My little man is 4. My third-born child is 4. He's 4. He really is 4. He has 5 fingers on each not-so-little hand and he holds 4 of them up and tells me how old he is ... 4. 4! I'm amazed, astounded, beside myself, and redundantly repetitive.
But, wow, he's gotten so big. Our lives haven't worked out quite the way we planned it, as we actually intended to have another child a few years ago. So, here we are with "just" the three kids, and our youngest is 4. 4! (Sorry, I kind of have to repeat it as it isn't sitting too well.) Our little baby, no longer is. He's a walkin', talkin', mess-makin' machine who is fully self-willed. He can argue with us, lie to us (though he doesn't, really), and fight with his siblings (which he does with gusto -- that kid can hold his own).
He is extraordinary and we feel very blessed to have him. Sometimes we wonder how he can possibly be related to his two stinker siblings. We know he is, though, because, well, I was there when he popped out of the same mom as the other two.
He is so good-natured. that he surprises us all the time. He says "thank you" for his dinner, even when he doesn't want to eat it. He says "please" for things right before he takes it from you.
He is the happiest little guy that I've ever seen. He giggles at the drop of a hat (or the approach of a ticklish finger) and just loves to play pretty much anything. He always wants me to come and sit with him in the play-room, and while he hasn't really learned how to play with people, he certainly does want you in close proximity. He's awesome. And I totally love that he still fits so nicely on my lap and wants me to read to him all the time.
Yesterday for his birthday, I took off work and we had a fun day together. We took him to the park where we had a "birthday play date" with a bunch of his friends from the ward. It was strictly low-key, and my wife made cupcakes to give to everybody.
It was windy and cold, but we still stayed there for two hours (and I got sunburned). He had a great time, and I must have pushed him on the swing for fifteen minutes towards the end with him giggling the whole time. Granted, I had my "claw" out ready to tickle him every time he came forward, but still ... he's so awesome!
Afterwards, he wanted to go to "Old McDonalds", so we did and he downed his chicken nuggets and fries (can you believe kids meals are, like, $4.50 these days?!). Then we did a bit of shopping together, just he and my wife and I. It was quite fun. Afterwards, we retrieved his sister from school, then an hour later his brother, and we stayed home that evening just enjoying each other's company. He wanted pizza for dinner, so that's what my wife made for him, and after opening gifts it was all toys all the time. One thing he really wanted was a "Woo Hoo" train, from "GeoTrax" fame. Why "Woo Hoo"? I have no idea, but that's what he wanted, and he was absolutely ecstatic to get it.
Finally, at the end of the day, he was exhausted, but happy, and went to bed with a smile on his face.
It was a great birthday, and I was happy to have been able to take the day off from work to be with him. I like to be there for all my kids, but if he does end up being our very last child, I definitely want to make sure I don't miss anything. He is worth every second I can spend with him.