Today you turned 4. You are the bossiest four year old that I have ever encountered. But you are not cruel in your bossiness, it's kind of a matter of fact bossiness. For example, when you need to go to the bathroom you come and find me and say, "Mommy, I have to go poops. You can wipe my hiney." You say it in such a way that actually entices me to join you in the bathroom, and instead of feeling like I am a butt wiping slave, I feel like I have just been invited to the circus. The same scenario plays out concerning food and beverage. "You can get me some apple juice, mommy. Here's the cup." "You can make me some eggs." And just in case I happen to have a memory lapse, you remind me, "They are in the refrigerator, get them now."
You have recently developed a love of hanging random objects off of your person. If you are wearing sweat pants you will say to me, "You can change my pants, mommy. I need loops and pockets." I know that once I change you I am sure to see you scurrying around the house with a tire iron, screwdriver, extension cord or something as equally dangerous hanging from some opening in your clothing.
You love playing with the little Playmobil pirates and vikings. I hide in the hallway so that I can listen freely to the clever conversations that you have with your guys, and to see the way that you fashion the men into their boats and hideouts and assemble guns and swords into their hands. You knit your brows together and I wonder what you are thinking. I wish for one small moment that I was omniscient and the wonders of your creative mind could be available to me. I take selfish delight that you are mine.
I have a very bad habit of treating you like a baby even though you are well past the baby stage. I think that I do this, in part, because you are the youngest and because you are the last child we can have due to "the surgery." By four your brothers were doing their own laundry and preparing dinner for your father and me. You on the other hand still have me put your shoes on for you, and they are slip-ons. I can't say that I mind though. I am holding on to your babiness for selfish reasons. Maybe I can halt the inevitable growing up that has to happen.
You smile freely and you wear your pure heart on your sleeve. You will often come up to me, put your hand on my face and say, "You're my sweet mommy." In those moments I am able to forget that you boss me around and scream so loud that it makes my ears bleed. The morning when we first wake up is our time. I make you some chocolate milk and we sit together on the couch looking out the window, relishing the silence. Sometimes we talk about the things that we see and the day that lies ahead of us. I am keenly aware that those quiet moments with you are going to lessen as you grow older, much in the same way that they have with your brothers. I try to overcome this feeling of melancholy and live in the now. I hope you remember those times with me and know that should you need a quiet moment on the couch with some chocolate milk, I'll be there waiting.