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Top Ten Things I’ve Learned about Four Year Olds

Two weeks ago, my oldest child – my first baby –  turned four years old. I have to admit, I’m happy to say goodbye to the “threenager” who’s been bossing us around for the past year. I fanaticized about life with a four year old to be something like this: my child will all of a sudden put on his clothes and shoes by himself in the morning, he’ll stop crying over ridiculous shit, and he’ll wipe his own ass. Sadly, none of this has proven to be true. We are two weeks in, and here’s what I’ve learned about kids who are four.

1.) He’s right – ALWAYS. He thinks he knows more than I do. Actually, sometimes he does know more than I do. Apparently all the time he spends watching PBS has paid off.

2.) He’s more than capable of putting on his own clothing, coats and shoes. Unfortunately, not only do children need to be capable of doing these things, they need to be WILLING – and four year olds are NOT willing.

3.) He still thinks he’s the boss. And why wouldn’t he? If someone put my clothes on for me and wiped my ass every day, I’d assume I was in charge as well. And FYI – four year old boys are not capable of wiping themselves. Give it up and try again next year.

4.) Four year olds – and boys in general – are competitive. Occasionally, this works in my favor. For example, I can tell him anything is a race and he moves faster. On the other hand, he constantly needs to be winning and he must always be first, be faster, be the best, etc. – this drives me insane and makes my husband proud. Typical.

5.) Four year olds hate all food. Except fruit snacks, plain pasta, and dessert. Even if your child ate everything as a toddler, they will turn four and ultimately realize they can refuse all food and live solely on Cheez-Its and juice (which must only be served in their official Snackeez cups).

Four year olds are obsessed with Snackeez, and all other As Seen on TV items, FYI.

Four year olds are obsessed with Snackeez, and all other As Seen on TV items, FYI.

6.) Four year olds are OBSESSED with You Tube. They will literally watch anything on the internet. It’s amazing. It’s a bargaining tool. You Tube Bribery. Because really, the thing that four year olds love best about life is watching other kids open and play with toys. Right?! Why would they bother playing with their own shit when they can watch other kids play on You Tube?!?

EvanTube - The Ultimate YouTube channel for watching kids play with toys. #creepy

EvanTube – The Ultimate YouTube channel for watching kids play with toys. #creepy

7.) Three year olds think they are teenagers – hence the term “threenager.” Four year olds straight up think they are adults. My kid literally talks about what he’s going to do when he goes to college – no joke. Slow your roll, dude. Let’s focus on Kindergarten before we get too far ahead of ourselves.

8.) Four year olds should NOT need a cup with a top. But low and behold, they still spill shit every day.

9.) Four year olds have selective hearing. I can scream at my son to get dressed in the morning and he stands there zoning out to Paw Patrol for 45 minutes straight. But you bet if he hears the slight creak of the pantry door as I attempt to have any kind of snack, he’s immediately at my side begging for food.

10.) Four year olds want to play pretend. And they want you to do it, too. I spend the majority of my time at home with him fighting bad guys, wearing capes, throwing batarangs. I’ve gotten an entire education on the Avengers, the Green Lantern, the Ninja Turtles and their escapades versus Shredder and his foot clan. In case you weren’t aware, pretend play as an adult is torture (unless there are a few glasses of wine involved, of course).

So there you have it. The Top Ten Things I’ve Learned about Four Year Olds. I’m sure the course of the next year will bring some surprising challenges, but just like every other stage of parenting, I know we will survive.

And who knows? Maybe I’ll embrace this age – pour some wine in my Snackeez, binge on some creepy YouTube videos, and thank my lucky stars that I survived the Terrible Twos and the Year of the Threenager.

Siri: My Preschooler’s New Personal Assistant

I saw some article on my Facebook newsfeed the other day that mentioned that four year olds ask an average of 437 questions per day. My immediate thought was, “Is that all?” In my house, it certainly feels like about four times that amount. I start my day with the intention of being patient, answering my son’s questions, and appreciating his curiosity. By noon, I start ignoring him, nodding my head and smiling to anything and everything that comes out of his mouth. At least I’m still pretending to be interested at that point, right? At 4PM, I’m almost always responding to everything with, “I don’t know,” or, “because I said so,” while guzzling wine and praying for my husband to roll in from work to save me from the four year old interrogation.

Then, a few weeks ago, I came up with a genius idea. My kid’s two favorite things in the world are as follows: asking pointless questions and playing on my cell phone. I finally realized that I could solve my conversational kid problems by introducing him to the one thing in the world solely designed to answer questions (on a cell phone, nonetheless): Siri.

photo via http://appadvice.com/

photo via http://appadvice.com/

Listening to my son speak to Siri was one of the most hilarious things I have witnessed as a parent. Between the uselessness of his questions and the fact that Siri could hardly understand a thing he was saying due to his rapid fire question asking, I got to witness some comical responses from the trademarked “Intelligent Personal Assistant.” Below are a random sample of the type of things my four year old felt it necessary to ask Miss Siri.

1.) Whats your middle name?

2.) So, what’s the best poker?

3.) What’s the best baseball team again?

4.) What are handcuffs for policemans for?

5.) What are you going to be for Halloween Siri? Because it’s almost Halloween.

6.) What is the hairiest dog? I have a big dog.

7.) What’s the best baby?

8.) What’s the best computer that can do anything?

9.) What the best website on street number ?

10.) What’s that big cord for?

11.) What’s in there?

12.) Why is it dark out in the morning?

13.) How old are you? How old are you? How old are you, Siri?

14.) Where’s Daddy? Where is my Daddy?

15.) When is the red thing going to come to my hand?

16.) What’s the biggest lion at the zoo? Hahahah.

17.) What’s the best circus player?

18.) Let’s get out.

19.) Why? Why? Why, Mom?

20.) Why is Mom writing down all the funny things I told you?

 

After about twenty minutes of this nonsense, my son handed my phone back to me and said, “Mom, she stopped answering. I think I knocked her out.”

No hard feelings, Siri. After 427 questions, I give up, too.