Russ and I were filling out paperwork one night and he asked what time the boys were born. Without a flinch of hesitation I said 11:12 pm and 5:05 pm. Two of the most momentous minutes of my whole life, not easy to forget.
Today is Hayes' 4th birthday, gosh that is crazy! He seems so much older than 4 to me. He had to grow up quick with the baby brother on his heels, I suppose. Or it could be that he's as tall as some 6 year olds. Or it could be that he uses my own logic against me all day long.
But either way, 4 he is. I wanted to type out some things about Hayes at 4 years old that stick out in my mind...
(this is unrelated to anything, but taken while i was on a run. he asked to run beside me and then looked back, and for some reason that face is burned into my memory. it makes me ache with love for him, and i don't even know why.)
First and foremost, his absolute love and joy for babies. I went through my phone and grabbed just a small assortment of the pictures I have of him loving on the littles. I knew he loved babies, because whenever he's around his tiny cousins, or our friends' babies he has no interest in anything else.
His friend Gus could be begging him to play Star Wars with Light Sabers and a king size candy bar, and Hayes would rather hold Gus' baby brother Boss. I've stopped timing Hayes holding a baby at 30+ minutes. He never gets tired of it.
It wasn't until we went to Newport Beach and rented a house with Russ' buddies and their families that it became super obvious.
Having 4 tiny babies around for a whole week, he was in absolute Heaven.
I wish I could have all their parents back me up, because otherwise it just sounds like I'm bragging, when really it's just stating facts.
Here's what we heard literally all week long
"Oh mom look Sunny's awake, lets go kiss her!'
"Mom Covey is done eating, can you ask if I hold him again?"
Sharing all his food and cars with Henry, constantly pestering their parents to hold, burp, make faces at, get blankets for their own kids. It is something to behold!
Some other things about Hayesie:
He's obsessed with toys, and purchasing new toys. We make a new chart every week filled with different tasks he needs to complete so he can go buy a new toy. I was so this kid growing up, and I'm glad that we've found a system where he's actually earning it, otherwise he'd be the most spoiled child alive.
Recites the Pledge of Allegiance "One Mation under God..."
Is reading tiny words like hat, bat etc.
And generally really loving and thriving in preschool.
Is turning into SUCH a tease. he teases Cal all day long. most of it's absolutely harmless, but Cal is derived from a screech owl and gives Hayes the most outrageous reactions which motivates Hayes even more.
Obsessed with the color red. Everything must be red. His cups, bowls, his clothing - he asked for red pants, red shirts, red socks, red belts, red hats for his birthday - and has laid claim on every red object in our home. i bought him the most gorgeous quilt for his big boy bed and he would have none of it because it was mostly blue.
i can usually coerce him into working with other colors if i tell him that that color represents a super hero. then he'll think about it.
as i said earlier, he just recently moved into a big boy bed and only at the end of 2013 were we able to finally ditch the pacifier at night time. i knew we'd need a big event to motivate him to choose to get rid of the "chi-chi" and that event would have to have rewards that continued to motivate him for a week or so after. Christmas it is.
i always said i wouldn't push Santa Clause on my kids, but I said I wouldn't do a lot of things, so just know I'm not entirely proud of it.
The story went that Santa Clause wanted to bring him the big boy presents he was asking for (Color Changers tracks, hot wheels tracks respectively) but in exchange he'd need to give his pacifier to a baby who needed it more. I asked him so many times if he'd want to do that. every time he said yes. So, on Christmas Eve, i told him Santa Clause was coming that night and it was time to get rid of the chi chi. He handed it over and I was sick to my stomach.
the thing is, i SOOO get it. you remember this old as dust post about my own experience at 4 years old?
but he did great. didn't cry, went right to bed. slept through the night.
opened his presents, was stoked of course, and that night, asked for his pacifier back.
i reminded him of the deal, he wanted to keep the toys. phew!
the next day, same thing.
the next day, he said he wanted to give all the toys back for the chi chi.
i gave him so much praise for being a big boy i thought for sure it would stick. but he was adamant. so we made another chart. charts, man. he's gonna be in therapy saying how much of a complex he has about charts i just know it. but for now it works.
it got him through a week. asking every night for it, but being reminded about the potential reward, and choosing door number 2. finally after a solid week of asking, and often crying, for the pacifier he stopped asking. i second guessed the choice all the time, it was really hard for me to keep insisting, but he ultimately made the choice, and his teeth thank him!
in general i often think to myself "Hayes is as good as gold." he has always tried with his whole heart to do the right thing. he is a people pleaser, which i am keeping a hawk's eye on, but i really think it's just his desire to be good. he is sweet and loving, and all the things i saw in him from when he was small small small.
he tells me everyday that he loves me, that he missed me when i was gone, did i have a good run?, did i have a good day at church?, he is so affectionate, especially to his dad. kissing his head, scratching his back, always attached at the hip. he is so wonderful and sweet. his heart could change the world, or the world could change his heart. i worry for him, i pray for him, but i believe in him.
happiest birthday, Hayes baby Hayes. the world is yours.