How quickly I forget that my incredibly smart, stubborn child is just that..... a child.
He may be approaching five (too quickly!), and he may be able to count to 100, hit a baseball, and write his full name - and mine too.
But 5 years ago, he was still living inside me, having never breathed, ate or slept outside of my body. 4 years ago, he was drinking mostly breastmilk and formula, eating a few fruits and veggies. 3 years ago he was climbing and running and falling on his clumsy chubby toddler legs. 2 years ago he was just learning how to pick up a hockey stick and learning what letters are. 1 year ago he could buckle himself into his car seat, and ride a bike with training wheels.
So much has happened in the last five years and he can do so much more than I ever thought a not-quite-five-year-old could do.
Sometimes I forget how little he is. How emotionally fragile he is. 4 and 1/2 years ago, he was still screaming in the middle of the night and I could only figure three ways to soothe him - milk, diaper or rocking. 4 1/2 years. It's not so long ago.
5 years ago, I was new at this parenting thing, too. So I do give myself some slack. We are learning this together.
Tonight Bjorn made me realize that no matter how much of a superhero he wants to be, he really is just my little boy.
Peanut and he were fighting (of course) over the play tablet (of course) and when he tried to grab it from her, she hit him (of course). Not hard, but (of course) he had to play it up in the hopes of getting her in trouble.
I wasn't up for playing referee tonight. So I didn't.
"MOOOoooooooOOOM! She hit me! SHE hit me!" Bjorn cried, holding his arm.
Peanut had already said she was sorry for hitting. Without prompting on my part. He had tried to wrestle it away from her by brute force, and she wasn't having it. I didn't blame her one but for smacking him.
But of course I couldn't tell him that.
I didn't want to punish them. Or referee. Or lecture.
I simply wrapped him in a hug. "I know it's hard to be a kid, Bjorn. I do know it. It's not easy being almost 5."
And I held on tight.
He let go first (I read somewhere to never let go first from a hug with a kid), and happily went to play with his transforming robot dinosaurs.
A few minutes later, I felt him tapping me on the arm.
"Mom? Do you think we can try that hug thing again?"
Oh, yes, Bjorn, we can. Yes, we can.