And Then He Turned Four…

Photo: Weren’t you an infant five minutes ago? What happened here?


His favorite word to say right now is “taco.” He thinks it is the absolute funniest thing that a person can say. He loves to drive his brother crazy by replacing regular words in sentences with it. His second favorite word is “poop,” especially in inappropriate places. Lord, give me the strength…

This is any given moment of my day right now:

Ursa minor: “I’m am playing with my yellow truck!”

Ursa Major: “I’m playing with my taco taco truck!” [breaks into laughter]

[Ursa Minor whines, cries or screams depending on his mood.]

[I shrug and make a face at both boys. “Seriously?”]

Ursa Major thinks that is just awesome.


He discovered that he can do donuts in the yard on his “motorcycle” if he can hit the ice just right.

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He knows that he loves hugs, but he wipes off kisses because he “doesn’t really like them that much, mama.”

Last year, his only request for birthday dinner was cake. This year, he thought about it, finger on his little cleft chin, and he says, “well, my favorite is meatballs and spaghetti. Can I have that? And I like pineapple and I like spinach. I think I want that, too.”

Oh my God. You can have as much of that as you want, dude!

His first love is trains, but he second is cars, and he puts them in this plastic toolbox that his grandparents gave him a birthday ago (it came with tools, but those tools live  in the toolbox). When it is time to play, he gets his toolbox full of cars and neatly takes the cars out. Lining them up, one at a time, with a formula and narrative of his own design. When he’s done, the cars go back into the box. I didn’t prompt this. He decided that there were too many cars for him to carry at once and the toolbox functioned perfectly for this task. It’s always a “wow” thing for me to see. Too bad he still isn’t in the business of sharing with his brother!

My eldest son loves sweaters. He has a little set of pull-overs and happily pulls them over his head.

Speaking of that! This is a child who puts on his own boots! He can just about dress himself fully without my help! He still has a problem with shirts (getting them on), but we’re working on it.

When he’s proud, he smiles this great smile, and he often screams “Oh yeah!” and dances around. We’ve been successful at the potty for almost a month and a half now. No more tears, no more frustration, no more accidents. It’s done so much for the both of us.

But he and i still struggle. He and I have the same temper and the same sense of self. He forgets that he and I aren’t equals. He thinks that if the rules are that when I speak, he listens, it absolutely should fly the same way. I… love that about him. And I hate it. It drives me crazy. It makes me worry about the school days to come. He’s a leader in the making, to be sure, but we all have to learn to follow first. And that’s the great struggle. To foster the fierceness, kindle the spark, but demand the discipline… my God. I can barely keep myself in check!

I’m sitting here grateful that we both survived 3 and that Ursa Major will be 4 tomorrow. I cannot help but sit here bewildered by the fact that I’ve been a mother for 4 years. Four years. I’ve been away from the workforce for 4 years, too, and that looms over me a bit. I  wake up every day reminded that eventually I’m going to have to go back. Half my brain schemes to find a way to stay here at home and still contribute to our bottom line and the world (hello blogging, hello fiction!) but then another part of me reaches out to shake more hands (I’ve accepting a lot of invitations lately. I’m surprised!). I’m know, at least, that I’ve grown just as much as my Big Bear has over these 4 years. I’ve picked up skills, I’ve pushed myself to the limit, I’ve made new friends… and we are both here, happy and healthy and ready for whatever is next.

So I’m pretty much in birthday mode for the rest of the week. I’m baking a cake tonight for tomorrow, I’m making that big spaghetti dinner, I’m taking 30 brownies for Friday’s school snack (because cupcakes are so 2013)… and then there is playdough to make for the goodie bags, which we’re also stuffing with pirate-theme nonsense (golden coins! Chocolate coins! hurray!). It’s not too much, actually. The party on Saturday is at a place, the kids are going to have a great time, everyone is going to get pizza and cake and then, by the grace of God, they’ll all go to bed. And we adults will drink and play Dragon Age. Or, at least, that’s what I’ll be doing!

OH! Did I tell you that we started the next DIY? The Living Room is getting painted!



It’s called “Blue Jean” (Benjamin Moore again. We love these people.) but I think it looks more like an ice blue.

Perfect curtain choice for this room?


Boom! Option A from the dining room! Works SO perfectly!


Huh? Curtain choice for the dining room? Oh, I guess I can throw that in, too!


Ta da!!! Option C. NO PAISLEY! The Husband is so pleased.

But then, check this out:



This is why everyone needs a color consultant in their lives. The dining room and the living room are linked and opened to each other. The eye is always going between the two rooms. These colors mesh so nicely. It won’t feel like a hodge podge, but a cohesive and tasteful blending (yet two separate spaces.) SO nice. I’m very pleased with how this turned out!

Primer goes down tonight. Then paint will go down. I am going to buy the fabric this week or over the weekend. I’ll have pictures for you, God willing, on Monday of the finished project.

See you Friday for Quiet Thoughts? I might be baking my ass off… we’ll see…

9 Comments Add yours

  1. 4 has been amazing and frustrating for us. O is so great at so many things, but so incredibly stubborn about the things he doesnt want to do. For example, he was topless until 10:30am this morning because he “can’t” put his own shirt on (he so can) and I wouldnt help him (bare in mind that his 3 year old suster put her entire outfit on by herself!). It is not warm here. This is Canada! Its such an amzing time though because I feel like they really take a big step in personality and maturity, but the bestie and I (her daughter turned 4 a few months after O) do joke about them being “4 going on 14” a lot;)

    1. K.C. Wise says:

      I am really hoping that 4 is our “tipping point” year, where Ursa Major really starts to see the world more and we can get past the fights and into the fun. You know? I am ready to explore with him and introduce him to real THINKING and WONDERING. I think that’s what I’m looking forward to most.

      It’s so funny how much “faster” girls are than boys. Ursa Major still “can’t” put a shirt on by himself. He INSISTS on the help. I don’t know what it is! Actually, I think it’s jealousy… Minor still needs to much attention and I think this is how Major thinks he must stay in touch…

      Anyway, I’m looking forward to it. I hope that O figures out how to be less stubborn!! Mama needs a break! (How’s the snow in Canada right now? We’re gettin’ it here and I am NOT excited!!!)

      1. We live in Ontario, which has the most fickle weather. We’ve got a decent amount of anow out there but it was freezing rain a few days ago! I think we have a few sunny days ahead, so I’m looking forward to it.

        Ha! I wish he wasn’t so stubborn sometimes but he’s so fun anyway. He’s going to be 5 in two months and I can already see him changing already. I love watching them grow, and seeing them have those little breakthroughs where things start making more sense to them:)

  2. screw the workforce–The Culinary Exclusive, Precision Catering, The Farmhouse Bakery…I see reknown in your future.

    and jesus all christ, where did the time go?!

    Happy birthday young man. You will make the world proud.

    Ps Mom–buy those plastic organizer trays you use for like beads, or nails and screws, to organize his cars. The ones with latching lids are great cuz you can take your cars on play visits without losing them. And thy stack neatky too.

    1. K.C. Wise says:

      I LOVE this idea about the plastic organizer. I need a place to PUT it right now (we don’t have enough flat surfaces in the playroom. I smell a trip to Homegoods!!! Weeeeeee!!!).

      Precision Catering, hmm? I’m feelin’ that, Leah… These blue bloods need some soul food…

      1. Hey, while marinating on your horizontal space problem: can you do vertical? They have handles–hang em like coffe mugs? Or make elevating platforms with pulleys and a board, maybe some milk crates. Since it’s a playroom, nothing innovative will clash with the decor given careful thought & planning. And its an excuse for Husband to use power tools!

  3. Miriam Joy says:

    Ah, totally forgot Ursa Major’s birthday – which you may think is no biggie, but I remember commenting last year on what an excellent day it is for a birthday 😉 I am precisely fifteen years older than your son… that’s a little scary. I have friends younger than fifteen. I can fit my entire friend’s life in between my birth and his. Ahhh. (Time is scary. It has been scaring me a lot recently. I FEEL LIKE I’M GETTING OLD.)

    Hope you have a great week and the baking goes well! 🙂

    1. K.C. Wise says:


      can you drink yet!? You can, right? It’s different over there? I HOPE YOU HAD A DRINK!!!

      The baking was like WHOA, but I got it all done. 🙂 My oven is always bumpin’ these day! Good thing we got a pretty good one!

      1. Miriam Joy says:

        I’ve been legally able to drink since last year, but I don’t (and now I’m on meds where I can’t, but I don’t care because it’s not my thing). Ha ha. I had some friends over to drink tea and eat biscuits, and then my family came up to see me at uni today. I’m pretty low-key when it comes to birthday celebrations. 🙂

        Woo! Well done on the baking!

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