Something Happened

I can’t exactly pinpoint it, but something changed recently.

Shortly before his fourth birthday Alex started maturing a bit. His logic was becoming slightly more sound, his pronunciation of words a tiny bit better, his step a little less little-kid like. Every once in a while I would realize that I just had a legitimate conversation with him, or that he hadn’t whined in an entire day, or that his legs had absolutely zero baby fat left on them.

Something happened recently.

Around turning four, Alex became what I can only assume is a four-year-old. He’s…grown up a bit. He’s…a preschooler.

The other day he told me something was very disappointing. And he was using the word correctly! It never ceases to amaze me what words he knows and his ability to pull them out of (seemingly) nowhere. When was the last time he had heard the word disappointing? Probably months ago, yet he remembered it.

He is not three. Three was a, how to put it nicely?, stressful age. Defiant. Constantly bargaining. Nearly always whining about something that wasn’t perfect.

Now don’t think I’m naive and sitting here saying “four is wonderful!” when I’ve only been living in four land for two weeks. I know four is a tough age, too. Every age has its challenges, and I know I will meet many new ones this year as a few old ones dissipate. The defiance hasn’t left, but there is slightly more reasoning within it. The whining hasn’t left, but it can be stopped more easily.

I liked three. I enjoyed finally having a kid to really engage with.

Three is gone, and I’m a bit sad about that. But four is here, and Alex has clearly entered it. Little changes here and there. Maturing.

I can’t quite put into words what these changes are, but they are distinct. My little guy is turning into a not-quite-so-little guy.

He’s four.