Is 5 the Magical Age?

As so many of my readers already know, little kids create a really tough day to day. (Can I get a witness?)

My boys are 15 months apart, and #TwoUnderTwo was incredibly difficult for me. It’s actually why I started this blog. I wanted a reason to type the words “Doing It Right” into the computer on a regular basis, hopefully hard-wiring that message into my insecure and easily-broken (sleep-deprived) brain.

Someone (was it you Leah Rogin-Roper?) told me that five is the magical age. She told me that every year, she gets more and more time in her day, and that everything changes at five.

So far, she’s been right.

When my older son turned two, he gifted me with moments of peace by finding the pacifier for his crying baby brother. That same year, my mom taught him to retrieve a fresh diaper and wipes at changing time. Small things, for sure, but every moment matters when you’re mothering little ones.

At three, he started the PreK program – occupying full days for weeks at a time. And at home, he taught his little brother to play trains, magna-tiles, and chase. They engaged each other when I needed five minutes in the loo or ten to find the fish sticks.

And now, at four, he dresses himself. He does his own buckles in the car seat. He asks me for ice cream and if I say yes, he gets it himself. He even gets his own bowl and scoops it. He showers. He dries himself off. He hasn’t needed help in the bathroom for at least a year. He still cries when he’s frustrated, but not always. When we go for walks, he walks too. We push no stroller, carry no diaper bag, misplace no pacifier.

Last week, I woke up to I find him putting a bag into the recycling bin. “Because there’s not one in there,” he said. I know grown adults who don’t do that unprompted. (I might be one of those adults.)

It’s true. It gets easier every year.

In three months he turns five. If five is anything like Leah promised it would be, let me be a witness. Stay tuned. I’ll keep you posted.

Posted by

Mel Kozakiewicz a professor, editor, writer, and mother of two.

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