Charlie, right now, is wonderful and frustrating, and from what I can tell, definitely a four year old.

I’m discovering that four is a pretty monumental age.  Three was a year of discovery and frolicking and tantrums that could be dispelled by a hug.  Four is an age of pouting that cannot be kissed away, and of some pretty scary discoveries.

Death

I’ll get the Debbie Downer stuff out of the way right off the bat.  Charlie’s got a bit of a death obsession right now, and, really, can you blame him?  Around Christmastime, after watching River Monsters with his older cousin, Charlie asked me, “Mom?  Do animals die?”

Oh my frick.  Crap.  “Yeah, bud, they do.”

Fiddling with Legos.  “Do we die?”

Crap. Frick. Can we talk about Pingu, maybe?  Even Thomas?  Or Caillou?  Let’s watch Caillou.  “Yeah, Charlie, after a long long long time, we do.”

I mean, really, am I going to say, “Yep!  It’s actually a little terrifying.  Actually, some electrical wiring could totally go faulty right now, and the house could burn down, and we could all totally die,”?  No.  No, I’m not going to say that.  Eventually we got to the fact that sometimes people get sick or in accidents and die, but at that time, a “long long long time” from now, sounded pretty good.

So, yeah.  Charlie will bring up “dying day,” quite a bit, and Paul is much better at dealing with it than I am.  I’m trying, and listening to Paul’s responses has been helpful, but it doesn’t mean I like it.  It’s very interesting to see his little brain work through it, though, and I’m amazed that he’s better at thinking about death at age 4 than I am as a 29 year old woman.

Poop

Charlie thinks poop is hilarious.  Thank goodness he has a little friend named Bob who also thinks poop is hilarious.  They seem to get most of their poop talk out of their systems (ba-doom chick) when they’re playing together, and it doesn’t come up too much in polite conversation.

Angry Birds

I cannot believe how much of a thing Angry Birds have become around here.  It all started when a spectacular guy at a wonderful coffee shop in Omaha let Charlie play his Angry Birds “Knock on Wood” game.  He now has 3 different versions of that game, another secretly waiting in the closet, and me sitting on eBay for hours trying to find the DAMN “HAPPY HAM O WEEN” game that is LITERALLY NOWHERE TO BE FOUND.  I’m seriously amazed by this phenomenon.  But, I’m telling you guys, watching Charlie and Bob play Angry Birds for hours is hilarious and delightful.  They do voices and come up with stories and it’s straight-up fantastic.

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Lucy

Lucy and Charlie are in the stage where every once in a while I will find them hugging and most of the time I will find their foreheads shoved together like two angry fighting moose.  Or finding Lucy’s teeth furiously locked onto Charlie’s skin while his eyes are wide with excruciating pain and disbelief while Lucy’s eyes are ablaze with mischief and glee.

Needless to say it gets a little bit frustrating.

Sure enough, though, I will see Charlie squeezing his fists and “pretend hitting” Lucy so that he doesn’t actually hit her.  I’m not sure how to explain this… he kind of bats the air around her head while gritting his teeth.  I can see how frustrated he is, and I can see him trying not to actually hurt Lucy.  Charlie’s a sensitive little guy, and I love that he’s trying so hard not to hurt his sister.  You can only take so many chomps from a mischievous little pixie with a thirst for 4-year-old blood before you actually start hitting, though.  I tell him to just count to ten and walk away from her… but I totally understand why he’s upset.  Her teeth are like angry little razors attached to one of the cutest damn faces I ever did see.  The feelings are conflicting.

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Charlie, in general

Charlie is so sweet.  I love his groggy face when he walks out of his bedroom in the mornings.  He’s so genuinely glad to see me, and heads straight for a hug or a snuggle before quietly pleading to watch gameplay videos of geeks on YouTube playing Angry Birds.  He hugs his sister even though she leaves teeth marks on him, and desperately loves to make surprises for his daddy while he’s away at work.  Sometimes I look at him at my heart hurts because he has perfect Luke Skywalker hair, or because his eyes are actually green sometimes more than they are blue.  I’m not terribly good at sentimental writing when it comes to my own stuff, but oh my gosh, I love this kid.  I love him so much that I don’t like to think about how much I love him, if that makes sense.  So, it should be totally unsurprising that I leave you with a joke that he told me last week:

“Mom!  Why did the angry bird jump into the lava!?!?”

“I don’t know, Charlie.  Why?”

“BECAUSE HE THOUGHT IT WAS A SWIMMING POOL!!!!  THAT’S SILLY BECAUSE IT WOULD BE TOO HOT AND HE WOULD SAY OW OW OW AND DIE BLEHHHHH!!!!!”