When people see Brady after not having seen him for a while, they exclaim “He’s gotten so big!” Because he has. Look at him on his birthday last year.
Just like Kyle, Brady looks older than he is, but he is very proud to be 6 now. He was up this morning before 6AM – he padded into our room and said “Today’s my birthday!” and then prodded us to get up for at least five minutes. He asked what changes. “Do I get to not sit in a booster seat now?” No, buddy. Still need that. It’s the rules. The most obvious change is that he will now be 100% in charge of his own bathroom hygiene, if you know what I mean, parents of children, and I think you do. We’ve been building up to that one for a few months, and I think that means I can finally say we’ve moved on from all potty responsibilities. It has only taken 8 years of parenting to get here!
This is Brady’s big day, but he wouldn’t be who he is without his big brother. No matter what they are doing, Brady always reverts back to jumping on his brother, or following him around, or wanting to sleep next to him. Sometimes Kyle can be helpful and polite, but most of the time he’s just antagonistic. This morning as Brady opened his birthday presents, I managed to stop him before he shouted out “Brady doesn’t have as many presents to open as I did!” I knew he was going to do it, because I can read his mind.
As much as Kyle is learning how to be a better big brother, Brady struggles to be the little brother with his own identity. It helps that he participates in different things. He plays baseball, and he enjoys playdates at other kids’ homes where Kyle is not invited. He’s in his own big-boy karate class now, and just got his first belt. He’s learning how to read for himself, although he still often guesses the words or has us fill in the blanks for him. He’s become much more self-sufficient with video games, so he doesn’t need his big brother’s help as often.
Brady was pretty mad when he learned that he had to go to school on his birthday. After all, it’s just another day to everyone else, right? We have our typical whirlwind of after-school activities, but when we all get home he’ll have his special birthday dinner. His request? My homemade pizza. Swoon.