My youngest child turned four last weekend. We celebrated his birthday on a rainy Saturday morning by diverting the well-planned outdoor birthday party to Chuck E. Cheese, where he and his friends ate cake and dropped tokens into machine after machine, without regard to actually playing any games or collecting tickets. They all had a blast.
Being four means a couple of things to this child. First of all, Will is still the most appropriate name we could have chosen for him, he continues to be stubborn and completely uninterested in negotiation. Like my friend in California says, who has a little spitfire she named Jette, had she known this whole naming/personality/identity thing were so tied together, she would have named the child Serenity. But, Serenity is not what she has. She has a Jette. With four engines. I have a Will.
Unlike Drew at this age, for whom explanation, reason and order ruled the day, Will cares not what YOU think he should do in any given situation, he is only interested in what HE WANTS to do, in its entirety, the way it is planned out in his brain, and not divided out into the parts that a grownup might find acceptable. He does not negotiate. He is China.
He is evermore vocal about being treated like a big boy, like Drew. Drew plays soccer, Will wants to play soccer, so we signed him up for the extra-curricular soccer program at the preschool. He likes his big boy Sunday school class, no more playing with the babies in the church nursery for him. And he's traded his Mickey Mouse bedspread for a new one, Spiderman, of course, just like Drew's.
He has also taken over his brother's role as the pants dropper in the house, er, when out of the house. I suppose Drew has finally grown out of this, he is at the age now where other boys at school or in the neighborhood no longer find playing with your penis or showing off your underwear to be amusing, but rather embarrassing and uncomfortable, which I guess is good. But Will, my God, Will...has decided his role in his current preschool class is to pass these antics down to the next generation. His teacher is not exactly thrilled. (Note, Kansas is just a tad, or maybe a TAD, more conservative than California in this regard.) (Also, his teacher is the mother of girls.)
But, this morning, for the first time in a while, he climbed into bed with us at around 5am, with his little feet and hands of icicles, having apparently kicked the covers off earlier in the night and finally woke up freezing to death and came for a warm snuggle. His legs are longer, his body is leaner, but it still fits in front of me like a little spoon, soft and warm and smelling of Johnson's baby shampoo.
And also urine soaked diaper. Which again, just another reminder he's not all that big after all.