Happy Birthday to My 4-Year-Old! — Abby Off the Record

Happy Birthday to My 4-Year-Old!

by Abby on February 27, 2013

Sir RileyDear Riley,

Today you are 4. Happy birthday! Let me tell you a little about yourself. First, you are ALL BOY. Strong, fast, loud, messy, rambunctious… You can lift your dad’s 30 lb. kettlebell, drop trou in the neighbors’ garden, and cover yourself head to toe in assorted stains in the span of 10 min. I regularly get looks from strangers when we’re out in public that are equal parts admiration of your cuteness, amazement at your energy, and probably a little bit of pity for your poor old mom.

You love to play dress-up and are crazy about superheroes. CRAZY. You change costumes at least 3 times a day, from Batman pajamas with a mask and cape, to Spiderman with a web-shooting glove, to Captain Underpants in a towel and boxer shorts, wielding a light saber. The other day you were dressed in one of your getups and you paused and said ominously, “Somewhere someone’s in trouble!” Then with a dramatic flourish of your cape, you dashed off to restore justice.

BatmanYes, Riley, you are a character. Literally, you could be a character on a Seth McFarlane show. You might come up to me in the kitchen, press your cheek against mine and say, “What’s up, sweetums?” Or you might request cold pizza and strawberries for breakfast and end with, “Capiche?” Your dad and I look at each other all the time and ask, “Where does he get this stuff?”

In front of people you don’t know well, you are often quiet and reserved. That’s what it said on your preschool report card: QUIET and RESERVED!! What kid are they talking about, I wondered?! But in front of a familiar audience, you will regale the crowd with outlandish tales of your friends and erupting volcanoes and guns and potties and all sorts of mayhem. I suspect some of these plotlines are cribbed from Tom & Jerry.

You are quite artistic, although your family portraits tend to feature you, your dad, and your brother as big blue people while I am a lone pink head floating in the margins. I try not to take it personally. You can also carry a tune. Sometimes it’s hymns from school and sometimes it’s “Party Rock” and sometimes it’s a mashup. You also love to dance. For some reason, however, you seem unable to dance fully clothed. I’m hoping you outgrow that.

Party rockin' in the kitchenYou are a very spirited child, that’s for sure. I’m afraid you will be branded a fiery redhead like your mom. But so what? If people want to attribute our quick wit, sassy attitude, and awesome dance moves to our hair color, then so be it. It hasn’t hurt Prince Harry too much.

Anyway, happy, happy birthday my beloved boy! You light up my life. Sometimes it’s more of a shock or explosion than a soft, glowing light, but what’s the point of living if there’s no one to shake things up while dressed as a superhero, am I right? Mwah! Love you, sweetums.

Mom

LINK O’ THE DAY: As you can probably guess from this post, I haven’t had much luck imposing my fashion choices on my offspring. Which is why I suggest moms of babies dress them in cute clothes while they still can. Read more at TheBump.com.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Tina Stroup February 27, 2013 at 9:03 am

Happy Happy Riley! Ab, this was a fantastic tribute to him. I loved reading about Riley!

Reply

Colleen Forhan February 27, 2013 at 9:44 am

LOVE this! Makes me miss you all that much more, but I adore this story. He is a riot! Love you guys! Happy Birthday to Riley! <3

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Emily Gilliland February 27, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Beautifully written, Ab! Your writing is a wonderful gift to your kiddos.

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Lou Mello February 27, 2013 at 3:44 pm

What a great way to celebrate Riley’s Birthday, he will treasure this post someday; definitely not until he’s at least 25, but, treasure it he will.

Reply

Abby February 27, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Thanks, all! This kid’s a trip, for sure. :)

Reply

jetts31 February 27, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Happy Birthday to Riley…or is it Batman? Or Spidey? Or Captain Underpants? Either way, happy birthday. The world is a safer place with a hero like him patrolling the streets.

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