Dylan turned four years old on February 4th, and I’ll tell you something about his birthday: I’m secretly glad for its even-numbered ease because whenever I make a pediatrician appointment for either child and I’m asked for their birthdates I have a small horrified moment where I completely blank out. Um, just a sec, I need a calculator, or wait, lemme just surf my blog archives . . .

2/4/08. That’s a good one, Dylan. Much better than your brother’s 8/31/05, not that this is a competition.

At four years old, Dylan is energetic, happy (90% of the time), boisterous, loud, and completely ridiculous. We have this running joke where he’ll come up to me and say, “And how about THIS one?” before bending over and patting one of his butt cheeks, or lifting his shirt to expose his belly. That’s my cue to shriek “Ewwwww!” and he collapses in laughter.

He asks a lot of seemingly inane questions over and over and I have to admit, I was a little worried about it (Dylan: “Is it time to get Riley yet?” Me: “Dylan, it’s only 9 AM. We don’t get Riley until much later today, remember?” Dylan: “Okay! … Is it time to get Riley now?” Me: “Uhhhh, did you by chance hit your head today?”) until I realized he was just messing with me. He is a total punk, a mischievous jokester who I guarantee will be the one to delightedly rubber-band the handle on the kitchen sink sprayer as soon as he figures out how.

He loves to wear his cowboy hat and gallop all over the house with his stick horse, joyously smashing it into various pieces of furniture and scraping up the walls. He makes an enormous mess wherever he goes, trailing crumbs and toys and a seemingly bottomless collection of Matchbox cars.

He still likes horses, although I’d say that particular stage has largely passed.

He is absolutely fearless when it comes to his physical safety, which is cute on the playground, less so in parking lots. Wherever we go, I walk behind him with one hand ready to snatch the hood of his jacket, while I murmur a constant stream of directives: “Dylan, watch where you’re going. Dylan, remember to look both—DYLAN! Dylan, be careful. Dylan, FOCUS.”

He’s relentlessly obnoxious to the cat, who has rewarded him more than once with a swat across the face, not that he’s learned a damn thing from it.

He’s cuddly, chirpy, and funny as hell. He’s suddenly painfully shy of strangers and will hide behind my pantleg when approached. He loves music and has a little repertoire that he sings over and over, including “Six Days on the Road,” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” He loves America’s Funniest Home Videos, bullriding shows, anything sweet and carb-y (that’s m’boy!), and playing Richard Scarry Busytown with Riley.

We bought him a balance bike for his birthday, and he rode it for exactly one afternoon before graduating to Riley’s old bike, sans training wheels. Every afternoon, rain or shine, Dylan pedals madly up and down our driveway, around and around. I watch him out the window and I think, Oh, he’s going too fast, I should try and slow him down. But I don’t, of course.

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Screen shot 2012-02-14 at 10.00.47 AM

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JennB
10 years ago

Happy belated birthday Dylan and happy late birthing day to you, Linda! Isn’t it kind of a relief to leave the babyness behind? Every stage my kids grow out of (i.e. we’re just out of 5 point harnesses, huzzah!!) I rejoice. Someday I’ll miss it, and I love passing babies back to their parents when the fussing begins.
Hope your joyous boy has a great day!

agirlandaboy
10 years ago

Holy COW is that JB staring out from Dylan’s face in the photo by the river. Wowzers.

Happy Birthday, D! You’re a riot.

Nicole
10 years ago

Only one day on the balance bike and then to two wheels??? Amazing! Get that kid into gymnastics, stat! Happy birthday to your adorable little man! We’re right behind you (May) and I can tell that 4 is going to be a great year!

Maureen
Maureen
10 years ago

Happy birthday to Dylan!! He is just adorable, you have the cutest boys. I smiled when I read he likes to watch America’s Funniest Home Video’s, that was my daughter’s favorite program at that age. She would come running into the room yelling “the show, the show!” whenever it was on TV.

Anne
10 years ago

Happy birthday, D! It blows my mind how big he has gotten – somehow I still expect him to look like he does in pictures 2 and 3 up there. Wow. He’s a keeper, that one.

Donna
Donna
10 years ago

Look at that little face!!!! He is just the cutest thing, he and my Karlee would get along like a house on fire!

Sarah
Sarah
10 years ago

I love this. It’s amazing how much he looks like himself in that newborn photo.

I cracked up that it took you a while to figure out he was pullin gyour leg with his incessant questions. Our boy outs himself by saying he was telling a troodon joke (from Dinasour Train).

Happy Birthday Dylan!

pam
pam
10 years ago

ha ha ha ha! i can’t tell you how often i have to say “FOCUS” to my four-year-old boys too.

such a cutie!

M.A. from MI
M.A. from MI
10 years ago

You got me with the last line — *sniff*. He has been a joy to “watch” grow up, just as Riley has. Thank you for sharing so much of them with us — I think I might be tempted to hoard them like the last piece of peanut brittle… Rock on, little men, and give your Mom a big ole hug and a kiss. She’s been so so good to you guys.

Meagan
10 years ago

I can’t believe I’ve been following your blog for almost 5 years! In related thoughts, I wonder if parentdish is still terrible? Anyway, happy birthday Dylan!

souphead
10 years ago

awww! i first read your blog when you got the belly henna with his initial. crrrazy.

Happy Birthday Dylan!

Rochelle
Rochelle
10 years ago

I get the same brain fart about my kids birthdays and it should be *easy*, since it’s 05/08/98 and 08/05/09! Ridiculous.

Thursday
10 years ago

Happy birthday Dylan. I only have to think of the “No, I di’nt, no, no, no I di’nt” video you uploaded and I start laughing. Please upload it again or tell me where it is in your archives, thank you.

Laura M.
Laura M.
10 years ago

“He still likes horses, although I’d say that particular stage has largely passed.”

I humbly predict that he will grow up to be a rodeo star or similarly horse laden career. ;)

Mariya
Mariya
10 years ago

Too cute! Happy Birthday Little Man! I hope he had a wonderful birthday. Seems like a fantastic kid who will grow up to be even more gregarious and fun to be around :-)

Lindsay
10 years ago

My little girl Ingrid is only 10 months old and I already want to stop the clock/can’t wait for her to get older and explore. I just blurt out my birthday when asked for hers – painful! I’m glad to hear that he still has a love for horses.

melaniek
melaniek
10 years ago

I know what you mean about the birthdays, whats up with that, my son is 4-27-05 and my daughter is 5-30-08 and I seem to have issues remembering her year more than my son’s….I have no earthly idea why… happy late birthday to dylan and the pictures are adorable! I am AMAZED he is riding a real bike, Allie isn’t even using the training wheels one yet, her legs dont reach, the little shrimp…

Erika Peterson
10 years ago

Wow, seeing those pictures makes me realize that I’ve been following your blog for a long time! Your writing sucked me in early – you have a talent, that’s for sure.

Happy Birthday, Dylan!

april
10 years ago

Happy birthday, Dylan! Your birthday post for your 4-year old was much better than mine (my son turned four on 2/8). We’ve got birthdays of 2/8/08 and 8/18/10, and I can never remember the second kid’s birthday. Maybe it’s the second kid syndrome.

Erika
Erika
10 years ago

Wow, he looks EXACTLY like JB’s brother in that pic. So cute! Happy Birthday D!!

Erika
Erika
10 years ago

The last pic I mean.

Amy
Amy
10 years ago

He is adorable!! And sounds just like my youngest. Maybe it’s a second kid thing because Riley sounds much like my oldest.

happy birthday D!

Lauren
Lauren
10 years ago

hol-yyy crap! i have the most vivid memory of sitting on the floor in the atrium of the journalism school when i was still an undergrad, reading your post about Dylan’s birth. i’ve read your writing since diaryland, so i shouldn’t be surprised, but really?!? it’s been 4 years?!? wow. happy birthday Dylan. i hope someday i am half the mom you have always been. happiness to you and your family.

June
10 years ago

Happy birthday, sweetie pie! Keep up the good work. :)

adequatemom
10 years ago

Happy birthday, Dylan! He sounds so much like my daughter, especially the rambunctiosness and total disinterest in personal safety. If we ever got the two of them together, the world would likely collapse from the combined destructive power!

laziza
laziza
10 years ago

Oh, good God, you guys. What am I doing getting teary-eyed over a stranger’s kid??? Happy birthday, little man. (That pic of you sitting on the rocks is frame-worthy, btw. :))

Becky
10 years ago

Man, Dylan looks just like JB (don’t you love hearing that?)! Although, his raised eyebrow in the rocks pic definitely channels you.
Thank you for giving us these oh-so-personal glimpses into your life. You have a beautiful family, and I love reading about it.

Erin@MommyontheSpot
10 years ago

Aww, what a cutie!!

I am so with you on the whole giving directives thing; I am always doing that with my little guy, too.

Mandy
10 years ago

Ages 2 and 3 were awful for my daughter, she instantly turned into a recognizable human being the day she turned four (she will turn six next week). What an awesome age – Happy Birthday Dylan!

AC
AC
10 years ago

It’s not just me! About the birthday amnesia! THANK GOD.

sandy
sandy
10 years ago

He sounds like a riot. Prepare yourself for the teen years with that one. I think he’s gonna give you a run for your money!!! Haha. He is a charmer. ENJOY!!!

MichelleH
MichelleH
10 years ago

WOW!!! I started reading your blog when you were pregnant with him. He is six months older than mine. I can’t believe how Riley-ish he looks. He looks like a big kid! Happy Birthday Dylan!

Kate
10 years ago

Ditto on the congratulations, and, ditto on wow I’ve been reading a long time! I started reading when you were first pregnant with Riley and I was pregnant with my first when you were having Dylan – it was great to have you do everything a few months ahead of me, sorta like a mommy magic 8ball. – I wish you many more happy birthdays to come –

Jennifer
Jennifer
10 years ago

He might be the cutest little thing ever! Reminds me so much of my little boy, Tanner, who will be 4 in July. I seriously teared up reading this post. Happy birthday sweet little man!