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The magical power of turning 4

Submitted by on Thursday, 25 June 2009 No Comment

boots_4He went to bed one night a callow youth of 3, egcitick about his birthday the next day but not quite understanding that if he’d just go to sleep it would be here before he knew it.

He awoke the following morning a mature lad of 4, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Or at least get to school under his own locomotion, something we’d been trying for a few weeks with varying degrees of success and myriad decibel levels of protest.

“I can do it, and I won’t get tired,” Boots said. “I’m 4 now!”

There must be something magical about being 4. It was about that age that it clicked with Big Guy, too, that he can control his own actions, that he’s not just a victim of what the world throws at him.

Learned, but not mastered, though. It’s a work in progress, and some days it’s more work than others.

Boots’ birthday was no work at all, until we hit the inevitable bedtime Armageddon tantrum fueled by too much sugar and a missed nap.

“I can walk all the way home from school without an uppy,” he said later. “I’m 4 now!”

He fastened his car-seat harness, not once but twice on his birthday. He’d struggled with the bottom fastener for months, wanted to do it but unable to grunt, groan or will it into place. He’d eventually give up with frustrated tears and moans of “I can’t!”

“Look! I can do it now that I’m 4.”

Over the weekend, he’d plopped on the couch to “read” a book in a protest at being told to help. During the frantic rush to get ready for his party just days later, he begged for something to do.

“I need a job, too. I’m 4 now!” he said.

Maybe it’s because he actually has vague memories of Big Guy at age 4 and can recall all the egciting rights and privileges that started coming his way. Maybe it’s because 4 seems more respectable than the baby-like 3. It is closer to being able to go to kingergarden, after all.

I don’t know why it’s happening, but I do know that I’m going to milk it for all it’s worth, just as I did when Big Guy was “learning to be 4.”

“Really? You can’t pick up those toys? But 4-year-olds can do that.”

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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