If he's four years old, how am I still twenty-six?

I now have a four year old. Wasn't I just in high school? How has so much time passed so quickly? How am I still so good looking? I'm pretty sure parents to newly four year old boys look tired and worried that their precious child will throw himself off the side of his new bunk bed. Yet, I don't worry about that at all. I know it will happen.

This year he learned to ride a bike, he jumped into a pool, and showed a love for soccer which continues to perplex us both.

He gave up his high chair, learned to awkwardly balance himself on a toilet, and can now easily reach all of the doorknobs, open them and walk in on you naked with zero warning.

He tells brilliant jokes, will choose chocolate over cheese any day of the week, and can work the DVD player to get it to play Mickey Mouse any time he wants.

This year he has probably challenged us the most. In the past parenthood has been a challange on its own but Mister's third year just transformed him into a human being who believed that everything could be his if he just stomped his foot enough. At first he succeeded; lately, not so much.

On the other hand, we've been so impressed with how he can handle himself in situations where I thought about crying and throwing my own body on the floor. When we flew into Hurricane Sandy in October and then lost power, I panicked thinking he would be dirty and bored and screaming, but instead he was fascinated with the flashlights and burned off energy running around the empty mall during our search for electricity. He adapted so easily and we were, and continue to be, so incredibly proud of him.

Below the jump are some lovely moments from his past year. The last, from his birthday-pancake dinner, is my favourite.

Enjoy.

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Liz in Dublin