A jerky start to his 4th year

Wednesday was Gage’s 4th birthday, and Tuesday night I decided I would reserve Wednesday’s nap-time to write a very sentimental post about how amazing my little boy truly is, and just how much of a gift it is to parent him. I would probably link to his birth story (which I now realize I never wrote), show some photos from the past four years, and then conclude with how we’re in the midst of the best and most perfect birthday ever.

This is not that post.


I debated whether or not I really wanted to blog about his birthday at all. Because to be honest? Gage was really rotten and the day was actually pretty horrible. Yup, I said it. The day was really rough, and I pray I never have another day  like this with him again. ever.

This is Gage’s 4th birthday story:

Birthday eve: He doesn’t fall asleep until almost 10pm, because SO! EXCITED! BIRTHDAY EVE!


7 am: Piper gives him her gift – 5 pieces of Halloween candy from her secret stash and a shoebox filled with cotton balls (so generous!). He eats all 5 pieces within a few minutes, leaving a trail of wrapper and a huge chocolate streak on the sofa. And pulled apart cotton balls everywhere…

7:30 am: All six of us gather round for Gage to open gifts. He tears through them, hardly even looking at what he’s opening. I am already exhausted.

7:35 am: He realizes he didn’t get the one gift he asked for, a sharp ninja sword (I think, although I’m not sure, he’s referring to a Halloween prop he saw at Target a few weeks ago) and proceeds to throw an “I didn’t get anything good for my birthday” fit – despite the 9 new toys now laying on the living room floor.

8:30 am: Gage asks me when I’m going to make him his birthday dinner. Because he would like to me do that right now this very second.

8:45 am: I am so mean for not cooking his birthday dinner immediately. This is his day, he’s the boss, and I’m not listening.

9:00 am: We get ready for his “special day” at the Children’s Museum where he’s going to be the leader, he’s told me we’re only going to go into the exhibits he wants to visit. Too bad so sad baby Paul, we won’t be visiting The Playscape today. Because Gage the Rage is in charge.

10:00 – noon: A visit to the Children’s Museum. We have a good time, because we only did what Gage wanted to do.

Lunch: Happy Meal lunch – a total treat! The drive-thru line was long, he let me know about his dissatisfaction every 15 seconds with kicking the back of my seat and growling.

1:00pm: Naptime for Paul. I jump on the treadmill. Gage insists I stop running and take him to Target with all my “pieces of money” in my wallet to buy him the sharp ninja sword.

2:00pm: While I’m taking a shower post-run, he finds a scissors and cuts off all the hair to a pirate sock monkey we gave him just this morning for his birthday. I get mad, he asks for tape so he can fix it.

3:00pm: He declares it the worst day ever, and is still begging for the sharp ninja sword. He goes into the girls room, steals Piper’s “pieces of money” and demands me to take him to the store for the sharp ninja sword. Because he can now pay for it himself.

5:30pm: Finally dinnertime. Boxed mac n’ cheese, hot dogs, neon green jello, chocolate ice cream cake per his request. Also, ew.

6:00pm: Worst meltdown ever. I blame chocolate cake and the 5am wake-up, amongst other things.

7:00pm: Praise be – off to bed he goes. I am 10000% excited that this much anticipated birthday is finally over and I make Michael tuck him in because I just can’t.

8:00pm: He sneaks into my bed (and yes I was already in bed at 8pm, the day was long) and we cuddle together while he falls asleep and I watch an episode of Undercover Boss (don’t even ask, I’m shamefully addicted). And while the day isn’t exactly redeemed, I’m reminded that he’s still just a little boy, and sometimes little boy act like unintentional jerks on their birthday and that’s ok-ish.

11000185334 9f2c380fc4 A jerky start to his 4th year

I asked him to avoid the water.




  1. so sorry to hear this. i don’t know about you, but i have this horrible habit of picturing this awesome/perfect day in advance of any event or milestone like this. then clearly whatever happens, no matter how good or bad, never quite lives up to that picture. so on top of having to deal whatever unpleasantness reality brings, i have that lovely added layer of mental disappointment. it’s awesome. here’s wishing you and gage a more peaceful and pleasant weekend. maybe this is his way of showing you that it can only go up from here for this next year? :)


  2. When my youngest turned four and a half, I suddenly realized that I no longer hyperventilated each time I took her in public. She was suddenly almost well behaved and didn’t cause my blood pressure to raise on every single trip out of the house. The same miracle might happen to you. Hold on, sister soldier, hold on.
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  3. Sorry…that day sounds…well you know, I’m sorry. Boys are jerky sometimes. You, on the other hand, are awesome! :)


  4. You mean they don’t outgrow their jerkiness by age 3?? Mom keeps telling me how much better it will be when they turn 3…


  5. I hope you had birthday beer.
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  6. Let’s see for my daughters 2nd through 6th years of life she made me cry before breakfast every single year on Mother’s Day. So yeah…I hear ya! She failed to charge her iPod yesterday therefore was ‘bored of everything’ all day (Really it was a movie and 2 errands) with nothing to do. Ugh…My dinner I was sobbing into the pantry. It wasn’t my best day or hers.

    She’s 9 now.


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