You ready? Here goes....
Four-year-old boys can be really obnoxious.
I know, right? Will your world ever be the same after reading those eight words? My apologies if it's hard for you to go on with life as usual. Unless you're my neighbor and life as usual for you means leaving garbage on your front porch and letting your miniature doberman use my backyard as a toilet. In which case I'm glad I shattered this life as usual thing for you.
Why I ever thought that four was the magic age when all the annoying bullsh*t kids dish out would cease is beyond me. Maybe I heard it somewhere, from some all-knowing, all-seeing Reiki Master of a mom, but in all likelihood, this mom had only girls.
I guess I can see how four-year-olds in general are good for some things. They are strong enough to open the fridge on their own, thus able to help themselves to drinks and food (and bring me a beer while they're at it). They are usually potty-trained (unless it's night time. Or we're at the pool. Or the beach. Or a birthday party and they are too wrapped up in playing hide and seek to stop for two seconds and find a bathroom, and end up going in their pants, then claiming they placed last in a water-balloon fight). And they are relatively self-sufficient at dressing themselves (although their outfits typically consist of faded, way too-small t-shirts paired with elastic-waisted way-too-small gym shorts, an ensemble they believe will give them the extraordinary power to run super fast but in actuality makes them look like they are about to participate in a pickup volleyball game circa 1987).
But four-year-olds are also kind of at a developmental crossroads. They seem like they should be too old for tantrums, yet still they throw them, sometimes with as much gusto as an overtired two-year-old whose candy you just snatched. They seem like they should have the ability to be rational, yet when you stop them from trying to balance an 8x10 picture frame on their head while they stand in the middle of your tile kitchen floor, they look at you like you've sprouted an extra nose. You tell them to come to you, and sometimes they dart in the other direction, only now they're too spry for you to catch them (or your too pregnant to give chase, in which case you have to lay a snare trap, bait it with Thin Mints and say in a loud voice that you swear you just saw an anaconda slither past. Works every time.).
Four-year-old boys in particular have a highly developed penchant for the obnoxious. They essentially think they are hot sh*t, and because they can dress themselves and buckle their own seat belts, they also have full liberty to tell me my bottom is big, they are stronger than I am, and that they bet I can't count all the way to 80 million (and because I refuse to accept that challenge, they automatically assume I can't and tease me all the way to the grocery store about it. And if you're thinking, well, that's not too obnoxious, try listening to a kid sing "Haaa-haaaa, you can't count that hiiiiiigh," over and over for five full minutes. Those five minutes will feel like you've had to sit through Gilbert Godfry reading an instructional manual on crocheting).
They also think they can outsmart everyone on the planet. Rollie's new thing is taking candy, gum and other sundries I usually dole out on a restricted basis and hiding behind the couch to consume it. I've found all kinds of wrappers, crumbs, empty juice pouches and other evidence of his surreptitious gluttony back there, littering the carpet like it's a tiny stretch of the Jersey shore (minus the hypodermic needles...and Snookie). I've heard him rifling around in my purse, or the sound of him opening the fridge and then the pitter patter of his feet as he sprints to his hiding spot. I think he's mistaken my exhaustion for stupidity; because I don't always stop him must mean that I have no idea what's he's up to. Which makes him try to land bigger fish the next time. I've caught him lugging entire bottles of maple syrup and economy size bags of M&M's back there. Not sure what he was planning on doing with that combination--perhaps his version of tarring and feathering Elsa?
The only thing I'm concerned with at this point is that Rollie is slowly transforming into a jerk. I'm not sure how much of the teasing, the hiding, the darting out of reach is just a phase that all little boys go through, and that he will eventually revert to the semi-sweet morsel of a child he was a year ago. Or is this more of his personality coming to fruition, a sneak peek at what I have to look forward to (more of the same, only on a grander scale--one day I'll discover him behind the couch with a few girls, a keg of beer, a bouncer and a mechanical bull. Yee-haw.).