Age: 4 1/2
Height: 47″ or so (he was not excited about being measured)

Head circum: 22″
Chest: 26″
Waist: 24″
Bicep: 10″
Wrist opening/Hand duck: 7 1/2″

Shoulders: 12″
Sleeve length: 15 1/2″
Nape to waist: 12 1/2″
Nape to back of knee: 25″
Waist to pants hem: 25″
Inseam: 17 1/2″ or so

April 6 – My son just ate four eggs for dinner. This is why I bought three dozen from Robert Van Rens.

April 7 – Me: “Made it to the hotel. Getting dinner soon with the gang.” Rich: “Cool. Skating went well. Unsurprisingly, we are getting dinner at Chick-fil-a.” Me: “I cooked all that food for you all yesterday… :)” Rich: “And none of it had a playground attached to it.”

April 9 – The damn dog ate Ian’s breakfast this morning and as I’m chasing after him with the intent to murder him with my fists, Ian was yelling after me, “Mommy, I think you’re scaring Dante! It’s not nice to scare people *or* dogs.” The four year old just saved your life, dog. For today.

April 9 – Ian has been talking NONSTOP since I picked him up from school and is literally following me everywhere. He just burst into tears because I went upstairs to feed the cats after *I told him that’s what I was doing* but he forgot and assumed I left him. Meanwhile, I would like my skittish Kitterson cat to come back/out. She’s been gone 8 days. Why does everyone in this house have to be so weird?!

April 11 – Explaining to the four year old the difference between dying and being killed is harder than I thought. #morningdrive #notforwusses

April 14 – Ian (listening to Macklemore): “the ceiling is holding them?” He’s great at memorizing lyrics but not so much at understanding them.

April 15 – Last night Ian asked me if I knew how to hula dance. “You mean like Jazzy does?” “Yeah!” he cheered. “Oh, that’s called belly dancing and I don’t know how. We’ll have to get Jazzy to teach us.” And that’s how I ended up making dinner with a little boy shaking his hips all over the kitchen.

April 20 (Easter) – Ian has left all his candy on the floor while we get breakfast and I keep forgetting Dante dog isn’t here at Granddad’s. I’m all, “We have got to get this stuff up somewhere HIGH! Top of the fridge! Nowhere is safe from the dog!”

April 20 – Lying in the dark with Ian way past his bedtime. He is begging me to pick him up early from school. “Can you pick me up after lunch? What about after nap? Well, can you pick me up after snack? It’s just that school is so long and I miss you and Daddy.” #notforwusses

April 20 – Ian (out of the blue): “Some people say he’s real but Santa isn’t real.” Me (aghast): “Santa is totally real!” Ian: “If he’s real then why do we have to be asleep for him to come?” Me: “He works in mysterious ways. Maybe he needs you asleep for his magic to work.” Ian: “So if we wake up and try to talk to him he’ll be mad at us?” Me: “No but maybe it’s like when we take food to Mamaw and Pop’s house. It’s a lot faster if they’re asleep and don’t talk to us. And every kid would want to visit with Santa so it would just slow him down even though he loves you.” Can we go back to nursing and diapers please? I’m really struggling with this phase. #notforwusses

April 21 – I’m so happy that Ian will have great things to do this summer while his preschool is closed. June and July will be with Ms. Jenna at Free Range Kids Norfolk, then a week at Pennsic with us and then three weeks at the Jewish Community Center. It takes a village, man!

April 22 – I’m super duper tired and have a horrible headache but I’m stubbornly still awake hoping I’ll be able to rally and write because I have so many words inside me that I have to say! I see where Ian gets it from.

April 25 – Ian’s school notified me that he had been kissed by another child today and they talked to the child about appropriate touching. Ian was the one to tell me it was a little boy that kissed his belly while they were wrestling.

April 26 – He posed and asked me to take his picture so that when he becomes the best skateboarder ever we will have a picture to show people when they ask, “hey, who’s the best skateboarder ever?” Four year olds are awesome.

April 26 – Ian was up early (by our standards) this morning at 7:30am. We had a busy and wonderful day of breakfast, skateboard shopping, picking out seeds to grow flowers, and a birthday party at the park. He happily gifted his tricycle to Baby Harrison and played at my folks for a bit before driving me home at 8:30pm. I thought he would fall asleep immediately but he asked for a bath and also asked me to read him a story. On a whim I chose James and the Giant Peach. It really was like the beginning of the Princess Bride where he kept interjecting comments (“I really can’t believe how horrible those aunts are!”) and let out a huge gasp when the aunt called James a “stupid boy” (it was like an allowed FCC violation to read the S word out loud!) We had to stop after chapter 7 when the peach had just grown so large it touched the ground. He was asleep within 30 seconds at 10pm. I don’t think we could have squeezed one more ounce out of today.

April 29 – Ian (from the edge of the tub across from me): “It’s a good thing you have two hands to wipe your vagina and your butt at the same time!” So that’s my morning so far. We’re glass half full kind of folks here.

April 30 – Ian has decided if he runs a restaurant it would only serve hot dogs, green beans, cheese toast and pickles.

April 30 – When last we met our hero, James was terrified the creatures inside the giant peach might eat him. Tonight the peach has broken free of the tree and rolled away with them inside! Words I have defined: ill, faint, stables, haystick (not a misspelling so must be a British thing), main, cliffs, and indescribable (which led to its root describe). If preschool had vocab tests, our kid would ace them. Also we’ve decided the Centipede is a little rude since he called James an idiot.

March 4 – Four year olds have two volumes: HEY GUESS WHAT!? and unconscious

March 4 – Sharing a restaurant booth with a four year old is like trying to keep Scarecrow upright as you ease on down the yellow brick road. How many times can he just spontaneously fall under the table?

March 5 – I am not a parent with a lot of rules, but we have had to enact a “no hugging or snuggling at dinner” policy in the Stryker household. It’s that or I need to put on a rain coat before we sit down. Eating seems to fill our son with LOOOOOOVE for his mama and he can only express that by hanging on me with ketchup covered fingers.

March 5 -Ian reprimands me every time I try to lick my thumb and wipe something off of his face: “Mommy! Don’t put your mouth germs on me!” So just remember it’s Ash Wednesday. Don’t put your mouth germs on strangers to try to clean their foreheads.

March 6 – Ian is wide awake at 11pm thanks to an unplanned evening nap. But we have discovered Winnie the Pooh narrated by Stephen Fry and so I’m fine with lying in the dark with him. “You never can tell with bees.”

March 8 – My son was awake from 8am to almost 11pm with no nap, a trip to the children’s museum and dinner with his grandparents. More importantly, he did not melt down at any point today. I am impressed at his endurance.

March 9 – The one thing I wish I could un-teach my child from his time in day care and preschool is the “cheese” smile for a camera. Thankfully, making fart noises snaps him out of it so I can get a genuine laugh.

March 12 – an (in our dark bedroom at 10:24pm) “Oooh, I’m sooo tired! I’m tired from this very big day!” Me: “Why don’t you try closing your eyes and resting? So you can be ready for tomorrow’s big day.” Ian: “I’m trying but my eyes don’t want to close yet!” Daylight Savings Time week with a night owl.

March 13 – My son finally fell asleep at 1am. He was lovely the entire time and we talked about death, Thomas trains, what babies eat, if ducks can dance, and a detailed breakdown of everything we both did that day. (Cheerios and raisins for snack and kite building projects for him. Development planning meeting and Mexican food lunch with Bossman for me.) It’s now “time to wake up” and I am loathe to disturb him. I love my night owl kid. I just wish mornings came later.

March 13 – Song lyrics: “I hear it calling outside my window. I feel it in my soul.” Ian: “What’s a soul?” Me: “It’s like your feelings.” Ian: “oh.” (Continues singing.) Whew

March 13 – “Let it go, let it go, and I’ll rise like the break of dawn. Let it go, let it go. That perfect girl is gone.” Ian: “Is she a bad girl now?” Me: “No, she’s a good girl.” Ian: “Then why did she say the perfect girl is gone?” Me: “Well, I think she’s saying she isn’t always going to be what other people want her to be.” Ian: “So she’s not going to listen anymore? Does that make her bad?” GAH! Is everyone else’s kid just blindly singing along to the catchy tune and not having some sort of identity crisis? Parenthood: #notforwusses

March 20 – Radio: “Let it go! Let it go. You’ll never see me cry!” Ian: “Actually, she cried when her sister got froze. What are fractals? Are they like snow? Why does the cold not bother her? Why doesn’t she want it to be spring? Did you know today is the first day of spring?”

March 23 – I leveled up in deboning a rotisserie chicken in the car because Ian kept asking for more.

March 26 – My son is almost four and a half and the sound of a baby crying in hunger at the airport is still physically painful for me. I’m not sure who is happier to see his mommy rushing back to him.

March 27 – Ian spent our Pennsic planning meeting with the cute red head showing her his train magazine. Next he’ll be inviting her to come see his etchings.

March 28 – On our evening commute, Ian and I have discussed needs versus wants, trains with double tenders, and the definition of bulky. #notforwusses

Feb 1, 2014 – 4am “I’m hungry” leads to 4:15 hotdog which leads to 4:30 coughing fit which leads to 4:45 vomited hot dog which leads to 5am movie in the chair with Daddy while I strip the bed and fold up the bathroom rug. Parenthood is not for wusses.

Feb 3, 2014 – Peeling my kid off of me this morning as he desperately says, “Don’t leave me, Mommy!” is just what I didn’t need after five days trapped at home in the snow. And it’s gross outside so they won’t go on the playground. I went to work and hugged my sunlight UV lamp and counted the days until spring.

Feb 4, 2014 – Ian wouldn’t wave to me at the window this morning at drop off. He just stood there staring at me like he was going to the gallows. We talk about the scars of a birth that doesn’t go as planned but there are lots of other little wounds throughout their lives. My oldest brother is 54 and my mother still gets misty-eyed talking about how he cried every day at drop off for two years. Not for wusses.

Feb 4, 2014 – I made a wrong turn and told Ian I was on auto pilot. As I tried to explain the phrase, he started sobbing, “BUT IF A ROBOT’S DRIVING THE CAR I WON’T GET TO SEE YOU!” #notforwusses

Feb 7, 2014 – We overslept but Ian didn’t flip out. He told me when his feelings were getting hurt and he felt rushed. We sorted it out without a single tear. The car ride involved Ian marveling at the cotton ball clouds and one that looked like a sea monster. He asked for one more hug and said he would miss me but didn’t cling to my leg. And he waved at the window! You’re welcome, future Ian spouse.

Feb 12, 2014 – Ian: “We talk about Jesus and God but I keep looking for them and can’t see them.” Me: “Well, they’re not really people or things you see.” Ian: “Because they have magic?” Me: “Kinda … Dude, it’s complicated.” Ian: “Did you know Jesus and God are in your heart? Maybe that’s why I can’t see them.” Not for wusses.

Feb 14, 2014 – We went up the mountain and Ian says his voice sounds funny now. I told him it’s because his ears are stopped up. “But I can’t feel any boogers in my ears.”

Feb 17, 2014 – Ian: “Does Travis have a kid?” Us: “No.” Ian: “And he *still* has to go to work?!”

Feb 22, 2014 – As we left the funeral service this afternoon Ian yelled across the parking lot, “Can we *please* go to Target now?” I turned to Rich’s dad and said, “the world moves on, Granddad.” We’ve promised him a trip in the morning, as a family.

Feb 27, 2014 – Leaving Toys-R-Us after a pre-arranged 15 minute time limit of “just looking” but not getting any toys went about as well as you’d expect, but I had to give him a chance. We’re now sitting in the grocery store parking lot waiting for him to stop sobbing because I “hurt his feelings” by “fussing” at him, which basically involved me calmly carrying him to the car and telling him we were going home. I will not yell. I will not lose my cool. I will crawl in the backseat and snuggle him. But I’m not apologizing to him for kindly telling him he’s wrong just because that upsets him and he wants to blame me. So we just wait. #notforwusses

Jan 11, 2014 – We’re trying to convince Ian that the CD eject button is there to launch sassy children out of the minivan through the roof. “And we didn’t get the model with a sun roof so you’d better cover your head.”

Jan 15 , 2014 – [in the car listening to music] Ian: “Daddy, are there any good doctors?” [many back and forth questions] Rich: “Oh! No, I think all the doctors on my phone for music are evil or horrible.”

Jan 16, 2014 – I’m heading out to the pharmacy at 4am for more children’s Advil and a feverish Ian calls out to me, “Bye, Mommy. I love you! Have a good time!” They’re so sweet when they’re sick.

Jan 18, 2014 – Ian at 7am: “Mommy, what are chemicals?” This should be a brain teaser book of word play. Yesterday he asked what motivation is.

Jan 22, 2014 – We just bought a “fart blaster” gun at Target. Ian then held the trigger down the entire time from the toy aisle, through groceries and check out, in the parking lot until we got to the van. I also wet my pants from laughing so hard but it’s like that “ever gonna see a rainbow, stand a little rain” analogy.