My heart bursts with love when I think about my four-year old. He is my biggest fan. When we are apart, I can remember conversations and start giggling or just smile looking at pictures of us.
But when we’re together, you might get any number of different interactions! Within the last 24 hours:
- He used several swear words (correctly!) directed at me and wished me dead because I told him he couldn’t have any gum in the car.
- He tested out his new backpack for kindergarten and could not contain his enthusiasm while unzipping secret zippers and counting all the amazing pouches — there are 8!
- He cycled on his two wheeler superfast around his preschool yard while mostly remembering to avoid small children and say “Excuse me” to adults.
- We were caught hugging at preschool and the teacher thought we should be photographed because of how cute we were.
- I washed his mouth out with soap and he did not like it (see the aforementioned gum incident).
- He took photos of me (“of your beautiful face” he says when buttering me up) on my iPhone and edited them creatively because that’s all you can do when Mommy doesn’t share her password.
- He told me that he is much too young for clearing his own dishes after dinner while insisting he is too old for the plastic cups from IKEA and using phrases like “not necessarily”.
- He ate waffles and peanut butter for dinner. Again.
- I sneaked in on him sleeping for one final kiss goodnight.
I could go on and on about the mix of personality and behavior traits I see shining through at this age or you could buy Bunmi Laditan’s spot-on Toddlers Are A**holes: It’s Not Your Fault and realize that the Freaking Fours is a thing and that just because four-year olds can read their own names, they are still a little bit savage on the inside.
Yes, when we are together, the puppy love gives way to real parenting, discipline, explanations. I can see him maturing into a socially adept, physically capable, take-apart-everything boy. Pretty soon, this little boy won’t want to be my blog fodder anymore. Sniff.
For sure, I see that the common experience of parenting is diverging based on the needs, personalities, and talents of the kid. You might spend your weekends at gymnastics or swimming while I’m trying to get my kiddo to stop hiding the batteries from the remote control.