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.



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