The here and now and a bit of way back then

I relived my journey to 40 and found there's so much more to say

When am I going to be 4??

on August 24, 2014

Imagine a three year old child sat in the back of the car strapped safely in her car seat suddenly bellowing out of the blue with both arms raised high above her head, ‘WHEN AM I GOING TO BE FOUR??’

That would be #2.

And this was bellowed out some four months ago.

And now she is four. She loves being four. It’s all the fingers on one hand when she shows someone just how old she is. She also likes to tell everyone. ‘My Mummy is FORTY’. That’s what you get for having a massive build up to your birthday.

In one of those weekly emails I receive from a reputable Parenting website that exists to make you feel better about the behaviour of your child, they tell me that my four year old is still busy, inquisitive and fun but with a ‘budding maturity, self control, and understanding of the rules that help make life a bit calmer’. Doesn’t that sound appealing?

It hasn’t happened yet but then she’s only been four for five days. She firmly believes that being four holds different responsibilities and expectations and likes to put #3 in her place as ‘the baby’. She tries really hard to live up to being four but then just as easily forgets and the glass shattering shriek of a three year old erupts. Especially when caught in an altercation with #1 whose favourite pastime seems to be enjoying winding her up.

I often wonder whether those two are going to get along well you know. The amount of times they are at each other. He builds a masterpiece of a track for his cars and she comes along and messes it up. She has something she’s happily playing with and he suddenly takes it from her. He walks past and pushes her, she thumps him in the back.

Yet at their recent Parent Teacher meeting, I was surprised but thrilled (relieved even) to hear that #1 will go and check if she’s ok when he sees her upset in the playground. I guess when it comes down to it, they’ll always look out for each other. #1 often cites he loves #2, it goes without question in his mind. At the moment #2 will reciprocate eight out of ten times.

For her Birthday present, #1 thought carefully about what #2 would like and was very proud of his choices which she was ecstatic about. He made her a card at school all by himself that he’d put a lot of effort into and he did recognise now that he’s five and a half, that the day was all about #2. So you see, the reputable Parenting website is right.

It will be a relief in many ways when you can reason with a four year old in a way that you can’t quite with a three year old. A three year old that can articulate their rights and wants so well that when you dare to contradict their rights and wants in a way that doesn’t match up to their idea of their rights and wants, well just make sure you’re not in a hurry to be somewhere else and have a pair of ear muffs handy.

I have, and will continue to be, that parent who will try and ignore the screaming child sat on the pavement or in a shopping centre until they tire of it or I need to be someplace else and wrestle said child on our way. Halfway through the episode, we’ve both forgotten what the altercation is about but it’s too late to do anything about it as we BOTH need to stand our ground. #2 can certainly do that. For much longer than #1 can as well.

Sometimes we have stand offs over the most ridiculous things like who pressed the lift buttons firsts, who got unbuckled out of their car seat first, who gets to watch what on television. When they get older, I’ll probably just tell them to arm wrestle it out.

#2 is a fabulous story teller with a really wild imagination and who am I to curb it. It’s the way she talks in that totally animated manner she’s been doing since she just turned three. That tone of voice that makes any story she narrates sound like the honest truth to the point where I have to say to people that they may want to clarify a few details with me to get the real picture. Apparently we are getting a dog and moving to Phuket.

She cracks me up often with her facial expressions and likes nothing more than to pull funny faces. Our membership cards for the Singapore Zoo and River Safari both have photos of her pulling a face, why the membership person didn’t say anything is beyond me but it makes me laugh.

I like her strong character and I hope she always has it even if it does give me a headache at times and makes me stand alert on play dates when I’m not sure which way it’s going to go, ready to lunge in if I can see she’s about to let rip with a flow of indignation about who is the real Elsa. Well, actually neither of you are but even a four year old isn’t quite willing to believe that.

This weekend is going to be her 4th Birthday party. It doesn’t feel that long ago when I told you about her 3rd Birthday party and she blew a 360 degree round of raspberries at everyone during the Birthday sing song because someone blew the candles out first……..

She’s requested ALL THINGS FROZEN! There’s going to be TEN Queen Elsa’s at the party. What shall we do when they all declare to be the REAL Queen Elsa?

Incidentally, a couple of days ago when I asked #2 how old she was, she replied with ‘Eleven and a half’.

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