I heard there would be a difference when Robbie turned four, but I was hesitant to believe it. After all, I’d heard something similar about him turning three, and that was really more of the same terrible twos. Except with a bigger child who could throw a louder fit. However, this time, there was something to this whole turning four thing. And maybe the whole becoming-a-big-brother-thing.
Lately, Robbie has started getting up in the morning and taking a shower on his own. Then, he packed his own lunch and fixed his own breakfast. He even dressed himself. Yesterday, however, we hit a new high. I was still getting dressed when Robbie came running into the bathroom, distraught. The morning had gone so well; I couldn’t imagine what had gotten Robbie so upset.
“Mom! I’m trying to make you a jelly sandwich for breakfast, and I can’t get the bread. It was supposed to be a ‘prise. Can you please help?” he sobbed into my shoulder.
I’m not sure I’ve ever squeezed my child harder. Here it was, 7:05 in the morning, and he was making sure I had breakfast. We walked into the kitchen, and I found that Robbie had gotten out both the jelly and the honey. After a brief lesson on the benefits of simplify (and peanut butter), Robbie sent me back to finish getting dressed while he made the sandwiches. Were they perfect? Not really – there was a follow-up lesson on spreading. But, it was probably the most delicious peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich I’ve ever had.
This afternoon, Robbie’s responsibility streak continued. We were working in the front yard – will I ever get rid of the trumpet vine that seems to follow me everywhere? – when Robbie and I noticed that Barkley had left the yard and was at the corner. Robbie called for Barkley, and the dog took off. I told Robbie to get in the car, which is the only successful way I’ve found to track him back down, especially now that I can barely run ten feet. Robbie yelled, “Mom, I’ve got this! I’ll get Barkley!” He took off down the road, in running pants and no shirt.
I hopped in the car, sure Barkley was all the way down the block and Robbie would be sitting on the sidewalk a third of the way there. You can imagine my surprise when I turned the corner to see Robbie grab Barkley around the neck. I held my breath, sure Barkley would break Robbie’s grip, and got out of the car ready to tell Robbie to grab the collar. Before I could even get the door open, Robbie grabbed Barkley’s collar and started toward the car.
“See, Mom?” he said in a low, grown-up voice. “I told you I’d get Barkley. He can go in the car. I’ll beat you back home!” And he was off like a shot, beating me back home to tell Justin about his adventure.