Lately it seems like every time I really look at Westley he's taller and more, well, boyly. It's especially noticeable when he's asleep; he has mastered the art of The Sprawl, which makes his limbs appear three times longer and boyly-er. A couple hours after tucking Westley in and saying good-night, I go into his room to check on him, and Whoa! Who is this teenager sleeping in my preschool kid's bed?
Unfortunately, the super-fast growing up doesn't stop at his sleeping posture. Westley has also started sporting an attitude to match his tiny-teenaged appearance. When I asked to give him a hug before he and Grandad took off for an adventure, Westley heaved the biggest sigh I've ever heard come out of a little body and rolled his eyes. He didn't quite say, "Gawd, Mom," but it was there, between the lines of his down-turned mouth.
Westley now gets cross with me for trying to help him, for enforcing even the tiniest of rules, and for no particular reason. Also, whatever you do, do not suggest that after drinking two giant glasses of tea, he might, just might need to pee. And if you insist that going on a car trip is contingent on a pre-car bathroom trip, be prepared for a few emphatic humphs, followed by The Silent Treatment.
"Three-and-a-half going on thirteen," I said to Rob, after Westley had sneered at me and stormed out of the room.
"Threenager," Rob corrected, and Westley's new nickname was born.
I don't know what people were talking about with the "terrible twos." Westley must not have gotten that memo. The twos, as I remember them, were actually quite lovely. They were certainly a picnic compared to the threes, which have been...not terrible exactly, but definitely filled with all kinds of surprising and interesting challenges. (Although, to be fair to Westley and his budding 'tude, this year has been quite an "interesting" for all of us so far.)
But offsetting Westley's sudden grumpiness, stubbornness, and occasional disgust at my mere presence are random moments of complete sweetness. Yesterday as I sat, chin in hands, feeling especially ill and hormonal, Westley asked, "What can I do to help?" This morning, I was showered with hugs right in the middle of grocery-shopping. And after good-night kisses, Westley has started telling me to "sleep a good sleep, Mommy! No scary dreams!"
Threenager, teenager, whatever: he'll never stop being my sweet little guy.