Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Four Year Olds: Frustrating & Fascinating

I have lamented in previous postings about the frustrations of having a 4 year old. However, it seems that we have moved on to a new developmental stage and it's fascinating.

For months on end, my son refused to get dressed. Now he is not only dressing himself EVERY DAY but he is also brushing his own teeth and hair! Our mornings are MUCH easier now that he has decided to cooperate on these matters. However, I should mention that he insists on wearing size 3T pants so they are 2 inches too short. His clothing does not match. Ever. And he soaks his head with detangler as he beautifies himself in front of the mirror. (I just came up with a new rule today: if you are 4 years old then you are allowed to squirt the detangler 4 times. He was fine with this but is looking forward to turning 5 so that he can have 5 squirts.)

Also, for months on end my son would tell me that he wanted to stay a little boy forever and that he did NOT want to grow up. But that is changing too. The other day he was in tears and I asked him what was wrong and he said, "I am NEVER going to be a big, strong daddy!" I asked why and he said, "Because I can't do ANYTHING!!!!" I don't know what prompted the tears but I started to remind him of all the things he has learned to do that he couldn't do before: he knows his letters, he can write his name (a least he thinks so), he can get himself dressed . . . as I talked, he started to perk up and smile and say, "Yeah. That's right. I CAN do that!"

My son obviously looks up to my husband (not one of my kids has ever said anything about wanting to be a nurturing and selfless mom when they grow up). This was evident again the other day when I asked him to carry 2 stools from the kitchen to the mudroom. He carried them both at the same time and was VERY PROUD and announced to me, "Mom. Someday I am going to make a really big and strong husband." How cute. I keep telling my husband what a good job he is doing and how lucky he is that his boys want to grow up to be just like him.

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