I love the time around Joshua's birthday. As we get to make a big deal about how much of a big boy he's becoming, it also gives us the opportunity to give him more responsibility and to try new things that he has been afraid to do in the past.
Josh has never taken a shower. He has always been afraid of it, so has always taken baths. A few weeks ago he proclaimed that when he turned 4 he wanted to take a shower. So on his 4th birthday, we let him give it a try. He had so much fun, telling us that "it's not scary, it's like rain!" So we're working on teaching him how to do a good job washing himself so that he can take a shower without Mommy or Daddy in there with him (for now we're swim-suiting up and getting in with him). He's doing a great job and I think he'll be a fully self sufficient showerer in no time.
He has done such a good job over the last few months taking care of our garden. He has carefully watered it every day (or at least most days) and has been so gentle with the growing fruits and veggies so as not to knock them off the plant before they're ready. Since he has done such a good job, we decided to get him his very own pet for his birthday. So on Sunday we went out and got him his very own Beta fish. Of course he picked out a red one (his favorite color) and named him Soosy (not Sushi). =) Of course we'll be helping with taking care of Soosy, but primarily he will be Joshua's responsibility. He's doing great so far! I'll post pictures of Soosy soon!
The last thing we are starting with him now that he is a big 4 year old is working on learning to read. I have no idea how to teach anyone to read, but with the help of the internet, we're giving it a try. I'm not concerned with Joshua being the smartest or the best in his kindergarten class. But I do want to continue to challenge him and that seems like the next logical step. He can identify many letters, but isn't super confident with them, especially the lower case. So the other night I made him some flash cards with upper case on one side and lower case on the other. We've made a game out of it and he's doing great in identifying the letters. I hope that we can have him reading at least sometime over this next year. Wish us luck!