Four is hell.

by statia on March 21, 2011

Two posts in two days?  This ought to fill my quota for the rest of the month.

The Mini turned four a few weeks ago.   He’s a full fledged kid now.  It’s amazing how much he’s changed in the last year.  The gains he’s made.   Three was by far my least favorite age, and in the last month or two, as we neared four, things got easier.  He started to be cool again.

And then he got sick.   He’s had an ear infection for a month now.  We went through three rounds of antibiotics, which didn’t work, and on top of that, it made him a fucking beast to deal with.  Never has he given me the problems that I’ve experienced with him in the past few weeks.   Tomorrow he goes to an ENT, and we’ll see where we stand from there.  I’m suspecting allergies, because he’s never had more than a cold, and only two ear infections prior to this.   On top of this, LG has yet another ear infection, and we’re going to call the ENT for her tomorrow and move forward with tubes.  I’m just so done.

Anyway, I get that he’s a late bloomer in this regard.  He’s asserting independence,  testing boundaries, and seeking attention in less than desirable ways.   This is hard to deal with, because he’s never given me problems before.  He’s a very passive kid, and laid back.  This sudden onset of brazen attitude is bewildering.

Tonight, we were at the pool, and in typical attention seeking behavior, he refused to listen to his instructor.  She would try to get him into the pool and he would pull away.  He wasn’t scared, he just thought he was being funny.   By now, three other people are trying to get involved and I made it clear that if he didn’t listen, he was going home.   He got in the pool, and I could see that he was trying to catch my eye.  The teacher was making them line up to jump in, and I could see her struggling.  He didn’t want to get in line.  So she made him sit on the side of the pool.  As soon as she turned her back, he got back in.   At this point, I had had enough and pulled him out of the pool, where he started to cry and scream no, and then promptly bolted.

Had I not been so pissed off, I would have been mortified.   A director cut him off at the pass and reprimanded him, which point, I told her, I had him, and don’t even bother, because he’s unreachable (we know one of the aquatics directors very well, and had she been there, this wouldn’t have happened).   As I was dragging him to the locker room, he was laughing, and I told him that he was done for the day.  Going to bed.   Of course he started to cry:

“But Mama, I want to apologize.”

That didn’t work:

“I want YOU to go to YOUR room.”  (oh, with PLEASURE.  BYE!)

“Fine! I’m running away!”

I’ll help you pack your bags (another mother laughed at that remark).

I had to follow through and put him to bed.   I hate to do that when he’s so young, but he understood what he did wrong and there was no getting trough to him.

All I have to say is if four is going to be like this, I might have to just enter myself in AA right now.


Heather March 21, 2011 at 9:20 pm

There is a reason it is called the fucking fours :)

robyn March 21, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Someone we both know just paid her 13-year old son’s first bail from juvy a few weeks back. I hear it only gets better. Buckle up and hang in there!

Shelly March 21, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Wait… it’s called the fucking fours?!! Why didn’t I know this???

For us, 4 started our harsh, more like 3 going out with a big “fuck you” bang, but it has greatly improved and I sort of like 4 now. I think there is hope for you and the Mini.

Veronica March 22, 2011 at 2:41 am

I was talking with some other women this weekend and we agreed, Four is a pain in the arse. Really.

Tommie March 23, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Ohh, I’m right there in hell with you. My four year old (she’s been four since November) can be just evil. And she’s VERY hard to punish. Timeout? Ohh, I was just going to sit in this chair anyway. Go to her room? Yeah, I was tired anyway. Take something away? She has no cherished toys we can confiscate.

The only thing that’s worked is not letting her wear red lipstick. She LOVES red lipstick. So we take away her lipstick. How insane is that?

And yes, please, someone send me to my room.

Old School/New School Mom March 26, 2011 at 10:51 am

I’ve heard that four is very similar to two from other moms and dads. Greeeat! Awesome. Ari is acting out now, and it doesn’t seem like three is gonna be easy either. So basically 2-4 is going to suck.

Anyway, good for you for following through! At least he had remorse and wanted to apologize. Also, I hope the tubes give LG some relief!

Fawn March 26, 2011 at 11:40 pm

My son recently had a public melt down at The Great Wolf Lodge. They have these quests that involve us running around the hotel pointing an overly expensive piece of crap wand at pictures,stuffed animals,statues and trees that talk when you point at them. Only sometimes they dont work for shit. This happened to my son and there was a line behind him full of children waiting to point their stupid little wands at the same item so I asked him to go with me to the back of the line and we could try again. He lost his brains and started screaming (he is six) and when I said oh ok then we can just leave and grabbed for his arm he threw himself on the floor and screamed louder. This was a rare reminder of his 4th year of life..and I reminded him how I handle it by stepping over him and walking straight down and out of the hotel and all the way to the car without looking back whilst he followed behind me a few steps screaming the whole way!

Kellie March 28, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Oh, the “fucking fours” are crazy. I would take the terrible two’s anyday (they weren’t terrible at all). The fours are so far the worst. Punish him? He laughs. LAUGHS. FUCK.

Good luck.

Dotty April 6, 2011 at 11:53 am

Man, I hear you. My daughter (almost 4) has been going to bed early a lot lately.

Marjana April 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Your post is hilarious. I have a 9 month old girl and here I thought I can’t wait until she starts talking so we can communicate normally. I guess when she starts talking there’ll be new problems on the horizon. Gosh. When does it get easy? Does it ever?

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