B loves to listen to music. His current favorite CD is Madonna's Immaculate Collection (I wonder who prompted that one…) and his favorite track is #14 (he memorizes the NUMBER of the songs so he can find it on the laptop and put it on…his work-around for not being able to read). You know the one "So tired of broken hearts and losing at this game..Before I start this dance, I take a chance, in telling you I want more than just romance…" (totally appropriate 4-year old boy song, but at least better than the one he used to like "Some boys kiss me, some boys hug me, I think they're OK…") We like to put it on and have a little dance party. B, L, and I can really break it down!
B at 4 is constantly fascinating and infuriating me. I love his curiosity, his humor, his love of words and puns and stories. We share little inside jokes, he tells me about his dreams, he asks some really great questions that force us both to learn about new topics (most recently, sewage treatment plants because "but what happens to the poop mommy?"). I love his enthusiasm for music, painting, mixing and seasoning in the kitchen, running and climbing. In many ways he's a typical kid, in others, he is decidedly unique. He once spent 30 minutes re-arranging our pile of shoes near the front door, trying and re-trying with single-minded determination to make them all fit on the boot tray like it was a game of Tetris. He tells me he wants to be a girl so he can have long hair and wear barrettes, but the next day he wants a haircut because he can't see when hair is in his face.
I can't stand the whining, the feigned helplessness, the constant "I can't do it" and "I NEVER get to do xyz" (with xyz=something he was literally just doing, but had to stop for health/safety/time reasons).
He's smart, but he doesn't like to try, which worries me for his future. I am trying to instill a growth mindset, but he is pretty stubborn in his insistence that he "can't do anything"(swimming, soccer, putting his clothes on) because its not easy. He is just as stubborn in his insistence that he actually does "know everything"(how to keep himself safe, choose healthy foods) when he doesn't like what we are trying to teach him. He likes to make excuses for his bad behavior, or shunt the blame to someone/something else; I assume this is normal behavior for 4 year olds and 20 years and 40 year olds alike.
My time with B is full of contradictions. I both look forward to and dread the morning and bedtime routines. I can't wait for the weekend, and can't wait for it to be over some times. I am cherishing the joyful moments, and slogging through the monotony of constant reprimanding/scolding/reminding. As G said it so succinctly this weekend "This parenting thing is HARD". But awesome. Really awesome.
But also hard.