Puberty and the Four-Year-Old Mind

Tonight the younger and better version of myself spent time discussing various items of interest to him. Where do bugs go at night, why does his friend say Googie and not doogie, when will he look like me, will he have hair on his legs and back, what about his feet, will they be big like mine, why does Popeye eat spinach, and why does mom want him to go to sleep at night.

It was just like that, a run on sentence of questions about his place in the world, life, what to expect and more. I love it. I love the curiosity and interest. He cracks me up with the questions and some of the comments are priceless.

“Daddy, will you pour me a nice glass of water in the Scooby Doo glass. It is refreshing.”

And then he’ll slip in expressions in Hebrew that he learned in school. “Abba, Motek, bo leh poh. Ani roseh ledeber itcha.”

This is followed by counting in English and Hebrew. It is pretty cool to watch and listen, sometimes he’ll take time to instruct me. “Daddy, this is hamesh, five.” I smile and praise him, positive reinforcement and encourage him to keep teaching me

Sometimes he really gets into this, he loves pretending to be the daddy while I am the son. I haven’t explained to him that when I don’t listen I am not acting, I am just being me. Ask my father, he’ll confirm it.

We seem to have moved away from the conversations about death. I was never bothered by having to discuss it, never upset with the topic. It is all natural and age appropriate, but I must say that when he asked me to tell him when he would die, that did hurt. It wasn’t a rational pain, but it is not something that any parent wants to consider.

Today one of the girls in his class hugged and kissed him. He said that he told her to stop or he would punch her in the nose. I told him that there were better ways to try and charm a woman. And then he reminded me that she is yucky and that she didn’t listen to him when he said no. I laughed and muttered “get used to it, they never do” and was simultaneously struck in the shoulder.

Supermom had managed to get the drop on both of us. My boy better develop some real skill at woodcraft or superpowers, because between his mother and I he is going to be hard pressed to fool us.

Did I mention that he beat me 15-0 on the Playstation. I was walloped and abused by a four-year-old. Ouch. That is ok, he should be better, smarter and more successful than his old man.

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  1. K February 17, 2005 at 7:16 pm

    Hey Jack!
    I can relate. My four year old nephew is the funniest person I know. He once told me not to wear lip balm because my lips would blow up!!
    He only plays basic games with me on Gamecube since he knows how horrible I am!
    Keep up the excellent writing.

  2. Jack's Shack February 17, 2005 at 4:06 pm

    Hi Sj,

    I am happy to continue doing so, children are so much fun and so rewarding.

  3. A Simple Jew February 17, 2005 at 12:43 pm

    Jack: I really enjoy reading what you write about the time you spend with your son. Four year olds sound like so much fun. It makes me look forward to this age with my own children.

    Keep the stories coming! 🙂

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