The Playdate.According to people that know such things, 40 is the new 30, green is the new black and LeBron James is the new Michael Jordan. They are the new they, same as the old they. They may be right. I may be crazy.

And then there are the lunatics you’re looking for. Or four, as the case may be.  You see, the one stat that they don’t share, possibly due to its lack of pizazz or perhaps its frightening truthfulness, is that four is the new two.

Hello, and welcome to the frightening fours.  They suck.  No refunds.

Two? Two was puppy dogs and ice cream.  Two was barefoot on the beach, fresh flowers in every vase and your favorite team winning the championship.  It was bliss and the fact that they said it would be terrible only added to the majesty of it all.

Enter Four.  Now exit, please, as fast as you possibly can.

Four is screaming and not sleeping and the inability to use one’s arm for feeding one’s self yet somehow maintaining the upper body strength to fling said arm in wild, exaggerated gestures to emphasize said point (which, in case I’ve lost you, was the inability to use said arm).

We sent Two a thank you card.  Every holiday season Two gets the family newsletter.  My wife knit Two a sweater and she doesn’t even knit.  Two will never be cold or want for affection.  When Four is said and done we’re sticking it with the bill.  The only thing I’d willingly give Four is a rash.  Maybe a cold sore.  Maybe a kick in the pants.  Don’t let the door hit you, Four.

Our youngest son was once happy and innocent.  He was a soft, cuddly cartoon bunny with dimples and the smell of bacon and cinnamon.  Then at age three he built a cocoon, disappeared into it and came out like Mothra on a bender.

Sure, he still has moments of sweet cuteness, but that’s just Darwinism at its finest.  Darwin knew what he was doing when he sewed thumbs on monkeys.  If you want to throw crap at people and still continue to evolve you need to be mobile. The thumbless can’t hitchhike. It’s survival.  What allows Four to survive is the laughter, the dimples (damn the dimples!), the wonder and the peace one feels once Four goes to bed —  until it wants a drink of water or the pillow is no longer comfortable.  This usually happens about four in the morning, or as we call it, the witching hour.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love my four-year-old son more than anything. I’ll just love him more once he’s five.

I’ve done some research, i.e., what I do online when not surfing porn, and it seems like I only have two options to get through this trying period:

1) Patience
B) Exorcism

I don’t know that I can afford either.

Perhaps you think I’m exaggerating, but consider this list of people that have been four:

  • Adolf Hitler
  • Joseph Stalin
  • Ted Bundy
  • OJ Simpson
  • Kim Jong il
  • George W. Bush
  • Lady Gaga

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the heptagon of evil, or H.O.E., which kind of sugarcoats it, but is still evil in a venereal disease sort of way.

What can you do?

There’s only one thing that you can do to help us, and by association, yourself, and that is the power of prayer.  Prayer and money, but mostly money.  Like 99% money. Through your kind contributions my family and I can live out the remainder of Four on a beach in Hawaii, because only sand and grass skirts calm the savage beast.  Darwin knew it and they know it.  In fact, they are the ones that suggested it, and they are never wrong.


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