Friday, March 6, 2015
Four year olds.
Recently, a friend with a one, almost-two-year old texted me, asking for advice on dealing with whiney, cry-baby, terrible-two children.
My advice (obviously) was to lock herself in the bathroom and watch 30 Rock while eating secret candy. Because terrible-twos are no joke.
And the terrible-threes are so much more terrible than even that. And all you can do is wait it out.
But four? Four is good. On pretty much a daily basis, I find myself watching my children and feeling so overwhelmingly grateful for them, their kindness, intelligence, humor, and actions. I cannot believe how good Grey and Micah are lately.
Yes, we still have occasional tantrums or violence, but not every day- and certainly not every half hour!
At four, Grey and Micah are best friends. They are finally the friends I'd always imagined twins ought to be. They play all day long, they share, they imagine together, they take turns! But my favorite: they discuss ideas and try to understand things together. I overheard the greatest conversation a couple weeks ago.
Micah said, "Jesus has all the power because he is God." And Grey said, "No, Heavenly Father is God. Jesus is the SON of God." That's right, people. They were discussing (with understanding!) religious doctrine. They talked about it until they came to an understanding themselves, and then moved on to other important topics (like which kind of donut is the very best kind of donut.) They play pretend all day, (and make huge messes all over the house) and I also overheard the end of this conversation yesterday while they played "grocery shopping."
"Thank you so much, sir!"
"You're welcome, young man!"
And when I said, "I'm sorry, Micah, I didn't hear you." He immediately corrected me, "If you didn't hear what I said, you should say 'I beg your pardon.'"
They are so polite! They are so smart, and kind! They are so sweet, and I love them. I am so proud of the boys that they are becoming.
So here are some individual little things about each of them:
Grey. Grey is so calm. He allows himself to be reasoned with, and likewise expects that we will be reasonable when he has requests. If he can explain why he wants or did something, he expects that we will understand and accept his choices. (Even if his explanation is "I just hit him because I was very angry and felt like I wanted to hit him. If you can forgive me, I won't do it any more.")
His favorite color is pink, and he immediately picks out pink things whenever they have choice in anything. Balloons, donuts, toys, cups? All pink. It is very upsetting to him that there aren't a lot of pink clothes for four year old boys.
He is so loving to littler kids, and especially babies. He's genuinely interested in helping and entertaining them, especially August- although he has a really hard time grasping the concept of being more gentle with them than he would need to be with a kid his size. A few days ago, we saw a friend's newborn and he begged to see the baby up close. Then he just whispered to her in the sweetest baby-talk voice, "Hi, little one! Hi, little girl! How are you today? Are you looking around at the big world?"
And later when we went to the dinosaur museum with friends, he talked to and played with their one-year old, trying to show and explain exhibits to him and trying to catch him when he toddled off. (But Grey shoved him down when it looked like the baby was escaping, because he seriously cannot figure out how to gently do things!)
He tends to be scared more easily in movies than Micah, and ends up on our bedroom floor most nights (we have a no children in the bed rule that is semi-enforced). But once he has decided that something is not frightening, he isn't scared anymore. Once he decided that he wasn't worried about climbing trees, for example, he happily spent 25 minutes scurrying up and down the big maple tree in our yard- going to extremely high and uncomfortable (for me) heights, and then figuring out how to get back down.
Grey is also my book-devourer and story teller. While Micah likes to read, lately it's all Grey ever wants to do.
If I would sit and read to him for three hours in a row: he would sit and listen. He can recite many books by heart and often tells me stories in a very book-like way. (He uses literary phrases and sentence structure, he is a story teller!) and he will often open heavy books without pictures and say "Should I read this to you?" And then begin talking, adding in bits from poems or songs, lines from stories, pieces of fairy tales. He'll continue this until he notices my attention waning. Sometimes ten minutes or more!
Micah. Micah is my entertainer. He is so passionate and expressive, and he doesn't always have a reason for doing things except that he did them! His feelings get hurt easily, because he's such a lover. He wants everyone to play with him and love him and think he's the funniest and fastest (or smartest, coolest, best jumper, etc).
With Micah, it's all Batman- all the time. In fact, he regularly tells me, "I'm really into Batman." He watches the Batman cartoon, which I think is scary! But he loves it. He knows tons of information about Batman (somehow) and gets so frustrated with me if I don't know who villains are, or what equipment is in the Batcave.
He is obsessed with telling jokes, but doesn't understand the format- he just wants to make us laugh. If he tells what he thinks is a joke, and no one responds, he yells "JOKE!" until we all laugh!
He has a book with the knock-knock joke "Dishes... (Dishes who?)... Dishes a nice place to be."
He tells that joke all the time, but he tells it like this:
Micah: Say Knock Knock!
Person: Knock Knock!
Micah: Dishes a nice place to be! JOKE!
Since he usually gets a (confused) laugh, he is satisfied with this delivery.
Micah loves to dance, and asks me every single day if we can have a dance party. We especially like to dance to Shake it Off by Taylor Swift, I Get a Kick Out of You by Frank Sinatra, and anything from the Disney Pandora. (And he knows all the words to those songs and sings them regularly.) He also plays Just Dance all the time, but I think it's partly as an excuse to have the TV on, since that's the only game we can play on weekdays. He loves video games and recently invented a new game for he and Grey to play, wherein they pretend that they controlling each other in a video game. One boy will sit on the couch, punching an imaginary controller and the the other boy will run, somersault, jump, and crawl all over the room being "controlled" by their brother. It's so funny to watch and listen to!
("Hey, I'm not pushing jump, I'm pushing roll! Start rolling!")
Micah also loves doing his chores and getting them checked off the chore chart, so he is happy to get dressed, make his bed, and brush his teeth and hair himself most days!
These boys are so fun. There are so many things they do now that I'm so proud of and impressed by (like they finally learned how to clean up after themselves!)
I love the good boys they're growing into and am proud of them, and excited to see how they continue to age and grow and change. I love my silly, crazy, amazing little men. Being their mom is the best ever.