The Way You are Now {Eddie Age 4}

2013-06-22 10.34.47

You are four.

Suddenly, you look so tall and big to me.  The traces of “baby” are still there, but they take a trained eye to see. A mother’s eye.

As a baby, you were so chubby. You walked bow-legged because your thighs were so chunky.  Now you have long, lean limbs. Your run is not a reckless toddle, but is marked with fast strides.  Once in a while you will still request that we pick you up, and your legs wrap around your dad’s or my waist easily and your arms around our neck.

When I hug you, I feel muscles and pointy bones and lanky boy. The squishy baby fat that I used to raspberry and nuzzle are gone.

But I still see baby in your face.  Your cheeks still carry the chubby baby boy softness.  When you smile, those dimples are still there.  When you concentrate, your lips still pucker out.  Your relaxed face just begs for cheek kisses and neck snuggles.

You protest it more than you used to, but still end up giggling.

2013-06-05 10.39.10

You are four.

Your vocabulary is booming and every day you say things that surprise us.  When you were two and only had a handful of words, none of them being “mommy”, people said to me, “just wait, once he starts, you’ll long for the quiet days again.”

They were wrong.

Once you started, I realized I could listen to your stories and questions and observations forever. I want to memorize your little boy voice. I want to freeze time because already you are starting to change.  You’ve learned to make the “L” sound so you don’t “yike” things anymore, you “like” them. You’re still getting used to that “L” sound in your mouth though, because you tend to over-emphasize that beginning “L” on words. When you complain that something is going to take a “long” time, your little tongue comes out of your mouth to ensure that you will get the “L” in “long” right.

Sometimes you slip and miss the “L” sound if it’s inside a word. “Yellow” is still “Way-yo”. Sometimes it’s “Way-lo” though.  “Yellow” is one of the only words you confuse your “Y” for a “W” though. But you also are not so good with “Rs”. If an “R” begins a word, you use the “W” sound. If it’s in a word, you will either replace with an “L” or sometimes a “W”.  Tomorrow is “To-mallow”.  And your “TH” sound sounds more like and “F” so “thirty” and “forty” sound the same.

But my favorite is that you sometimes sound like you have a bit of a Boston accent. “Yard”, “park”, “arm”, and and other words with the short “a” sound sounds “Bostony” when you say it. I’m pretty sure I will have to video this because I never ever want to forget how hard I laugh when you tell me “daddy’s armpits are stinky”. It’s funny, but it’s even funnier how you say “arm pits”.

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You are four.

You are hilarious. Often I call you my Funny Boy or my Silly Boy. You just love it when I call you “My boy”.

You make people laugh with your funny observations, like when you pointed at the large glass-front of the Gentex Building and told Grandma that is where the penguins live. You were totally mater-of-fact. It did not even cross your mind that you were pointing at the front of a factory building that makes car parts.

Your Grandpa laughs so hard when you are around.  Every time we are over there he says, “Eddie, you are a funny kid!”  And he is right. You talk to people and ask questions so easily.  You have no problem asking people to play with you.

I think this is why you make friends so easily. And if kids don’t want to play with you, you go do your own thing. But kids rarely turn you away…especially the girls. Since we live on the dead end, you talk to every kid who rides his/her bike down this way.  This is how you met your newest friends who live up the road from us. Each day you watch for them to get home from daycare and then you beg me to let you go ride your bike to their house. I always say yes because I can see their driveway from our driveway and their backyard from our side yard.

But I needed worry. You come home and ask every time they ask if you can do something new: play on their slip n slide, jump on their tramp, or ride bikes.

You make me proud with how responsible you are about following rules and getting permission from adults.

2013-06-04 10.04.04

You are four.

While you are a cautious person by nature, you are not afraid to try things at least once.  That is so brave.

You talk to kids and ask them to play. This past weekend I watched you try raw broccoli from a veggie tray without anyone asking you to. You didn’t like it…I saw you spit it into the trash can when you thought no one was looking. But you tried!  You tried chip dip at Granny’s house and decided you loved it. You tried pita chips and hummus.

You tried swimming lessons and gymnastics.

When you wanted to hold a baby duck at the Farmer’s Market last week, you bravely sat next to kids you didn’t know, said excuse me, and got to hold one.

It makes me smile.

2013-03-30 13.03.36

You are four.

You are kind and helpful, many times without being asked. You are quick to help Charlie when he falls or to show him how to do new things. You are even quicker to help your younger cousins…especially babies.  Your kind heart doesn’t stop there, though. If daddy or I have a job to do, you are always asking what you can do to help. You like to help at stores and to carry groceries in and to swifter the floor.

And you always want to help me in the kitchen. I like that. I hope we spend lots of time together in the kitchen. In fact, when I plan our weeks out, I always think of something to bake or cook that you can help me with.  You take a lot of pride in helping others, but you  never get boastful.

And you are so thankful and gracious. As people were leaving your birthday party, you told each person “thank you for coming to my party,” without daddy or me even asking you to do that. You thank us for everything you get from the big (your birthday party and your bike) to the small (buying Monsters University cereal and bananas).  You even thanked God during your prayers for giving you such a nice family.

2013-04-03 10.38.12

You are four.

You are growing up so fast, yet you are still so small.

Sometimes we forget that you are still just little, and sometimes we forget that you are not so little anymore.

You get dressed on your own, but you still sometimes need help getting your shorts straight. You love to control the tablet for stories, but you still hold my hand when we get to the part of the “not so good streets”. You can ride your bike, but you still need training wheels.

Four is so big.

But it is still little.

2013-06-27 14.03.42

You are four.

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About Katie Sluiter

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a high school English teacher, college adjunct instructor, freelance writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. My daughter is also four and this totally spoke to me. Really sweet words and love the photos.

    • Thank you. There is a lot of bossy back talk right now too…but that is a separate post. Some days we really struggle, but the good stuff about being four really outshines all the rest.

  2. I really, really like Eddie.
    I think I love him a little.
    Have a great fifth year ahead, little guy!

    • Aww. That is what happens when you watch a little guy grow up in your computer. I hope someday he will meet all the people who have grown to love him.

  3. I love this kid. He makes the world a better place.

  4. Four is so big, but still so little. That sums up four perfectly. Also? I’m dreading the day James gets the hard “r” sound right every time. I want him to change it the “w” sound forever. Just like I always wanted Cady to say “b-sgetti”. But she doesn’t anymore, and I know it is coming for him too.

  5. So precious. My four year old also says some funny things, but they’re all in French. Like my bathing suit is supposed to be “mon maillot de bain” and it’s pronounced “mon my-yo de bain” but he doesn’t hear the first part of the word, so he just calls it “mon yo de bain.” Cracks me up every time. I don’t get tired of listening to him either.

  6. Four. How do they get to be this big and this little? It’s a wondrous age.

  7. My mom always said I sounded like I had a Boston accent when I was little, too :) I love the big/little of four.

  8. I miss the traces of little so much. Even though my youngest will always be my baby, at 6, he just isn’t ‘little’ anymore. I miss 4 so much and you captured it perfectly.

  9. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to realize how close in age he and my Essie are… she’ll be four in less than two weeks. I think Essie and Eddie would make quite the adorable pair of friends. My oldest still sounds like he’s from New York. How does that happen, the accents? It’s so funny, though. Eddie sounds like such a kind, thoughtful little guy. I have no doubt that he’s going to make you proud.

  10. TheNextMartha says:

    Four. What a great age. He’s a keeper.

  11. Happy belated, Eddie. Four is so cool!! We are having a blast with it. But yes, the baby traces are few and far between now. Sigh.