Life With a Four-Year-Old

In this week’s column I write about how four is a wonderful age. Four-year-olds have emerged from the most irrational phase of toddlerhood, yet they are still small, curious, cuddly beings who haven’t adopted any of the habits of school-aged kids yet.

Well, I guess I can’t say they haven’t adopted any habits. My four-year-old has two older brothers, so he does say “butt” a lot.

And naturally, as soon as I wrote this column and sent it to my editor, my delightful four-year-old spent the weekend regressing to the stage where he melted down at the drop of a hat (or the improper buttering of a bagel) and also did his best to avoid using a toilet.

It goes to show that parenting is not a steady climb toward success, with “success” meaning pleasant and obedient children who do not soil themselves or cry at the breakfast table.

Parenting is more like a roller-coaster, with ups and downs and loop-de-loops and gravitational forces that occasionally make you want to vomit. Of course, it’s worth keeping in mind that people pay to ride roller-coasters because they find them fun. So there’s that.

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