Jamie counted down the days until his birthday… starting two weeks ago. Every other minute, he would either ask “How many days till my birthday, mommy?” or tell us all, loudly, “EIGHT days until my BIRTHDAY!!!”
I like to think his birthday lived up to expectations, but it’s tough to tell. It’s always tough to tell with Jamie. With Charles, every emotion is writ large on his face. He’s an open book and he hasn’t yet (and may never) learn the fine art of dissembling. Jamie, on the other hand, is an enigma.
When he’s happy and excited, he’s all smiles and has a zest for life unmatched by anyone I know – and I have always counted Charles among the most excitable people around. Jamie is just over the top. He is also crazy serious about things sometimes. As he rode his bike to the park and I walked along beside him earlier this spring, he stopped me and in all seriousness said, “Mom, we need to stop. I need a thumb break.” He stuck his thumb in his mouth and his finger up his nose and took care of business for a few moments. “Okay, we can go now.” I died laughing inside.
He’s often quiet. In fact, he seems to need the quiet in a way that the rest of us don’t. After spending all day at daycare with lots of other loud kids, he likes to spend time playing all alone or just with me (not always possible with his baby brother in the picture). He doesn’t like to participate in group activities. When I asked him if he wanted to do soccer, he immediately said “no.”
Sometimes, it appears that he is the one laughing at us. Like the whole world is just absurd, and he’s the only one who has noticed.
A couple weeks ago, when my parents were here, Charles got in trouble for something and had to do some extra chores. He was cleaning up the back yard while Jamie chilled on the couch. Jamie frequently takes little “time-outs” from the world to suck his thumb, pick his nose, and contemplate… whatever it is that four-year-olds contemplate. My mom walked over to him and said, in that sweet, encouraging voice we adults use when we want to coerce children into doing something by making it seem like an awesome idea, “Jamie, we could go help your brother pick up toys in the yard.” I think she was figuring that it would be a nice thing to do and that the chore would get done faster, but Jamie just deadpanned, “Yeah. But I don’t want to.” And then my mom imploded from laughter.
The other day, as I was getting dressed, he said to me, “Mom, when you wear a shirt, I can’t see your big breasts!” Thanks, I guess?
Now that it’s summer, he no longer wears footie pajamas all day. Instead, he strips down to nothing and runs around the yard bare-ass naked. In the evening, before bed, he does “naked laps” around the yard.
He can raise one incredulous eyebrow. I haven’t figured out what it means yet.
To Jamie, the “oo” in “poop” is pronounced the same as the “u” in “cute.”
He’s four years old now, a stage I called the “Fucking Fours” with Charles. Indeed, we’ve seen a bit of the stubborn, fit-throwing behavior with Jamie in the past month or so, potentially ramping up to a year of being a little shit, but it’s okay. We’ll weather the storms as they come, much like we did for his brother.
He’s still more little boy than big boy, more sticky hands a sloppy kisses than scraped knees and baseballs. I love him so much.