Today is my youngest son's fourth birthday party. I am not overly emotional and sentimental about it this year, but I am definitely happy. Just this morning, while we were on our way to the grocery store to buy cupcakes for his classmates, young Nyles held a serious conversation with me--at 6:40am no less--about the type of cupcakes he wanted for his birthday. Apparently chocolate cupcakes are not good enough for his underdeveloped palate, and he only wanted cupcakes of the vanilla variety. Duly noted little man.
We pulled up to the grocery store at 7am, walked over to the bakery section, and of course there were no vanilla cupcakes in sight. In fact, the only cupcakes I could find were Christmas-themed (and chocolate), and I figured those would do the trick, so I grabbed them and headed towards the checkout line. I had not taken but two steps when young Nyles started screaming at the top of his lungs (again, at 7:05am) talking about how bad chocolate cupcakes were, and he wanted vanilla. I politely explained that there were no vanilla cupcakes and he continued to lose his shit over my alleged oversight. Then he took his screaming up a notch, and I firmly grabbed his shoulders and explained to him what the options were: 1) Chocolate cupcakes or 2) No cupcakes and an ass-whipping at 7:06am on his birthday. He wisely took the first option, while still trying to mumble under his young breath about vanilla cupcakes. After school was over, my wife told me that he ate chocolate cupcake at school, but he still bitched about dearth of vanilla.
Even though it is slightly annoying, this will be my lasting memory of Nyles' fourth birthday. He asks lots of questions, he has lots of opinions, and his four-year old mind now has the ability to articulate these things in a semi-competent fashion. My dad told me this moment would come, and he told me it would be rewarding, but I had no idea he would be as right as he has been. I used to sit and watch him, and wish that he would talk to me about any and everything, and all he did was stare at me. Now he stares AND talks, and it is awesome.
Tomorrow, I will be taking him to his first Wizards game, and that should be awesome.