Monday, March 12, 2012

My Four Year Old

I can't believe he's four. Four! And every time I look at a picture of him, frozen in time... I can really see what little man he has become.

He doesn't look like the little cherub version of him that I subconsciously keep stored in my mind and bring to recall whenever I hear his name. He is four! And handsome. :) And so, so silly. (His teacher has called him the class clown on more than one occasion... a bit worried about that one?) And super-smart. And still packed full of emotion (The good kind and the bad). He's learning so many things! He still loves gymnastics. He's learning to play soccer and is a great kicker. He's super-speedy on his big boy bike. He's learning to reason (whew!) and also learning to negotiate/give-and-take with Damon... although there is still PLENTY of screaming and fighting going on around here... and even a bit of soap in the mouth! His latest and greatest... "I'm gonna poop on you, Damon!"

He asks "what happens if..." questions to the point of my mental break-down. "Mama, what happens if we don't have walls? What happens if we don't have a nose? What happens if we don't have trees? What happens when we don't have bum-bums? What do we do to eagles? What makes our fingers get prunes? What happens if I go down, down, down the drain... does it stink down there? What happens if potty water comes out of the bath faucet?" You get the idea.
He's also super-interested in how things work. Machines. Pipes in the walls. Air conditioners, water-heaters, hoses, the brakes on the car, the fire sprinklers in the cieling... you name it. All must be explained in detail. It is exhausting... but I really do love it. He's inquisitive and curious and he loves to learn. :) He knows all his letters and sounds, some digraphs, and he is able to sound out some short cvc words and he doesn't even start kindergarten for two more years. He loves to draw and paint and his portraits have an incredible amount of detail in them (even though his pictures of me always end up resembling Sally from the Nightmare Before Christmas).

On the morning of his birthday, he woke up and I told him excitedly that he was now FOUR! He immediately put his hands on his face and felt every square inch… then he worriedly asked me, “Mom? Do I got wrinkles now? I’m old.”

He is so excited to be four and has been telling everyone how old he is. He also came out of time-out very concerned and asked me if he was still four or if he lost it. (This has actually given me quite a bit of leverage the last couple of weeks… “Dominic… oh no! Did you just hit your brother!? Oh dear, let me check your ear and make sure you didn’t lose your four. Oh whew! Yup, it’s still in there. You’d
better be careful.”) And the first week after his birthday, the question he asked me as soon as I woke him up from sleep in the mornings was, “Mom? Am I four still?” Very concerned and preoccupied with this new number of his.

It’s amazing what never-before-accomplished feats have been reached by just telling him he can use his “big four-year-old legs… or arms, or brain…whatever”. It’s magic. And I’m grateful.

Most of all…I’m grateful for this especially unique, funny, smart, extremely-spirited, loving little spirit in our family. Heaven sure knew what it was doing when they sent him to us. We needed this guy.

He is teaching us so many things. How to be more patient for sure… but also how to be more understanding, how to look at things from a different perspective, how to notice the little details in life and in everything, how to love and forgive unconditionally.
Love this little man.
Love him so much.
P.S. For memory's sake: We celebrated Dom's special day at Joe's Real BBQ, where Dominic ate his favorite homemade macaroni and cheese and his beloved corn bread... aaaand his honey butter (licked straight out of the cup). Dom picked out his own chocolate cake and ice cream, and after we sang Happy Birthday to him and ate dessert, he opened cards and presents from Mom and Dad, Mamie and Papa, Nana and Bumpa, Aunt Jolene and Uncle Goran, and Aunt Angela and Uncle Ross. We were so lucky to have Jolene and Goran visiting with us during Dom's big day, and so excited to share it with Mamie and Papa too! What a lucky duck!
Here's a little video clip of Dom blowing out his candles, and Damon whole-heartedly helping us sing the "Happy Birthday" song...