’s learned in school is to take his plate back to the kitchen when he’s done. I’m impressed each time!
Learning: Still very interested in the mechanics of things, counting, letters… I think he might be ready to be taught how to read soon. We are thinking his Laufrad is now too small and he will be ready to join his bike-riding cohorts soon. We tried to take him to the pool (there is a great pool here, with jacuzzi, big slides etc…) recently but it was too overwhelming for him, though his sister had a great time. He is getting very good at doing things independently. Potty-training wise, all has been great, he now just uses the bathroom, which never ceases to amaze me. He also dresses himself alone without constant nagging (the solution for me was to take him into the bathroom with his clothes and wait until he was dressed. Not having distractions within eyesight made the process a lot faster!)
All in all, he is quickly gaining in independence and is turning out to be a very smart, contemplative, sensitive little boy, though still a bit suspicious of new-ness.