Four. A presidential term. A college education. The number of Beatles.
But today, four means the length of time Peanut has been a part of our world.
I’ve struggled with what to write about Peanut on his fourth birthday. Struggled partly because I’m still in a post party weekend exhaustion funk, partly because the past year has been all over the map. Three was not exactly an easy age. Peanut discovered his power. The power to stall, to pick the most inconvenient (read: public) moments to misbehave, to hit, to negotiate everything, to push my buttons.
Although this new found power turned a lot of our day-to-day interactions into a virtual tug-of-war that has often driven me to the brink of my patience, we have also had some super fantastic moments.
Peanut started preschool where a whole new little boy began to emerge. A confident, although sometimes coy, learner. A kid who started to learn how to make friends and negotiate those relationships on his own. A boy who is starting to find his legs (in all their gangly, knobby-kneed glory) and use them for more coordinated play, running, jumping, dancing, climbing. A curious child before school, he is now even more so.
He is a creative child when it comes to narrative play and building, less so when it comes to coloring or art. He can be literal to a fault. He is a sponge when it comes to letters, spelling, numbers, books. He is a creature of habit. He loves slapstick and will watch Wipeout with his daddy (DVR’d for Saturday morning viewing) and America’s Funniest Videos just to laugh at people falling or getting hit in the face with something. I watch simply to watch him, giggling at his reactions.
He also became a big brother this year. He can be a sweet and loving big brother. He loves to make Pumpkin laugh, will offer him toys and roll a ball with him to Pumpkin’s delight. And then, he can test his boundaries with baby brother with a random whack, push or bonk. Recent weeks have shown Peanut finding more joy in his brother and the potential for their play relationship and I can’t wait to see what develops as Pumpkin continues to grow.
He continues to amaze, confound and tickle me. I am blessed to have him in my life, Pumpkin is lucky to have him as a big brother and our family wouldn’t be the same without him. Even on his most difficult days, I count myself lucky to be his mama.
Happy Birthday, Peanut.