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It’s Noah’s birthday. He turns four today, and as I contemplate just how incredible and special a human being he is, I can’t help but think that I should do something special to honor his awesomeness.

So, I hereby dub today International Act Like a 4-Year-Old Day! Participation and observance of this new holiday is mandatory. If you don’t participate, you’ll be sent to your room, and won’t get to play Nintendo for a week!

To properly celebrate IALA4YOD (it just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?) you should make sure to do the following throughout the day.

  1. You should believe there’s no reason for anybody not to like you.
  2. You should wiggle your butt while you dance, and not care what anybody thinks when you do.
  3. You should sing your heart out even if you can’t carry a tune in a bucket.
  4. You should not stress about money today. At all. Unless that stress is because you don’t have a quarter for the gum ball machine.
  5. You should not hold any grudges. Unless it’s aimed toward the dog for eating one of your Lincoln Logs.
  6. You should insist on hugging everybody before you leave anywhere.
  7. You should look at everything around you as wondrous and new.
  8. You should ask questions and learn the answers to things you don’t know.
  9. You should be quick to forgive those who do wrong to you or hurt you. Unless it’s the dog/Lincoln Log thing.
  10. You should sit down and take the time to color a picture, doing your absolute best to stay within the lines.
  11. You should look at your parents as people who know more about life than you do.
  12. You should live in the present.
  13. You should run or skip from room to room.
  14. You should create something wonderful with building blocks or Legos.
  15. You should show off something you’re passionate about to the people you love.
  16. You should use your outside voice inside. Make sure to get right in somebody’s face when you do.
  17. You should not care about who’s cool and who’s not cool. Be friends with everyone.
  18. You should not notice the color of other people’s skin.
  19. You should take a nap.
  20. You should let your imagination take you places you’ve not been in a long time.
  21. You should ask why about the things you have always believed but never questioned.
  22. You should go somewhere fun like the zoo, an aquarium, or a theme park.
  23. You should get on your bike with nowhere specific to go.
  24. You should tell somebody they’re your best buddy.
  25. You should have no reason to believe you won’t be good at something new.
  26. You should sit cross-legged on the floor while you watch TV.
  27. You should do things because they sound crazy or fun, not because they sound important.
  28. You should wear mismatching clothes and enjoy it.
  29. You should laugh. A lot.
  30. You should be as silly as you possibly can.
  31. You should show your vulnerabilities.
  32. You should show your fears.
  33. You should share your food with someone you love.
  34. You should call up a friend and ask if they can play.
  35. You should ask for help with something you’ve been too prideful to ask for help with.
  36. You should say the words hoe, coke, and blow without thinking dirty thoughts (thanks Tim McGraw for that one).
  37. You should make a “pretty card” for somebody you love.
  38. You should make a big mess and not clean it up.
  39. You should stop thinking about the crap that happened yesterday.
  40. You should also stop thinking about the crap that happened five minutes ago.
  41. You should change your mind about something when you realize somebody else has a better way to do it.
  42. You shouldn’t listen when people tell you no.
  43. You shouldn’t listen when people tell you that you can’t do something.
  44. You should build a fort with blankets and chairs and then sleep in it.
  45. You should giggle like crazy when you accidentally fart in public.
And that’s it. Pretty simple list, really! Why did we all have to go and become grown-ups anyway?

Also, be sure to check back tomorrow, I’ll be posting a proper birthday post.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. What other attributes do children have that we would all do well to emulate a little more? Have you ever just let go of adult life and tried to be a kid for the day?