Living Columns & Blogs

Is his 3 going on 2, or 3 going on 7?

My son will turn 4 in a few weeks, and while I can't believe how the time has flown, I have also eagerly started looking forward to his well child visit.

Not for the tormenting or the office wait, but so that I can get that statistic that tells me how he measures up compared to the rest of the American 4-year olds.

Really, a year is a long time to go between well child visits. I remember when his doctor told us at his 2-old-year appointment that she didn't need to see us for a year.

Panic set in.

I was used to every three-month visits, and here she was going to let me wing it for a whole year?

Part of my obsession with this stat is actually looking for an answer to my question about if my son appears bigger/taller than other children his age.

Lately, I have had to remind myself on occasion and routinely other people, "He isn't even 4 yet."

This isn't meant as braggart, but more to explain behaviors -- behaviors my mother-in-law (who raised three boys) reassures me is just “boy things.”

When he says something out of place, has a meltdown in public or does any number of items (like kicking his sister square in the jaw) that causes people around us (not neglecting myself) to immediately jump to conclusions that "he should know better than that."

Yes, kicking his sister in the jaw he *should* know better. But the other things, should he? Or is it all just normal 3- to 4-year old behavior.

I have a friend with a boy who is a few months older than my son. He wears size 5s and 6s and is bigger than most kindergarteners. She has battled this since he was tiny. It didn't take long, she told me, before she just started announcing his age at every opportunity. Once people realized that he was 2 and not 4 -- or 4 not 6 -- she felt a little slack.

I admit it. In one instant, I am amazed at the things my son does and am sure he is prodigal material. And the next, I am left wondering where my nearly 4-year old went and who replaced him with a 2-year old.

He is still only 3.

At least for a few more weeks.