Monday, November 09, 2015

Year Four - Year End Review

Oh, my darling boy,
Four. Say whaaaaaaa?

While I spend time processing that you're now four, here are your Top 10 Lists:

10 Things You're Good At:
  • Drawing egg-shaped people
  • Going underwater in the pool
  • Laying on the charm super thick. You'll come out of your room after bedtime ("Thou shalt not leave thy bed after thy hath been tucketh inneth" is the 11th commandment) and right before I send you back to your room, you'll cock your head to the side, show your dimples, and say "I just wanted to tell you that I love you and that you're pretty." Ack.
  • Emptying the dishwasher. It's the one chore that you and Natalie have to do together. I'm all about forced teamwork.
  • Sleeping. I really miss your afternoon naptime (I think you gave it this past year) but you're very consistent about sleeping well at night.
  • Sweating. If the temperature is above 70 and/or you exert the slightest physical effort, you look like you've just run a marathon.
  • Speaking of running a marathon, you're really good at running. I had no idea until you asked me to race you from one end of our street to the other. And you booked it the entire way. I still won, in case you were wondering. I'll let you win another day but I think it's good for you to know that for now, your old mom can still whip you.
  • Holding the door open for ladies. Chivalry is not dead with Team Smith. 
  • Being cautious. I'm rarely concerned when I hear "Hey Mommy, watch this!" 
  • Picking up lyrics in songs. Thank goodness for Christian radio.
10 Things You're NOT Good At:
  • Writing any curved letters, specifically the C and R in your name. Maybe Natalie wrote so well when she was younger because her name is just composed of straight lines. We should have named you HALIE
  • Trying new food
  • Emptying the dishwasher effeciently. It should take less than 15 minutes for you two to finish, but when you add it the towel fights that you instigate and your insistence upon wearing the dishtowel over your face while trying to find the plates increases that time two fold.
  • Sweeping. You might be good at hockey considering how hard you propel the crumbs with the broom.
  • Losing. You act like your life is over when you lose. 
  • Brushing your teeth. You either hardly touch your toothbrush to your teeth (and just swirl it around your open mouth) or your spit out all the toothpaste within the first two seconds or you spend the majority of your time making toothpaste spit bubbles. It's rarely an productive endeavor.
  • Differential equations. Just like your sister. 
  • Washing your dishes after a meal. You're an expert at (unnecessarily) scrubbing the clean parts of your plate but you forget the dirty parts.
  • Remembering to unbutton your shirt before pulling it over your head. I often find you with your shirt half-off your head (which you gives you a head of super cool shirt-hair), wailing because you're stuck.
  • Making your bed. I get it, it's hard to make the bed if you're too short to do it without being ON the bed.
10 Things You Love:
  • Natalie
  • Preschool - your teachers, your classmates, everything
  • Baths. Yes, you read that right. After 3.5 long and loud and teary years, you've finally decided that baths are pretty awesome
  • Animals. Yes, you read that right, too. You're still nervous around unleashed dogs but you've grown leaps and bounds this year
  • Peeing standing up. Oh, the perks of being male
  • Music. Your current faves are MercyMe, Matt Maher, Lauren Daigle, and your mom. Just kidding on the last one. You think I sing too loudly. Too bad for you.
  • Publix, because free cookies
  • Curious George, Odd Squad, and Mickey Mouse
  • Any and all superheroes, but Batman and Iron Man are your favorites.
  • Books. Just like Natalie, you have no fewer than five books in you bed that you look at before you go to sleep.
10 Things You Don't Love:
  • Veggies (other than the occasional piece of broccoli, maybe a carrot or two, and yellow and orange bell peppers)
  • Any chicken that's not fried and nugget-shaped or roasted in drumstick form. I could cut off the chicken from the aforementioned roasted drumstick and you'd refuse to eat it. But keep it on the bone and you're a happy camper.
  • Soup. Which is a crying shame because your mom makes the best chicken noodle soup. And you don't know that because you're a punk who won't try it.
  • Spending Quiet Time by yourself. You'd much prefer a joint Quiet Time with your sister. To you, a solo Quiet Time is "BOH-win" (boring).
  • Gnats. I don't know if they're attracted to the sight and/or smell of Sweaty Boy, but you poor thing. When we're outside, your face is swarming with gnats.
  • Ice cream - but strangely enough, only on days I'm serving something for dinner that you don't like (because no dessert for those who don't eat dinner). Amazingly though, you decide to like it again the next night when I serve something for dinner you DO like
  • Taking turns. Thankfully you're getting better, but there are still times when you and Natalie have to take turns and you melt down into a sobby, whiny puddle.
  • Getting your hair cut. I mean, you don't *hate* it, and you're usually excited about it before it happens. But once you sit in the chair, you become the quietest, most sullen kid on the planet.
  • Going to the bathroom if it wasn't your idea. "I don't WAAAAAAAANT to pee! I don't HAAAAAAAAAVE to pee! I don't LIIIIIIIIKE to pee!"
  • Being bossed around by Natalie. For the record, neither do I.

I've always said that I love each new stage more than the previous:
  • sitting up > the newborn lump phase
  • crawling > immobile
  • walking > crawling
  • talking > not talking
  • twos > ones
and so on

Your twos were pretty mild compared to the wild banshee twos that your dear sister experienced. Your threes, however, were a little less mild. You cried more this past year than you had in all your other years combined. You cried over e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. But still, even with all that catterwalling, I liked your threes more than twos. Your personality exploded this year (amidst all the sobbing, of course) and I loved having a front row seat. You've always been a pretty affectionate kid but you really laid it on thick this year. Practically every hug you give is a gigantic bear hug. Strangers at the grocery store are often on the receiving end of your dimpled-smile-and-wave combo. You surprise Natalie and me with random kisses throughout the day. You like holding my hand. All of that adds up to one very full Mommy heart.

For a consistently cheerful boy, you are also consistently grumpy (and often sweaty, but that's neither here nor there) when you wake up in the morning. (And on the flip side, your feel-all-the-feelings sister wakes up cheerfully without exception.) You stumble out into the living room wearing a furrowed brow and pouty lips and crawl into my lap for a snuggle. Your morning grumpiness is usually short-lived, however, as talks of yummy breakfast food can bring anyone out of their early morning funk. [I'd like to add that if a certain boy would eat dinner that a certain momma works very hard to prepare, the boy might not be so grumpy the next morning as he would not have gone to bed with just water in his belly. Just a thought.]

I confess that I have become accustomed to your sweet personality, and I've neglected to be consistent in my prayers for you. It's not uncommon to forget to pray when things (ie: you) are going well. One of my greatest privileges is to pray for you and Natalie, and I've slacked off a bit with you. But I'm going on the record to say that will change because you need a momma who prays for you. Prayers to protect you, to guide you, to draw you closer to Him. Prayers to heal you, to encourage you, to remind you who you are (and Whose you are). And maybe, just maybe, prayers that you'll eat your dinner.

Hugs and smooches,
Mommy & Daddy

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