Today I hung out with a very good friend, K, and her two-year old son, and it made me realize that my four-year old child is HUGE and TALKY.
We went to Nordstrom (she needed shoes! I needed a latte!) and I realized two other things: I can still understand toddler-speak (fist pump), and, also, a two-year old can still be picked up and carted out of a store if needed (for clarification, his mom did, not me.) (Although I would have if she had asked me. I still have the mad skillz to football-hold a toddler and march up a flight of stairs. YES! Our college degrees are officially put to good use.). If my gigantic four-year old needed to be removed from a store it would have been a goddamn mini-Geneva-style negotiation and likely would have led me to giving in to things that the 25-year old, all-knowing me would have been horrified with.
One thing I have in my pocket, that I try not to over-use: if I say I'm leaving and walk away, Jack still follows, albeit with a touch, just a touch, of high-pitched screaming, and also the distinct possiblity of him falling into a boneless pile on the floor. (I will regret ever writing that sentence. From here on out Jack will disregard everything I say and turn around and walk the opposite direction.) (God, I hope that second sentence cancels out the first and we just go back to him following me out of a store.) I'm confused, too. Jack, please just follow me out of the fucking store and let's call it a deal.
My point is that I miss the two's. THERE I SAID IT. K wants to slap me as hard as I want to slap myself.
I think the biggest difference is that as my 98th percentile-child gets older, people tend to have different expectations. My four-year old child looks like, and has the vocabulary of, a six-year old, and people (and I take my own responsibility here, too) tend to have the expectation that he act like a six-year old. Sometimes I feel bad for him. It's unfair to him. But then, you know, life is unfair. Most importantly, and what often makes me proud, is that he tends to rise to the occasion.
He pretty much blows my mind on a regular basis.
Well played, kid. Well played.