At four-and-a-half years old our first son, Junior, isn't quite so junior anymore.
Lately he's been throwing us for a loop. He can do it all by himself. NO, HE NEEDS HELP. No, he can handle it. NO, MOM I NEED YOU. One minute he's beating his chest and declaring, "I'm brave! Braver than Dad!" In the next breath he's whimpering up at me, pleading with me to pick him up and carry him.
At close to 50 pounds, that's no small feat.
He loves nursery school, so much so that he gets into the car before me and yells to me to hurry up. Yet he won't tell us what he does at nursery school. We're able to piece together some of his activities based on the sheer volume of crafts he brings home, but I'm convinced he took an oath of silence the day we registered.
He uses the word "like" a lot. He got that from me, which means I'm a valley girl who doesn't know it.
He's musically inclined. I prefer it when the performances take place after 8:30 a.m., but I realize that's not always an option.
Junior has my temper and I'm sorry for that. When I watch how Chuck handles him at his finest, I see how lucky we are to have such a patient man in our lives. When they cuddle on the couch, I see how lucky Junior is to be so loved.
When I asked Junior what he was doing the other day and he replied, "Not kicking Everette," it made me realize that when Everette is big enough, Junior's probably going to have a few black eyes.
Junior's been seized by the jealousy bug—to the point of counting seconds on hugs and kisses and claiming that Everette's lasted longer. He's also been seized by the "NO, EVERETTE! DON'T TOUCH THAT, EVERETTE!" bug.
He has no idea what his brother is going to do to his toys.
It's best that way.
I miss the malleable mini man Junior was at three. Some days I don't recognize the little giraffe who is racing around the house, demanding that I watch "the coolest move ever." He is quick to say no and even quicker to offer a bargain. I had no idea that four-year-olds were such used car salesmen.
But I love Junior at four. I love his "Mom, I sneezed and tooted does that mean I snooted?" I love his crazy self-portraits.
Most of all, I love the fact that even though I have known him his whole life I am still finding out who he is.