I’m not sure why four is such a big deal for kids. Maybe it’s just that they’ve become increasingly aware of what age means with respect to their place in the world. A few months ago, JJ’s friend Q was waking up in the middle of the night screaming, “I’m not four yet! I’m not four!” Another friend recently announced that she wouldn’t be turning four, period. Four is serious business.
JJ was very, very excited about turning four. One of his closest friends is four and a half, and he idolizes her. “When will I be four and a half, Mommy?” He must ask me that at least 20 times a day.
Four is…interesting. Suddenly, the child who used to insist on being carried everywhere throws a screaming fit if he doesn’t get to open the car door and climb into his carseat. God help you if you flush the toilet for him or clear his dinner dishes. JJ is all about independence—as long as it’s on his terms, of course.
For JJ’s preschool’s parent education class, we were assigned reading from
So this morning I decided to give him the opportunity to struggle. “I’d like you to pick out your clothes and get dressed yourself,” I said cheerfully. I expected some resistance, but I must confess I was unprepared for the full-fledged freakout that ensued. After about 20 minutes of hysteria, JJ launched himself into my arms and sobbed, “Mommy, it’s so hard being four.”
It's true. Growing up is hard. And he is only four, after all. So I’ll tell you what: if I’m still wiping his ass by the time we attend