Once again, I was astounded that another whole year had passed since I was attempting to find cards with SON and the appropriate age on. J2 and I had made it through another 365 days, to the grand old age of four.
In 2013 when the impending age of three loomed I looked forward to it with the naïve hopefulness that, like in that legendary episode of Harry Enfield when Kevin turns from boy to teenager - but with the reverse effect - my tantrum throwing, stubborn little red head would turn into a polite, mindful little boy.
'When they get to three, they get easier.' I had heard almost everyone say.
Hopeful. Ever hopeful.
As you may have guessed this, of course, did not happen. In fact I would dare to say that for the first six months of being three, he actually got worse. However, things seemed to calm back down to a more manageable level for the latter six months.
At the ripe old age of four, J2 knows everything. And is so unbelievably verbose he has no qualms in telling me, and most other people this in a four year old fashion. He also has already established, to frustrating perfection, that amazing male art of 'selective hearing'.
Now don't get me wrong. We have good days. Those wonderful times when you can dare to think to yourself 'Houston I think we have turned a corner.' but more often than not, days are filled with drawn battle lines. In a way this is fun. I like to see my boy argue his case and try to negotiate his way out of trouble or into doing whatever he wants. I think this could serve him as a good trait in the future if he hones it properly. However, I do not appreciate it when we are in the middle of the supermarket and he is testing this skill out.
Most people take to J2 well. He is a 'cheeky chappy' and of course I can see how that little grin and quirky comment will make you laugh and love him. It makes me laugh and love him. But when you see me snap 'Will you please - just do as I ask!', please remember I have been dealing with that 'cheeky chappy' and his disinterest in doing anything I ask him too, all day.
This is not a complaining post, I thought I had written about J1 a lot of late and it was high time I put a little something on here for my little J2 because he is such a character. Yes he is very hard work to entertain as he doesn't have the greatest attention span, but it is a pleasure to be able to do just the 'normal' stuff such as scooting and going to the park or to the cinema. When he behaves of course.
To get a day where he does and we get our chores done (hands up, he is a fantastic helper) and then we can take a trip and randomly chose an activity is, priceless. When I watch him hop onto J1's bed with a tissue to wipe his dribble, or correct his glasses or just give him a cuddle makes me swell with pride. To hear the two of them trying to have a little conversation - there is nothing sweeter to my ears.
So, as four approached I didn't imagine a big overnight change. Good job, I didn't get one. But I also realised that four really is a big number. School applications have been submitted and results are eagerly awaited. Number and letter learning books are being featured for 15 minutes a day in an attempt to get him to try and focus for more than 30 seconds. Bikes have been mastered (with stabilisers of course) and artwork by the bucket load arrives from nursery.
Do I long for the baby years again? In all honesty no. But do I think time is going a little too fast? Maybe. Unless we are having a really stubborn day, then school I think will be the best place for him to learn some discipline that I am struggling to get through to him.
He is a character, our youngest boy, who is very into Mr Men and the only way to sum him up :