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.
“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.)