Practically Five

At the zoo, I quickly realized that my family was not going to fit into one car of the train. (File this under “big-family problems.”)

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After some scrambling, we sorted ourselves into two: Asher and my significant other and I sat in the front car, and Selah took Noah to the second car, where there was a lady sitting with her toddler. I made eye contact with her and we smiled.

As the train started to head out, the lady greeted the children. “How old are you?” she asked Noah.

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“I’ll be five in two years,” Noah explained. The lady looked a little surprised, and then laughed.

He was right. Noah is three. Though it probably sounds like he is also a math genius, it’s really that his brother is five and thus he wants nothing more than to be five too. When Asher turned five, Noah started telling people that he was five, and he would doggedly insist that he was, even though I reminded him that he was still two. When counting, he would automatically describe any group of objects as “five.” Someone in the family has clearly told him that he’ll be five in two years.

Asher is still five. Noah is now three. I suspect that this adds to his belief that if he just keeps going, he’ll eventually catch up with Asher. Some of the problem is that he thinks he is just like Asher, and perceives no difference between them. They are more or less the same size. They like many of the same things. Noah has a very hard time understanding why Asher is allowed to do things he is not allowed to do (just as Asher has a hard time understanding why Selah gets to do things he doesn’t get to do).

A friend gave us two bikes. One was perfect for Asher, who recently learned how to ride his tiny bike and was ready for the next size up. The other was the same size and the same color as the first one, and I told the boys they each got one.

The problem with this is that Noah, who is too afraid to ride the 12-inch bike even when I’m holding it, wants to ride this larger one. “I want to ride the really dangerous one,” he told me yesterday when we got home from walking around the neighborhood while Asher biked. But when I tried to put him on the seat, he screamed, “Whoa! Whoa!” and got kind of accusatory toward me as if I were trying to kill him.

In the race between siblings, I feel like I am not winning. But maybe I will in two years.

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