1. He’s still obsessed with garbage trucks. He still gets up at 6 a.m. every Wednesday morning to watch the garbage truck and follow it around the neighborhood. Neighbors are less likely to express their concern about him being out there by himself in the dark now because a) they’re used to it, and b) he’s not six anymore. He still comes home from school every Wednesday and recreates the garbage route in our neighborhood by making trash cans out of paper and placing them about the living room in the formation of our street and the neighboring streets and pretending to be the garbage truck emptying the trash cans. It’s a very involved process.

 

2. He has a crazy-good memory. He’s especially good with dates. He remembers everyone’s birthday. He remembers that I forgot to pack Girlfriend a snack on March 15. He remembers that Daddy was sick on June 20 and June 21 in 2011. Now that he’s decided to learn his times tables, he remembers all of those too. He remembers all the ways to make 84 and 64. He also remembers how to spell things. He does very well on his spelling tests, even if he doesn’t understand what most of the words mean. He likes to talk about these things that he remembers.

 

3. What can’t he remember? To hang his towel back up after he takes a shower. In fairness, I’m not sure if he forgets to do this, or if he just enjoys having me come into his and Mister Bubby’s room and say, “What are all these towels doing on the floor, you jerks?” That cracks him up.

 

4. He likes to sing in our church choir. He doesn’t particularly carry a tune. But he’s totally committed, unlike most of our choir members. Last month we sang “Count Your Blessings,” and there’s a line in the second verse that says, “Are you ever burdened with a load of care?” and his father (our choir director) was singing it around the house one day:

 

SD (singing): Are you ever burdened with a looooad of—

ELVIS (singing): CRAAAAP!!!

 

We shouldn’t have laughed, but we did, and now, well, that’s just how the song goes in our house.

 

5. He’s beginning to know a lot about football. It comes from playing NCAA Football on the PS3 and watching Ducks games with his dad and older brother. He could probably play football someday. He’s built like a freaking truck.

 

6. I think his favorite subject at school is science. I don’t know if he understands anything he learns in science, but he talks about it a lot.

 

7. He talks in complete sentences most of the time now. His syntax is not always accurate, but you can more or less get his meaning 95 percent of the time. He can answer questions and carry on a reasonable conversation for several turns before losing interest.

 

8. He always rinses with mouthwash after brushing his teeth. I don’t remember how or when that started, but he’s very particular about his mouthwash. He’s got to have it. He prefers the minty fresh variety. He tried the eucalyptus once because it was purple and he was curious, but he didn’t care for it.

 

9. He’s developed a taste for sparkling water. He has to buy all the different flavors when we go to the store. Arrowhead now makes a black cherry flavored sparkling water that tastes like cough syrup and none of the rest of us can stand it. I’m not sure Elvis himself cares for it, but it exists, so he insists on having it in our sparkling water rotation, even if he has to drink the whole liter himself. It’s the principle of the thing.

 

10. He is ten years old today!

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ELVIS!

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