The thing I loved most when my kids were 4-years-old was that I could finally see them as people, and catch glimpses of their future grown-up selves. They were more independent, their faces suddenly began to look less baby-ish and more kid-ish, and their personalities weren’t hidden by the fact that they were fully dependent on me for everything.
What I did not love was that in a blink of an eye, my kids were also kind of smarter than me, able to throw down a clever debate or trickery to get their way, and were funny enough that they made me laugh at inappropriate moments (like when I was supposed to be putting my foot down as a parent).
And that’s just the tip of the 4-year-old iceberg. Here are some other interesting facts about what having one of them is like:
1. He not only disagrees with you, he argues with you and sometimes he has a valid point—which is REALLY annoying.
2. That just because they biologically can sleep in doesn’t mean they ever will.
3. When it comes to art, her people look like people but everything else pretty much looks like poo or penises.
4. They believe that a slightly scratched knee equals imminent death.
5. She has graduated from wanting a smartphone to wanting a car
6. The mess he made in his bedroom isn’t a mess, it’s a petting zoo/intergalactic battle/reconstruction of a scene from his favorite movie and absolutely CANNOT BE CLEANED UP EVER.
7. What it is like to imagine a future episode of “Hoarders,” featuring your grown child surrounded by cardboard boxes, paper towel rolls, and scraps of paper with one scribble on it.
8. They aren’t afraid to tell you that your driving stinks.
9. It’s possible to play Go Fish for 18 hours straight.
10. They can be bribed with stickers to do pretty much anything.
11. If you mention in front of her that you might do something at some point in time, she considers that the most sacred of promises that you will do it AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
12. How patronizingly someone who has only been on this earth for 48 months so far can say the words, “ACTUALLY, mom…” to a full-grown, college educated adult.
13. His reaction to you saying, “No,” would make Shakespeare give him a standing ovation.
14. She would cut a b*tch for breaking down her blanket fort, but if you fell she’d bring you her Elmo ice pack and a Band-Aid without being asked.
15. You now receive invitations to 700 birthday parties a year.
16. What it’s like for her to announce to a room full of strangers that you have a vagina because you are a girl.
17. To never ever leave the house without crayons.
18. You become physically unable to stop yourself from shouting, “DIGGER!,” when passing construction sites, even if he’s not in the car.
19. She is finally able to dress herself…like Punky Brewster.
20. He’s really good at making up his own rules.
21. He’s even better at breaking your rules.
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Graphic: Kim Bongiorno