Blake turned four two weeks ago.
It still hasn't quite sank in. For some reason the first three birthdays weren't such a big deal, but the fourth one caught me by surprise. I used to jokingly refer to Blake as "half-baby", but that is no longer the case.
He really is a little human being with opinions, demands, preferences and hobbies. I think the big thing that changed is the fact that he is now at an age which I have memories of my own childhood. Sure, I don't remember everything from the time I was four, but the few memories I do have are vivid, like a sitcom's clipshow featuring the best moments from past episodes.
I remember getting a Mickey Mouse ice lolly which I thought was beautiful and I licked it very carefully to maintain the Mickey Mouse shape. It was a beautiful, colourful ice sculpture. Then I licked off one of the ears and burst into tears. I remember the enormity of my sadness. And I remember deciding to try out my new sneakers by kicking one of the older kids really hard - the kicking was good! I remember getting lost in a theme park, ruining the day for all three families as everyone were looking for me for hours.
And I remember the excitement when my dad used to come home from work. The jingle of his keys in the door and our dog Bobby barking as we ran to the door to welcome him: my brother, me and Bobby. I remember how it felt to hug my dad as a little boy, feeling his shirt against my face. We'd then proceed to loot my dad's lunchtime treats which he kept for us every day: a bottle of malt beer and a chocolate bar which we promptly took to the kitchen to divide. My brother would obsess about dividing things equally, measuring everything with rocket engineering precision.
And now I am the dad who is coming home. It's my keys that jingle in the door to alert the dogs and I am the one who is now welcomed every day by a trio of cuties: Blake, Leo and Dexter. And while I don't bring with me any treats, Blake steals my Iconia (iPad for poor people) so he could play his favourite games on it.
It hit it me that this is going to be a childhood memory for him years from now when I'll be long gone. If I think about it too much my brain will melt.
It's all good.
On a side note, Blake has also started playing games properly. If before he just enjoyed interacting with things randomaly, now he's actually trying to figure out the rules of the games and win. His favourite at the moment is undoubtedly Running Fred and he's pretty good at it. Check out how he times his jumps and double jumps like a pro.
I'm so proud. I'll be even prouder when he starts kicking my ass.
On another side note, a sider note, Blake is also obsessed with planets. It started with the moon and expanded to the entire solar system. Saturn is particularly liked. So we got Blake a solar system model for his birthday. As you can see, he is fairly fond of it.