I thought I was pretty lucky that I didn’t really experience the terrible 2’s or threenager with Cakes but man am I making up for it now. I didn’t really know it had a name until I was reading up on some of my favorite blogs and saw that there is indeed a name for what we are going through with our sweet sweet 4 year old Cakes. FOURNADO! Go ahead grab a cocktail, you’re gonna need it!
The Fournados consist of:
More “why’s” than any person is equipped to answer. This girl why’s us into circles. Mommy/Daddy why are my shoes blue? Because they only came in blue. Why did they only make blue? Because blue is their favorite color. Why is blue their favorite color? I don’t know Cakes, why is yellow your favorite color. Uh because it’s my favorite color. Exactly Cakes. But why? *which is usually followed by us looking to the other for help* We’ve learned to use the art of distraction or reverse why’s to deal with the endless slew of why’s. What’s a reverse why? When you’ve run out of creative answers and so you ask them why instead. She usually gets annoyed and changes the subject or walks out. Win for the parents!
Expansive/Expressive vocabulary. Sometimes I forget that I’m speaking to a four year old. It seems as though it started almost exactly on her 4th birthday when she started thanking us for her birthday “decorations” , telling us which friend has “annoyed” her at school and so she uses her “imagination” and plays alone or the best when she started closing the door while going potty because she needs “privacy please”. Most times we’re stunned and look at each other in disbelief at how she knows how to use her big words in the correct context with the appropriate expressions and emphasis. I love every minute of it, it confirms that our baby is a genius (lol).
Teenage Angst. This one is a killer. It’s like all of a sudden Cakes feels deeply and quickly. She cries because she loves us then turns around and has the biggest belly laugh at something on tv. Before we can even prepare to deal with one emotion she’s on to the next. We haven’t really figured out what to do with this yet so we kind of just let her go through it and offer a hug, for now that does the trick.
Combativeness. I don’t know if it can really be accredited to fournado or if she just gets in honest from her daddy but sometimes if you let her you’ll get sucked into major back and forth with this little lady and again you forget she’s only 4. “Wrong and Strong” is a word constantly used to describe Cakes. She’ll be dead wrong and argue you down anyway. Maybe it’s the makings of a future lawyer but most of the time we just tap out because she will wear you down.
Trying at times absolutely but I must say it is a pleasure seeing Cakes’ growing into such a little character. Although if I’m being completely honest more often than not I just grab my flask and hide in the bathroom for a long as I can before she comes barging in. Judge if you must!
What are some other Fournado traits you’ve dealt with/are dealing with and how do you cope.
I love the part in movies when someone has “the montage” of their most fun/happy/sad/silly/heartbreaking/profound memories, I’m just a plain ole sucker for it. When I learned that I was going to be a mommy I vowed that we would make lots and lots of memories. Hopefully the bulk of them would be fun and silly because I’m kind of fun and silly and filled with love. Sometimes I’m guilty of going through the motions…work, home, bed, repeat and I have to give myself a bitchslap like they do in the movies which is usually followed by someone telling someone to “snap out of it”. I love dancing (mostly randomly in public) I LOVE music (also singing randomly outloud in public), I also love snapping my fingers (which literally irritates Mr. Grumps’ soul) so a couple nights ago in the midst of getting ready for bed we had an impromptu dance party. In addition to making some fun memories (“I love dancing with you mommy”) I learned some pretty cool/scary things about my kid and about myself:
Cakes’ hip moving game is way strong: What is it with these kids and their hip actions. She was shaking it to the left, shaking it to the right.
I’m outta shape: Never oh never did I think I’d see the day when I let a 4 year old out dance me (shit I’ve been known to cut a rug or 2 in my day) but the amount of asthma like breathing I had to partake in was a wake up call that I need to step my game up.
Should I be concerned that when singing “I Knew You Were Trouble” by Taylor Swift she closes her eyes and puts her hand over her heart as if it she knows what’s she singing, singing it from her heart and she means that shit?????
She’s serious about her music selection: I let her “DJ” and although they are songs I picked to have in my phone which means I like(d) the song at one point or another , the songs she picked to play and the point at which she transitioned from one song to the next had me giving her the side eye like this kid is kinda sorta pretty good at this.
She just may have my love and appreciation of music.
I love dancing with Cakes!
So yeah, she went to bed a lot later than she normally does and she was way more tired once she made it to bed but the amount of fun we had, the happiness that our impromptu dance party brought on and the bunch of funny videos Mr.Grumps took were well worth it.
Sometimes it’s the littlest things that mean the world!
Kids get on my nerves. Whoa whoa come back. Not in the way that you’re thinking. In the way that they force you to have serious grown up convos when all you really wanna do is laugh. Also, because they think they are just soooooooo damn smart.
A little while ago, I’m minding my business trying to binge catch up on Game of Thrones…from season 4 don’t judge me, in prances Cakes to tell me she’s ready to take a bath. I immediately notice she has on a different pair of undies from last I saw her 15 minutes ago, this usually means 1 thing and that sparks said serious grown up convo:
Me: Why did you change your undies? Did you have an accident?
Cakes: nods head
Me: sigh of disappointment
Cakes: But not in my bed (as if that makes it ok).
Me: *going into a mental frenzy wondering all the other horrible places she could have had this accident if not in the bed (on her couch, ON MY COUCH!, on the floor while playing with her toys which are now sitting in a puddle of “accident” that was really fun to clean up last time ugh)* I digress. Where Cakes?
Cakes: Um just in my undies.
Me: *sigh of relief* why didn’t you go to the bathroom?
Cakes: I did but, but I forgot to wipe myself so my undies got wet.
Me: Why didn’t you wipe yourself? Didn’t I tell you to wipe yourself?
Me: So why didn’t you.
Have you ever noticed that when having one of these serious talks with a kid or chastizing a child they suddenly become super focused on something in the hopes that you’ll become super focused on the same thing and totally forget the “they’re in trouble” part? Well it was at this point in the convo that Cakes starts scratching her back and twisting and turning and lifting and lowering her shirt. I sat in amusement for about a good 3 minutes trying not to laugh at the thought that she totally thought she was getting away with something. I even appeased her a bit with concern and scratched her ever itching back with the caring mommy soothing voice. And just when she stopped “itching” and thought she was off the hook. BOOM. Back at it again with the convo. I guess she figured she had no wins and that’s when she went in for the kill and tried to hug me. I’m usually a sucka for a hug but not now, I had a point to prove which was you can’t bamboozle me kid, I know all the tricks. Which made me remember when my parents used to tell me “you can’t bullshit a bullshitter” and then I realized whoa I sound like my parents, this is getting too deep so I gave her the narrowed eyed, pluck finger formation and let her off with a warning of “don’t do it again” and let her go play. Once she was gone I laughed my head off. This kid.
When I was younger (waaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy younger) my dad used to try to get me to tell on my big sister. At first I used to sing like a canary which would almost always be followed by me getting a beating. Then when I got hip to the game and kept mum I would almost always get a beating. It was then that I understood what “you can’t win” meant. I never really understood what the hell my dad’s problem was and what was his reasoning for confusing the crap out of me. Until I became a parent!
I now know why my dad was so bipolar when it came to the subject of “not telling” because I’m at that stage in parenting and I don’t know how to not be bipolar when “telling” comes into play. The duality of the situation is I want Cakes to be all telling when it comes to communicating with me and her dad. I want her to remain comfortable enough to tell us any and everything and for her to know that we are her vaults but I also don’t want to raise her to be a blabber mouth, a secret teller or a tattletale. Know what I mean? No? Let me break my dilemma down for ya.
A couple weekends ago Cakes had a sleepover with her 2 sister/cousins. I was in another room making breakfast and Cakes came to tell me that the 2 others were fighting. My automatic response was “stop telling” even though I was super grateful for the intel. Like how I not so subliminally snuck the “stop snitching clause” in there!? This would classify as a time that I want her to be forthcoming with me because had she not, I probably would have never known that a fight ensued until someone came out the room crying. On the flip side, earlier this week I was told that Cakes told on her classmate to his mother. I tried to explain to her, well first off let me preface this “talk” I’m about to have with her by saying I hate when she makes me put on my adult hat and I have to be the adultier adult in the room, if only she knew I was living a lie. Ok so where was I? Oh so I tried to explain to her that it’s okay when she’s talking to mommy (that’s me) and daddy, but it’s not nice that she told on her classmate because maybe he wanted to tell his mommy first. Would she like it if someone told on her to her mommy and daddy before she got a chance to. That’s it! I kept it simple she’s 3 for goodness sake.
I’m gonna go ahead and say that this talk was highly effective because 1) Cakes started crying even though I was talking in my super calm I’m not mad at you voice (the crying let me know she kinda sorta understood the severity of what I was saying) and 2) my mom was present while said talk happened and when I was done I caught her looking at me all lovingly-like giving me the “wow I’m impressed” “you’re a good mommy” “go me for raising her” looks.
When she gets older I guess I’m going to have to go into a little more detail, I’m super excited about those impending convos .