Well, guys, it’s official, I now have a four-year-old on my hands.

The little man turned the big four just over a week ago. I’m not sure where the time went because the baby weight I’m still hanging onto from that first pregnancy would suggest he was born a little more recently.

At four years old, Mr. Boog is obsessed with the words “skunk,” “ant,” “toot,” and “butt crack.” He is horrified by spiders currently, which is odd because at the age of three he was obsessed with all things bugs and dirt. Nowadays, he hates to be dirty and prefers socks and tennis shoes over sandals any day of the week because according to him “sand in your shoe is the worst.” And apparently, one never knows when they may come across sand.

His favorite foods are pizza, popcorn, milkshakes, curly fries from Arby’s, breadsticks, spaghetti noodles (plain, absolutely no butter or sauce!), and Happy Meals (but he’ll only eat the “perfect” fries and nuggets). He brings a whole new meaning to picky eater, and sees through any trick to get him to expand his food interests.

He has recently dropped his afternoon nap, which is bringing more late evening emotional breakdowns than I had anticipated.

His favorite TV show is Paw Patrol and his favorite movies are Cars and Secret Life of Pets. His favorite book is still Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. His least favorite thing in the world is his sister (halfway kidding?).

In his free time, he likes to predict the weather and play with Hot Wheels and his Imaginext collection. He recently got an Imaginext dinosaur the size of medium pet dog and he enjoys pretending it is eating his sister in his spare time as well.

The kid is obsessed with swimming this summer and cannot get enough of these West Virginia mountains. Any time we go anywhere he tells me, “Mommy, these mountains keep following me!”

He is a bit of a couch potato some days and he strikes up quite the attitude when it comes to cleaning up his toys. The other day after I asked him to help clean up, he put his finger in my face and said, “Mommy, you’ve been on me all day! I’m exhausted!”— exhausted from lying around on the couch all day.

I’m beginning to realize there isn’t a creature as random as a four-year-old. Landon loves to say things like, “I think there’s a volcano erupting somewhere” or “My poop is sleeping in my tummy right now.” Sometimes you’ll catch him talking to himself about the weather and whether or not he thinks it is going to rain. Unfortunately, living in the Midwest has also made him a bit of a worry wart when it comes to the wind and tornadoes. He asked several times on the drive east if we were coming across any tornados.

The turning of four has also brought with it a new level of drama. Landon is over dramatic with everything nowadays. My sister and I took him out to lunch on his birthday where he proceeded to tell us, “Jessilynn is ruining my birthday.” We’re still not sure if this was simply because we brought her along for the day’s activities or if it was because she wanted chicken wings instead of pizza. Maybe it was both that was “ruining his birthday?” He also likes to yell things like, “I’m never speaking to you ever again!” or “You need a time-out right now!” He loves putting me in time-out whenever I am not cooperating.

He is extremely inquisitive, but he always has been that way ever since he was born. He wasn’t even an hour old yet in the hospital when he began examining everything and everyone around him. Right now, as I write up this column, he is following his MawMaw around asking what she is doing, why she is doing it, how she is going to get it finished, why the dog is barking, and if she knows that it is going to start raining soon. He is fascinated with everything. When he sees a machine moving, he must know how and why it is moving that way. I like to think he gets that high-speed brain of his from his father.

On the other hand, he gets his emotional side from me. He wears his heart on his sleeve and gets attached to people and things quickly. I still have a balloon a student of mine gave him in their toy box because he can’t tolerate the thought of it going into the trash and I wasn’t sure we would make it through him losing his favorite daycare teacher last summer.

He sure has grown a lot since that first night I held him in my arms, but when I look at him at night after he has dozed off after listening to a story, I still see my Baby Boog. It’s a little cliché, I know, but he’ll always be my baby no matter how many birthdays we celebrate.

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