This morning, I had a tough time getting out of bed. Even though I’d just gotten a full night of rest, the thought of interacting with my four year old – getting him dressed, feeding him breakfast, and brushing his teeth – was exhausting.
These days, I am a truly tired mama.
Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love my adorable, animated, doe-eyed son with the big smile and slightly crooked teeth who doesn’t care if his pants are on backwards. I love spending time with him. I love seeing the world through his big brown eyes and listening to his stories. Lately though, my fun-loving, silly little boy has turned into a tyrannical boss who ferociously barks commands at anyone who will listen.
“CARRY ME UPSTAIRS LIKE A BABY.”
“I WANT A SNACK.”
“DON’T LOOK AT ME.”
He even barks commands at those who won’t listen, like my seven-year-old son.
“PLAY WITH ME.”
“GIVE ME THAT BASEBALL.”
“COME WITH ME TO THE BATHROOM.”
Amazingly, he can shift from being a tyrannical boss to an angry teenager without skipping a beat. Most of the time, he’s angry about things that don’t make sense to anyone but him.
“I WANT TO TAKE A BATH BUT I DON’T WANT TO GET WET!”
“I’M CRYING BECAUSE THERE ARE TEARS IN MY EYES!”
“I’M TIRED BUT MY EYES CAN’T CLOSE!”
…and my all-time favorite:
“MY BREATH WON’T STOP.”
Experience tells me that I shouldn’t be surprised that my littlest love is going through an early-in-life rebellious stage. I understand that he’s testing his boundaries, discovering himself, and trying to find his voice. I also know that this stage won’t last long. However, knowing all of this doesn’t always make contending with this growth period any easier.
But, with developmental bumps also come developmental strides, so in the midst of the many toddler tantrums and power exertions, I’ve watched my little baby grow into a little boy.
I’ve listened to him navigate through conflicts at preschool without any help. I’ve smiled as he’s dressed himself – putting his mismatched clothes on backwards. I’ve stood by beaming as he’s learned how to hit a baseball without a tee and to ride a bike. I’ve watched him out of the corner of my eye tagging alongside his older brother, keeping pace with him and his friends. I’ve sat next to him as he tries his very best to write a “G”, while confidently spelling his name out loud.
“FIRST A ‘G’, THEN AN ‘A,’ ‘B,’ and ‘E.’”
It’s in moments like these that I realize, I’m more proud than I am tired; that I remember how lucky I am to be the mama of this funny little character who is so confident and true.
Maybe the fours aren’t so ferocious after all. Maybe (just maybe) they’re fabulous.