Alex is four.
He’s exasperating. He likes to raid my jewelry and necklaces, and usually if I let him have something I never see it again. So when he wanted to go through rings and take some with actual precious stones, it was a big no. Which resulted in a big fight.
He’s persistent. He likes to go through my make-up bag. I gave him an old powder compact with a mirror. He liked that but he had his eye on a tube of very messy, very burgundy, very sparkly eyeshadow. He wouldn’t let it go so I said he could put a little bit on. He did fine with that, but then turned it upside down and the crystals spilled all over the bathroom floor.
But he’s cute. He’s got that going for him, which allows him to get away with a lot more than most. Certainly more than anyone over the age of say, eight. If any of the other boys looked at me square in the eye, and said with a smile, “I farted,” at the dinner table, I would read them the riot act. But he does it with this mercurial twinkle in his eye, and I just give him an eye roll.
Kids his age are so wonderful because their personality is based almost solely upon what they themselves like. They’re not worried about looking cool, or trying to impress their friends, or covering something up because they’re embarrassed by it. There is just so much freedom in that. You can talk to yourself. Wear Mardi Gras beads while climbing rocks. Audibly gasp with unfettered excitement when you see a tiger swallowtail butterfly. And pet and talk to each and every animal at the county fair. Go outside in your pajamas.
Really no matter what crazy thing you do, it’s accepted. And written off as either cute or silly, or just a byproduct of the age. I’m trying to relish and appreciate this time in his life because I know it’s going to become more difficult as he gets older to remain true to himself. So I just listen to his happy laughter and singing, and write down some of the things he says.
Telling a joke. “I’m gonna tell a story. Why did the chicken cross the street? To get to the other side.”
Pondering the ins and outs of the criminal justice system. “Do jail cars have good songs?”
Tallying up girlfriends with Justin. “My geerl-friends are Lily, Anna, Sonja, Kaitlyn, Emma, and Hanna.”
Putting on a show while Penny keeps stealing his toys. “This play is cancelled because there is a mean dog.”
Lecturing me after I reprimanded his brother. “Don’t be mad to David!”
Praising one of his favorite foods, the dried mango. “I love those flamingoes!”
Commenting on the new priest at our church, Fr. Paul, who replaced our friend, Fr. Paul. “That is NOT the real Father Paul.”
Giving himself a little reminder. “A king is a boy and a queen is a girl. A king is a boy and a queen is a girl. A king is a boy and a queen is a girl. A king is a boy and a queen is a girl.”
Singing his favorite song for the hundredth time. “Boy I think about it every night, and day. I’m addicted, wanna jam inside your love. I wouldn’t wanna have it any other way. I’m addicted and I just can’t get enough.”
© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2011