The Ten Rules of Being Almost-Four, By Fresco

Fresco will be four in April. I know. It’s ridiculous and it shouldn’t be happening, but there you go. Life, wheels, turning, yearning, etc.

It has been harder lately to ascertain what of my children’s behavior is related to developmental stuff and what is related to a) they are getting sick b) they are getting over being sick c) it’s the holidays AND they’re sick d) I had a headache for a month and made a grimace face at them approximately 11 hours a day e) it’s back to school f) they’re getting sick g) and not sleeping h) but when do they sleep? Really? Ever? Like, could I complain about this any more?

HOWEVER. We have been healthy and well-slept for four? five? days now, and the holidays are over and the back to school routine has been well re-established and my headache stopped on the 14th of December, so I can safely say that Trombone is settling down, now that he is five and a half (don’t get me STARTED on how wrong that is. His head is now as big as his whole body was when he was born. Cat’s in the Cradle! Etc!) and Fresco is moving into a period of some, transitions, and um, other bullshit ways of saying PAIN IN THE ASS.

Guys, they don’t call it The Fucking Fours for nothing.

Here are the rules of four.

1. He is the Boss.

You want him to do that thing that he loved doing last week? He isn’t doing it. He loved the cat. He might still love the cat. If you ask him to feed the cat? He will say, “No. You can do it.”

2. He is right about point 1 and everything else in the world.

“Please feed the cat. It’s your job. And the cat is hungry.”
“It’s not my job. It’s YOUR job. I hate the cat.”
“You hate the cat?”
“NO. I DON’T. I HATE THE CAT.”

3. He is ANGRY that you will not acknowledge how right he is, and that he is the boss.

“I’M NOT FEEDING THE CAT. Anyway. It’s evening. Where’s my dessert.”
“It’s 9:30 am.”
“It’s EVENING. Stop LYING TO ME.”

4. He loves me so much and wants to cuddle and kiss my neck and pet my hair.

Tickle games. Snuggles. Made all the more bittersweet because, well, it’s ending. The sweet snuggles are ending and he’s becoming his own person (more so than before) and this is it no more babies oh god what have I

wait. No. It’s OK. Because.

5. He wants to punch me in the face.

“I need to get a drink of water now. I’ll be back to snuggle in a minute.”
“YOU CAN’T LEAVE. I WANT TO SNUGGLE YOU.”
“I’m thirsty, Fresco. I need a drink –”
“Stay or I punch you. Those are your choices.”

6. He is so, so sad because I yelled at him because his fist was in my face because he loves me so much.

“Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.”
“I’m sorry I yelled at you. I don’t like your fist in my face.” *
“This is all your fault. All of it.” (that’s a direct quotation, by the way. OK! Thanks kid!)

*note: he has not actually punched me in the face.

7. The best way to express excitement about something is to shout at the thing that excites you!

“CHOCOLATE BARS! IN THE GROCERY STORE! I WANT ONE! I WANT ONE! I WANT ONE!”

8. Don’t tell him what to do.

“Please put the chocolate bar back on the shelf. We’re not buying a chocolate bar.”

9. Didn’t you see the top two?

(cover your ears)

10. He is the Boss.

(might want to block your face, too)

But he’s still not getting a chocolate bar.


(photo credit: Fresco’s preschool teacher, who apparently denied him his autonomy right before this photo was taken.)
(just kidding)

This entry was posted in and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to The Ten Rules of Being Almost-Four, By Fresco

  1. Nicole says:

    That picture is SO CUTE. OMG. Also, oh yes, FOUR. Good times, good times.

  2. Jen says:

    I LOVE THAT PICTURE! (we have also been ALL CAPS house as of late)

  3. eva says:

    Fresco takes the most memorable pictures of any kid I’ve seen. I still grin to myself remembering that picture you posted of your boys with Santa – that look on Fresco’s face was as priceless as this one:)

    So far we love four in this house. Four = sitting down to draw and colour, never whining to go in the stroller, asking rational questions, and in almost a full month of four we have had only two meltdowns. A huge improvement over three for sure.

  4. Perpetual Breadcrumbs says:

    God, who does he look like? An author, but which one? I’m serious, it’s right there on the edge of my brain.

    Anyways. Four. The Fucking Fours. I think we should do what they do on communes and round up all our boys and let them thunderdome it out for the next few years.

    Shoot, that’s Lord of the Flies.

  5. Els says:

    I love this post so hard. And also, like many of your posts, it reminds me to be grateful that my kid is no longer this age. (even if she STILL DOES some of these things god we have ruined her no wait all her friends’ parents report the same behavior oh ok.) And makes me miss that age at the same time. How do you do that??

    I once met someone who taught child development who said, that if four-year-olds could smoke, they WOULD.

  6. jana says:

    I am just going to ignore everything except the one about cuddling because I am trying to survive the SHITSTORM THREES over here and if you’re telling me that four is no better but in fact WORSE I might have some problems.

    Oh man that picture is adorbs.

  7. t says:

    whatever, *sigh* i don’t care. i don’t want to talk about it anyway, mom.

  8. Kim says:

    HAHAHAHAHA…
    My fave:
    “Stay or I punch you. Those are your choices.”

    I think I’m going to start using that.

    • shasta says:

      Those choices are pretty much why I had to hold a child on my lap while using the bathroom yesterday morning. And she’s only two. (Help me.)

  9. Ginger says:

    Oh god. I’m so afraid now. You mean it gets louder? And punchier? And opinionated-er???

    Shit, I’m so screwed.

  10. Amber says:

    I am scared, man. My son is four months younger than Fresco and I had kind of forgotten about the hardness. Eep!

    Also? That photo SLAYS me.

  11. HarrietGlynn says:

    Um what Jen said! Best PHOTO EVAH.

    Ok I was scared after the previous or is that later post. Not I’m just pre-traumatized.