Yesterday, Rollie turned four.
I've been someone's mother for four years. To me, that doesn't sound like very long. I mean, four years is a long time for say, solitary confinement. Or to wait in line at the DMV. It is not a long time to be someone's mother. In that time, I feel like I should have much more figured out by now. I mean other than being an expert at changing the diaper of a child who is standing on top of an airplane toilet, while trying to keep said child from pushing the flight attendant call button, the flusher, and the secret bell you ring once you've joined the Mile High Club.
But I've only just begun. I've only reached base camp in what will certainly by a long, arduous and rewarding climb, where I will possibly lose a limb, or pass out and have to be rescued by a giant Saint Bernard bearing a little keg of whisky. Or if I'm lucky, a six pack of Michelob Ultra.
We really get shoved into parenthood though, don't we? We go into this whole thing knowing that we will have a baby, and that this baby will turn into a toddler, a preschooler, a kid, and hopefully, a functioning, relatively normal member of society, who may or may not one day be president, or at least be able to pay his rent on time. But nothing really prepares us for it. Not books, not classes, not snippets of advice and cautionary tales from other parents. This is definitely a Learn As We Go gig. And you know, for the most part I've been pleasantly surprised.
For example, I knew I would eventually have to cut Rollie's fingernails. But until I actually did it, I had visions of me accidentally lopping off a fingertip in the process. I knew I would eventually have to clean up his puke, and just assumed that it would be the most disgusting, Rob Zombie horror-flick scene I could imagine, with gratuitous projectile fluids and exploding torsos. But when the time came that I was on the business end of a barf-o-matic, it was more like a Rob Zemeckis puke scene, with tasteful special effects and catchy theme music and a sort of feel good ending that almost made me wish I had someone to share it with. I mean besides Rollie.
(Wow, I just realized that I've been pleasantly surprised at how un-disgusting my son throwing up was to me. I have got to get out more.)
Rollie has come a long way in his four years on earth. When I first started this blog, he was in the throes of being Two. He threw things, he peed on the floor, he refused to nap, eat, stay dressed or speak in complete sentences (or at least sentences that didn't unnecessarily include the word Poopy). Now that he's four, he pees in the toilet. Or outside. Or in an empty water bottle if we're out and about and I just don't feel like hauling everyone into a disgusting gas station restroom. So yeah, we've made some progress in the past two years.
The neatest thing about Rollie turning four is that he is experiencing things he'll carry with him for the rest of his life. He'll remember the time he ate breakfast with Winnie The Pooh (probably because it was the first time he could use the word 'pooh' and not elicit a Mean Mommy Face from me). He'll remember the nature hikes we used to take in our neighborhood (especially when Mommy realized we were trespassing on private property and hustled everyone out of the woods before the shotgun blast went off). He'll remember going to school and learning about numbers, letters, and how to wash his hands after handling something one of the multiple Aiden's in his class just sneezed on.
And if he doesn't remember the time he donned Elsa's homemade tu-tu, her princess heels, and pranced into the family room to show me his get-up...well...that's why God invented cameras.
Happy Birthday, my sweet boy. Your legs look amazing in those shoes.