(Seriously though, did they name one of them Sir Carter Carter?)
(CARTER CARTER. Did this really happen??)
(Rich and famous people are the best.)
R & J just turned four years old. We got them walkie talkies. The recommendation on the box was for ages five and up.
We should've listened to the box.
They were incapable of holding down a button and talking at the same time. It was bewildering.
But there are other things that mark being four years old.
(For previous LOLs from my kids, click on the Blog Category "Kids" over there somewhere -------->)
At four, R knows what he wants to be when he's an adult.
"When I'm grown up I want to be just like dada," he told his mum. Then, to demonstrate he was making strides towards this dream, he added:
"I'm already clumsy."
Later when my wife told me this, arguably enjoying the retelling a little too much, I walked over to where R was playing - very carefully obviously, because I'm clumsy - and asked him, "why do you want to be like dad?".
I was hoping for some redemption for my ego.
Instead he said, "so I will be taller than mummy." And that was it.
A few weeks later, R had a more specific job for this future.
"I'm going to build a rocket when I'm older," he declared. "I have to practise my driving now. And J, dad and mum, will all help."
I didn't want to stifle his ambition, but I thought maybe I could make a few supportive suggestions.
"What about hiring a physicist or an engineer to help build the rocket?".
"But I don't know any," he replied.
Aside from my clumsiness, I do share a few other traits with the kids.
I was styling J's hair for some event, using hair gel. J does not have particularly thick hair. I see his future in the mirror every day. Balding.
After I'd finished, I asked, "how's that?".
He smiled and said, "my hair looks like daddy."
It didn't at all really, but that did not stop me walking into the trap.
"Is that good?".
"That's bad," he said, still grinning at his reflection.
On the way home from work and childcare, R told me, "do you know if someone throws sand at you in the sandpit, you tell a grownup?".
I immediately went into protective mode.
"Did someone throw sand at you today?"
Well, that's a relief, I thought. Unless...
"Did you throw sand at someone else?"
"So why are you telling me?", I wondered aloud.
"I'm just telling you, because you didn't know."
At four, you begin to appreciate food.
We asked J what he wanted to eat and he said, "Chinese noodle!".
By this, he meant pork noodles from a Shanghai restaurant we often take them to for dinner. And probably some xiao long bao on the side.
When we said that wouldn't work because we eating at home, he looked us with a mixture of confusion and irritation. "But I'm sure they will deliver," he remarked.
The next week after childcare, mum was making conversation by asking, "did you have chilli con carne for dinner?".
J replied, "no! We had rice and meat." A perfect translation to English.
We once received expert advice that if you eat with the kids semi-regularly and have vegetables each time, they eventually will see you eating the vegetables and consider it a normal part of dinner. And this is how kids learn to eat vegetables without tears and tantrums.
Two years later, J will still pick tiny specs of green herbs off food.
He likes to speak in the third person about his eating habits - "J's don't eat peas." Or perhaps he is the chosen representative for all people named J?
J also likes to help pack away the shopping. After he successfully identified some of the standard items - broccoli, carrots, milk, cheese, etc. - I held up a carton of chicken stock. "What's this?", I asked.
After some contemplation, he came up with the tentative answer, "uhh, spicy milk?".
More on food.
R's was telling me how earlier his pants had fallen down. This happens often. He is tall enough for size 3 or 4, but skinny enough for size 1 or 2. Obviously he finds this hilarious, rather than embarrassing. Hence why he was telling me all about it.
Then he told me, "mumma tied them and said, she wishes she was this skinny. You know what I said?"
I did not.
"Eat less. That's what I do."
When J doesn't want to do something he will just straight up pretend it's something else.
You give him a banana: "that's not bananas, it's apple."
You try and get him dressed: "you can't put that on my legs, it's not pants, it's a shirt. Those aren't shoes for my feet, they're toys."
When he doesn't want to use the toilet properly (P.S. kids are disgusting): "I don't need to wipe my bottom, that's not poo, it's wee."
He's done this for awhile, but at four, it has morphed into straight-up lying.
I explicitly asked him not to touch the scissors on the kitchen bench,. After I saw him immediately pickup those scissors, which he quickly slammed back down on the kitchen bench upon getting caught, he claimed: "I didn't touch the scissors. You did!" Then, "you didn't see me do it, I saw you do it!".
He's not exactly a master of deception yet.
If the pants aren't shirts, and the shoes aren't toys, R & J will usually dress themselves.
One afternoon when collecting them from childcare, R lifted his pants up to show me he had different socks on.
"What happened?", I asked.
"I lost one of my socks, so I changed it."
"When I went for my nap, I took my socks off, and then I put them in my undies. When I woke up, one of them wasn't there anymore."
At four, kids start to understand jokes.
Well, they understand what a joke is. Not how they actually work.
J told me the one about the chicken that needs to get to the other side.
He then asked me to "say a knock knock joke."
I could only think of one.
"Orange you glad to see me!"
J smiled. He looked more confused than amused. Then he said, "come in."
Their cousin got a very small and not very threatening dog. When told the news, R said, "we can never go to their place again."
Despite this grave warning, we did head over. On the way, we stopped at a pet store so R & J could buy the dog a toy each. I stayed in the car with baby O, who was asleep, while mum took them inside.
When they returned, R excitedly showed me the toy he had picked for the dog and explained how the dog would chew it and it would squeak.
J threw his selection into baby O's car seat and said, "here's a toy for you."