Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday to the Boy!

The Boy is four years old today, and in honor of that momentous occasion, I offer a snapshot of who he is at this point in time. I will treasure this when he's thirteen.

Okay, so the Boy is pretty much everything I could hope for in a child. Not that there were high expectations or anything like that. Oh, who am I kidding? Of course there are high expectations. But not in a "you should be a media mogul by now" kind of way. No, my expectations for my kids are that they become self-supporting, productive members of society. And that they are nice to me and their father. And that they stand up for themselves when the occasion calls for it. Everything else is pretty much gravy, right?

Anyway, the Boy is the best. To wit:
  • He's friendly, to the extent that he will share his most prized possessions, his vintage 1970's superhero action figures, with children he's only just met. He'll try to get them back a couple of minutes later, but the point is that he doesn't horde them and cry when a kid expresses an interest in his treasure trove.
  • He's really sweet to his sister. The Girl is cutting a shark's mouthful of teeth right now, and consequently she is not her typical bubble of sunshine. The Boy's reaction? He's been doing his level best to make her laugh. Yesterday (or yestermorn, as the Boy would say), Super Ninja took the kids to the grocery store. The Girl was howling because he wouldn't let her hold the eggs. To lighten up the situation, the Boy would touch things in the store that were cold (freezer doors, milk, etc.), and say, "Yee-owch! That's hot!" Then he'd proceed to waggle his arms and hop around in mock pain, like he was on a vaudeville stage or something. Apparently, the Girl was laughing so hard her giggles could have been mistaken for Jabba the Hutt's.
  • He's creative AND independent. The whole way back from Connecticut this weekend (for a visit with Super Ninja's best friend from his Stand By Me-ish years), the Boy told himself stories featuring his superheroes. He needed no input from me (who usually is assigned the role of Catwoman) or from Super Ninja (who is typically Batman or the Joker).
  • He's considerate. When Super Ninja sighed in the car on the way home from Connecticut (it got to be kind of a long trip with a whiny toddler yelling at us from the back seat), the Boy asked, "Dad, are you getting a headache?"
  • He gets excited by costumes. Like, last night, he saw a Peter Pan costume in his closet and insisted on wearing it and sleeping in it. I heard him come out of his room this morning at about 5:45 a.m., and I hustled to meet him (he has a tendency to wander into the Girl's room and climb into her crib with her, which wakes her up, and the grumpiness goes from zero to sixty in about 2 seconds). He wasn't in his room, and he wasn't in her room when I peeked in. Where was he? Sitting on the steps, resplendent in his Peter Pan attire, and with his feathered cap askew. Is there any better way to start your 4th birthday?
  • He's cautious. This is one of those personality traits that I can help him work through. Caution isn't inherently a bad thing. But he needs time to adapt to most new things. This one does not bellyflop in the ocean like his sister. He needs to work his way in, one toe at a time, at his own pace. I get that, and I want to help him understand that he needn't approach all things in life this way, 'cause it can really slow you down when it comes to enjoying and experimenting with new things.
  • He's smart. Oh, how smart this kid is. I'm not talking alphabet-and-counting smart. I'm talking has-a-better-command-of-the-English-language-than-most-adults smart.

Phew. That's all I've got for now. Suffice it to say, I'm enjoying the Boy. So, no sale to the gypsies this year.

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