Today my baby turned four. That's two plus two. He knows, and he'll tell you.
Ian's been a sick little guy this week. Just when I thought he had outgrown his need for snuggles and kisses, he got hit with a nasty stomach virus and wanted to be carried, held, and babied. I happily obliged. At 4:30 this morning, he woke up crying. By the time I got to his bedroom, Aidan was meeting me at the door, saying, "Mommy. Ian needs you!" He was burning up with fever. I got him some medicine, and Aidan got him some water. Within 3 minutes, all was calm again and as I tucked them back under their covers, I whispered to Aidan, "You're such a good big brother."
"Is it Ian's birthday yet?" he asked. I said yes. He answered, "So I'm not a big brother. I'm just a brother." He's right. For nine days, both Ian and Aidan will be 4 years old, and they think that's the coolest thing in the whole wide world. For now, they're even. For nine days, no one is older than the other.
Ian's feeling much better tonight. He's gone more than 24 hours without vomiting, and he hasn't had fever since that early morning bout. Once again, he's too big for kisses and snuggles. At bedtime tonight, just after taking a bajillion photos of him, I grabbed him up and squeezed him tight. He stiffened, furrowed his brow, set his chin, and then finally relaxed and gave in to the hug. But only for a second. Then he said, with all the authority of a 4-year-old, "Ok, Mom. That's enough."
That's what he thinks. He's a sound sleeper. He doesn't know that sometimes late at night, long after he's giggled himself to sleep, I tiptoe into his room and lay my cheek against his, feeling his baby breath tickling my nose. I smooth his hair, kiss his lips, and take him in until he stirs or rolls over, whichever comes first.
I love this little man with every fiber of my being. He's scary smart, tenatious and temperamental. I hope I'm smart enough, disciplined enough and long-suffering enough to raise him right. He deserves the best. He's my (not-so-little-anymore)boy.