Four Years with Alvie Bean
My dearest Alvie Bean (“I am NOT a bean, I am a BOY!”),
You are four years old today. Finally, finally after weeks and months of anticipating your birthday, your transition into FINALLY being a really big boy, the day is here.
You’ve been telling people you were 3 & 7/8 for quite a while. It was hilarious.
Now, you’re definitely almost a grown-up.
You are a near-constant delight and a near-constant challenge. The older you get, the less I blog about you, because you are becoming an actual person and not a mere extension of me.
You did, however, do your best to live up to the reputation that three-year-olds have for being tiny demon monkeys. There were days that I threatened to sell you on the internet. There were other, much worse days, that I threatened to pin a $20 bill to your collar and just leave you in a park.
But for every day that you drove me absolutely crazy, there was another day that you melted my heart.
You are the stereotypical boy. You love cars and trucks and trains and getting extremely filthy. I think I could bathe and sterilize you and drop you in a clean room, and you’d come out looking like Pig Pen in less than 15 minutes. It’s a gift, really.
You are inquisitive and smart and not nearly as reckless as I would’ve guessed you’d be. Not yet, anyway. You love playing legos and trains and watching TV shows about lego trains. You have a temper, though. Oh my, do you have a temper.
But you know what? You’ve never lost it in public. Maybe in front of friends, but never in the grocery store, or Target, or anywhere else that would’ve been difficult to remove you from the situation.
I was never sure if your affinity for gardening was more about your delight in watching new plants grow or because it gave you one more way to get dirty.
You loved watching your watermelons grow, though. You watered them and talked to them and tickled them almost daily as encouragement to grow. And boy, did they! We ended up with only one edible watermelon (the others cracked early on), but it was a good one. And so delicious!
As you know, Halloween is my favorite holiday. It is entirely my goal to make sure that it’s yours, too. So far, I’m a bit skeptical because you refuse to wear all of the costume pieces I painstakingly make and buy and put together so you can live your costumed dream.
Regardless, you’re still the cutest, even if you wouldn’t wear the polar bear head OR the Captain Barnacles hat. I guess blue pajamas and an Octocompass are all you need to be a sea-captain, though.
One of the biggest frustrations for me (and probably for you, too) is your insistence on eating only about five foods. I guess I should count my lucky stars that you will eat just about any fruit, but I’d be delighted if we could expand your food choices a bit. Fortunately, after a serious discussion last week, you agreed that once you turned four, you’d eat what everyone else at the table was eating. It can’t always be grilled cheese sandwiches. (I would happily eat grilled cheese sandwiches every day for the rest of my life if it could be.) It’s always an exciting day when you voluntarily try a new food, and my heart grew three sizes when you agreed to try lefse (and you LIKED it!) at the Scandinavian festival.
You had such a fabulous holiday season. I think this was the first year you really got what was going on. You helped me decorate the tree and helped me shop for Christmas presents for your dad. And when it was FINALLY Christmas, you had such a wonderful time. You got so many fun presents and gave so many fun hugs.
You love playing outside and you love parks. I personally am not much of a park person. They’re pretty boring and the other kids look at me funny when I go down the slides. I try to talk you into participating in other outdoor activities with me, but we haven’t really hit on something you like more than just “playing” (boooring).
The older you get, the more wonderful you become. I love snuggling with you, and reading to you, and just hanging out with you. For all your childish thoughtlessness, you are still the sweetest and best kid. When I was sick, you brought me cough drops (and even unwrapped them, which was sweet but maybe not as hygienic as one would hope) and blankets and hugs. For my birthday, you insisted that we go pick out a cake for me. You wanted chocolate, but because that’s not my favorite, you got lemon. You are just fantastic. I don’t know what I’ve done right, so I’m just going to keep on keeping on with everything, because you are turning into a great human being.
The last month has been a rough one for both of us. So many changes. We moved houses and you spend half your time in “Mommy’s new house” and half in “Daddy’s old house.” You’re shuttled back and forth with preschool as the go between. You’ve been a lot more emotional as we adjust to the changes. (Although, to be honest, so have I.) When I cried on our first night in the new house, you asked me why I was crying. I told you I had a lot of emotions. You said, “Mommy, just have one emotion at a time. Then you don’t cry as much.” And you hugged me.
Kid, you are the best.
Goofy, funny, smart, sweet, opinionated, terrific, stubborn, and all around the best boy anyone could ask for. I love you.
Maybe stop growing quite so fast, though. I want you to be small enough to hold for a while longer.
I’m really sad that I don’t get to see you on your birthday this year, but I’m looking forward to seeing you tomorrow and having a great party on Sunday (vanilla cake, chocolate frosting, and a train on the cake, as ordered.)
I love you.