Liam at 4

How can this little guy already be 4?

He’s tall and strong and fast, running and hopping and spinning in his favorite rainbow shoes and Wonder Woman baseball cap. He outgrew two sizes in the past year, really putting holes into my argument that he needs to eat his veggies if he wants to grow big and strong. Every now and then he’ll try very very hard to make us happy and put a tiny molecule of red bell pepper or sweet potato in his mouth and smile unconvincingly along with our excited grins before saying “I don’t like this very much.” He does, however, like bagels and fruit and “snacks,” demanding one of the latter before he even gets in the door in the evening.

He’s the kindest little soul you’ll ever meet, despite the occasional meltdowns that come with this age of big emotions and little control. He’s over his big moods pretty quickly, and can often be distracted from them with silliness and giggles. There’s an overload of silliness in this house, and much of it is his. Non-sequiturs pour out of him all day, surprising us with cleverness and insight. He just can’t get enough of sharing all the things he’s learning, which means he’s talking pretty much all day long. He’ll tell you we can’t see the moon right now because it’s on the other side of the world visiting Africa, or that those cars have red lights on to tell us they’re stopping and blinky lights for when they’re turning, or that the puddles are gone now and we can’t jump in them because water e-vap-o-waits and then the puddles make clouds and that’s SO SILLY, right Mommy?

Most of his baby words are gone, though, and I am grumpy with daycare for correcting some of my favorites and making him sound like a big kid. Lellow and fire malarm vanished within a week of each other and it was almost too much to bear. I miss the days of murms and Lee-num, but there’s some good to being able to have a real honest conversation in multi-syllabic words with this guy.

He’s considerate and sweet, always asking how he can help. He’s attuned to how others feel and he is very concerned when anything is wrong or anyone is sad. And he’s really developed into a wonderful little human with the arrival of his two baby brothers. He’s gentle with them, and loves to pat them on their tummies or butts. He helps us find and replace their pacifiers when they’re crying, and we’ll often find him singing to them or showing them a book. Now that they’re a little more mobile and grabby, he’s our family safety officer, telling them not to touch this or that, and ratting them out to us when they break a rule. “No, Eamon, shoes are not for eating! Mommy, Eamon’s eating your shoe!”

I keep asking him about his favorite things, so I can record them for posterity, but he has too much love in him to play favorites. If you ask his favorite color, he’ll tell you it’s black, white, orange, and blue. If you ask him his favorite superhero, it’s Wonder Woman, Batman, and Captain America. His favorite show is Magic School Bus and Wild Kratts and Llama Llama. Why not love all the things?

He has a big-boy bed now, but prefers to sleep on the floor, wrapped in his monkey sleeping bag and covered in books. He’s great at puzzles, is recently obsessed with Bingo, and wants to teach his brothers to swim this summer (note that he himself cannot yet swim). He still loves the moon and just learned about lightning bugs. He drags both dinner and bedtime out to interminable lengths and makes us crazy, but sometimes the conversation is so much fun, or the requests for hugs so welcome, that it’s hard to push back.

Happy birthday, sweet guy. Looking forward to how cool 4’s going to be.

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