On December 8, 2015, you turned 4 years old. You are a smidge below 45″ tall and weigh 48 pounds. You are wearing 5T pants and shorts, and boys 6 in shirts. You are wearing size 7 in footed pajamas and size 13 Wide in shoes.
I’ll give fair warning here that this has been a Very Big Month for you. So if you’re here for a quick read, you may want to either skip to the end for the picture link, or grab a bottle of water and settle in. This is a long letter. 🙂
Things We Did:
Recurring things: KinderCirque; Library and Awanas
11/14 – Day out With Thomas (Reminder for next year to me, BRING YOUR THOMAS USB THUMB DRIVE!!! The photographer gives a $10 discount on pictures & will load them on the drive!)
11/20-11/22 – Weekend in Big Bear
11/22 – swimming w/ Mommy
11/26 – Thanksgiving with family
11/28 – Sea World for Grandma D.’s Birthday
11/29 – Breakfast with Grandparents and a birthday party for family friend
12/05 – Your birthday party
12/06 – Your first performance as an aerialist
12/08 – Disneyland
Favorites this month:
Color: Red, blue, yellow and brown
Song: Siamese Cats
Food: Chicken strips
Snack: Sea World snack (little crackers)
Class: Miss Robin’s class (KinderCirque)
Teacher: Miss Robin
Restaurant: The one with the planes at the hall (Ruby’s at the mall)
Vacation spot: San Francisco
Toy: Big Buzz and Big Woody and Big Jessie and their hats and Big Bullseye and the stand
Park: Awesome park
Theme Park: Zoo and Disneyland
Anything else? Rock, truck, car, restaurant, stop sign… trains, street.
You have been sleeping with no issues this past month. Falling asleep easy, and despite how you tease me in the evenings (saying, “I’m going to wake up in the middle of the night and call and call for you and tell you that you forgot to do my nose spray and I have a stuffy nose!”), you are sleeping through the night until I wake you in the morning.
You are now of an age where, if we’re doing something exciting the next day, we can’t tell you because the anticipation gives fuel to your imagination and you can’t fall asleep, and then you wake up early and then you’re tired for the exciting thing!
You have a good appetite and a sense of culinary adventure. You have no issues eating. In fact, one night, you dipped your chicken nuggets into your chocolate pudding. Gross! Your grandma D. tells me that she serves you most of your leftovers cold, which kind of icks me out, but she says you eat it fine. So I shrug and say, “Whatever works!”
Things I want to remember:
How you love sticks and can entertain yourself happily for hours outside with just a stick. I never knew sticks could possibly have so many uses. From being a “digger” to an “ice poker” to being a “shooter” to who knows what tomorrow!
One morning you told me, “I’m going to go upstairs to wake up daddy.” I said, “You can, but you know he’s going to snuggle you.” You replied, “Oh, that’s OK because I like that. But I can’t right now because I’m finishing my hot chocolate.” A few minutes passed, you got up and said, “OK, I’m going upstairs now.” I say, “OK, have fun.” You said, “OK, but I better take my froggy because daddy’s going to try and snuggle me!”
Miss Mary, your Awana leader, has nicknamed you Pastor William because when asked if anyone knows their Bible verse, you blare it out as loud as you can. I admit that I role play with you for the entire 10 minute drive there, just because I think it’s funny to hear you say the verse so loudly.
I took you swimming the evening we got back from Big Bear. It was 5:45 PM when we got to the pool, the sky was already dark and the moon high and bright in the sky. You exclaimed over the wonder of it, and a couple of times you stopped swimming and were staring vacantly and I asked you what was wrong, you said, “Nothing’s wrong, but the moon is following me!” The moon has been coming up in the afternoon, we see it sometimes as early as 3 PM, and sometimes it’s still wandering the sky in the morning. You have determined that the moon is lost!
You told me the Monday morning before Thanksgiving that you weren’t going to enjoy Thanksgiving, that you’re not going to eat turkey or mashed potatoes or ANYTHING at Thanksgiving. Later that day at KinderCirque class you told Miss Robin that Thanksgiving is fun and turkey is your favorite thing to eat. I laughed and laughed when your grandma D. told me that!
You can be a little bit of a contrarian sometimes, One evening, I told you we were eating leftovers for dinner and asked you what you wanted from your leftovers. You replied, “I want broccoli, steamed broccoli. Also, some hot dog that daddy made. And some apple, cut up. Please.” So I go gather these things for you and you say, “I don’t want any of these things. What I really want is a cherry popsicle.” I would be very annoyed with you, except your outlandish requests are couched in such sweetness. As it is, I simply told you that I spent 15 minutes putting all these things together at your request and you need to tell me thank you and my appetite has changed. May I have one or two bites of these things and then have a cherry popsicle, please? See, the thing is, I’ve dealt with “food issues” and “appetite changes” every day of my own life. I understand that sometimes something that seemed appealing 15 minutes ago maybe isn’t anymore. But I’ve learned that showing gratitude before changing my request can make a world of difference to the recipient, so I hope to teach you the same thing. Also, the cherry popsicles are homemade, so they’re just as healthy as the rest of it. And sometimes, we all just want to eat dessert first, because often times I’ve found with you that if I serve your dessert with your meal, that you’ll eat it all at the same time with no issues.
Watching Toy Story 3 over the weekend, you exclaimed, “Andy’s hat is red, just like Jessie’s hat!” The timing of that observation by you is striking because I had just the week prior emailed your father a link to a theory about Jessie’s owner being Andy’s mom, and one of the primary pieces of evidence of that theory is the red hat!
How in the mornings, one of your favorite things to do is to lie in the middle of the walkway and say, “Oh no, there’s a speedbump in your way!” And then you laugh and laugh when we faux trip over you. And then the speedbump moves and we have to trip over it again, and more laughter. Sometimes the speedbump gets really tall as you bear walk, and other times the speed bump gets really long when you stretch out on the floor.
Saying prayers one night, I prayed for Miss Mary at Awanas. You interrupted to clarify, “Excuse me, mommy, we have TWO Miss Marys. One at Awanas and one at library.” I said, “Yes, we’ll pray for all the Miss Marys!”
One morning, you pulled all your toys out and they were strewn all over the living room. I told you I was going upstairs to get dressed and that I would love to be surprised when I came back down to find all your toys put away! About 3 minutes after I was upstairs, I heard you screaming and crying. When I came running down to check on you, you were kneeling on your knees and leaning on the lid of your toy chest. I gathered you up and asked what was wrong, you pointed at your toy chest and said, sobbing, “It won’t close!! They don’t all fit in there!” Oh, dear child. I told you if that ever happens, it is OK, to please just call me and we’ll figure it out together. And I showed you that, if it doesn’t fit, you could just pull something out and set it aside, as long as it’s not in the walkway.
Then when I was going upstairs, you stopped midway to pet the cats. I told you I was going on up and you could come up when you were ready. You acknowledged me and then again 3 minutes later, you were crying because I left you petting the cat. Goodness!
How you love to dance (but NOT in a class) and most of your dancing consists of walking with the crown, like you did in ballet class. Also your KinderCirque training is showing up when we dance, you love to jump up and circle me with your legs, then go upside down, and then legs together and to the floor. You call it “our trick.” In fact, we went to a birthday party for a family friend and there was a live band and lots of people were dancing. You, literally, dragged me out to the dance floor so you could do “our trick!”
At the birthday party, after a particularly rousing dance you went back to the table to take a break. You got up and went over and looked at all the mini birthday cakes that had been set out. After your inspection, you came back, sat down and declared, “I need a beer before I dance again.” I’m guessing you overheard someone say that.
You are also very into “saving food for later.” I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been out somewhere and you don’t finish your food and you tell us, “That’s OK, we’ll just put it in the fridge and save it for later.”
Your Grandma D. couldn’t find her camera for one of your aerial class practices. Unbeknownst to you, I lent her one of mine. You arrived at your class and you told your Grandma D., “You can’t find your camera, I don’t have to do well today!” Grandma D. pulled my camera out and said to you, “I have your mommy’s.” You stared and said, deflated, “Oh.”
At one point during that practice, you declared yourself “tired.” So instead of letting you flop on the floor, Miss Robin escorted you over to sit next to Grandma. She told you that when you were ready to work again to come back over. Your “rest” lasted about 30 seconds and you tore off after Miss Robin and listened a bit better after that.
Miss Robin challenges you to do the things in her class by yourself. You struggle, but you keep trying and I’m grateful to her for encouraging you and keeping you interested, even though it means that sometimes you flop on the floor. I encouraged you to do your TA DA!! when you land. For some reason, that has gone by the wayside in the last few months.
Every morning, after you’ve snuggled awake, you ask me< "Is this a mommy and daddy day?" I've learned that when it's a work day, I simply tell you that we have to go to work, and you cry. If I answer that it's a grandma day, then we go down a path about how you don't like Grandma (although you love her to pieces and you say that you're her sweetheart) and that you don't WANt a grandma day.
At breakfast one morning, your father was talking to his dad and you were trying to talk to your Grandma H. who is a soft-talker. You politely interrupted your father and said, "Excuse me! You're talking to him and I'm talking to her, but I can't hear her when you're talking, so you need to be quiet while she is talking, please."
When we went to Big Bear, there was still some snow on the ground from the week’s prior storm. You had a grand time walking around in the back yard with a stick, digging holes in the snow. We left for the day and came back that evening and there were dog tracks in the yard. We examined them for a minute and you said, in the perfect intonation of a private investigator, “Someone’s been walking in our snow! Who was it?”
We have found that it's really important to pay attention to you and what you're saying. You are really good at entertaining yourself and you generally tell us what you're doing, whether we listen or not. For example, at breakfast one Sunday morning, you were bending over your chair facing your father's direction. He was busy talking to his dad, who was seated on the other side of him, and you were repeatedly saying, "Pbbb pleb pooh! That's disgusting!" You would finish your routine and take another bite of eggs from your plate, and then do the same thing. A lady at a table across from you gave us the side-eye. Curious, leaned around your backside to look at your face. I couldn't really see, I could just hear you, so I nudged your father and asked him what you were doing. He looked at you, not expecting anything, after all, you were playing peacefully. Turns out, you were creatively spraying egg bits all over the floor. "Pbbbb Pleb Pooh! That's DISGUSTING!"
The morning when we got up to go to Sea World, you exclaimed, "I'm William the whale speed bump!" You then told us that you were going to bring your small bucket and you were going to take Shamu home in a bucket. When we told you Shamu was too big to bring home in a bucket, you told us, "Then I'll bring baby Shamu home in my bucket." I had to tell you that even baby Shamu was too big to bring home in a bucket.
Your grandpa tried to tease you by placing your underwear on your head after you went to the restroom. You emphatically told your grandpa, "My underwear goes on my butt, not on my head!"
Driving around, your father was listening to his music. You said, "Excuse me, I want William songs, like Lightning Lost or something, please?"
Talking about Thanksgiving, you explained to us, "So my birthday is way far away, all these other things have to happen first."
One evening you found my Bible sitting on a chair. You made off with it and I asked you where you were taking my Bible. You corrected me and told me it was GOD'S Bible and you needed to read God's word.
You stood on a chair, reached into the bag to pull out dry erase markers and proceeded to write on the white board. You told me, "Mr. William is the teacher today, you are Miss Mary. I am drawing words right now."
Listening to tractor tipping song, you exclaimed, "Frank ate the old William and now you have a new William!" Surprised, we asked, “We have a new William??" You replied, "Yes! Absolutely!"
In Big Bear, you discovered the play kitchen (that your Grandpa made probably 40 years ago) in the storage room under the bunk beds. You spent at least two hours playing with that thing and were sad that we had discovered it the last day there.
You put a pair of sunglasses on and then over it some party glasses. You informed us that you were wearing some "Watch where I'm going glasses and sunglasses."
One evening I was reading a book and you told me, "You're concentrating away from me, I need you to concentrate on ME!"
In Big Bear, you were sitting on the toilet and you exclaimed, "This toilet seat is not very loud." I realized you were banging the lid against the tank and because it's a padded seat and lid, it wasn't making any noise. I then also realized that you bang the toilet seat against the tank a lot at home. I never noticed that before.
At the bar for Taco Tuesday, they have many TV screens. You were watching them and all of a sudden you exclaimed, "That's the Nutcracker!" Sure enough, an advertisement had come on for an upcoming showing of the Nutcracker Suite
After Taco Tuesday, there is a sidewalk that you like to run down. The week prior, your father had freaked out because the sidewalk ends and it's the street. I knew you would stop, as you and I have discussed it many times, but your father did not. So this time, you took off running running and turned back and reassured your father, "I will stop at the end, daddy!"
Going to the bathroom, you intentionally locked the door. I unlocked it to check on you and you ushered me out of the bathroom and told me, "I don't need you in here." Then you locked it behind me. This has it's benefits, because when I'm going to the restroom, you will ask if I need privacy and if I say yes, you turn and leave.
We took you to see the new Peanuts movie. The previews and advertisement were endless. After about 20 minutes, you got up and went to the opposite side of the theater and said, "That's it, I'm going away from you advertisements!"
One of the previews was for the upcoming movie called, The Secret Lives of Pets. You thought that preview was hysterically funny and now you ask to watch it over and over again. You always get my attention before the weiner dog massages himself with the kitchen mixer because you know that’s my favorite part of it.
Speaking of previews, one of the things that you love is to watch the shorts that come on the DVDs of your movies. Recently, after watching Spirit: Stallion of Cimarron, you asked to watch one of the behind-the-scenes shorts. Your father suggested that maybe you wouldn’t enjoy it, but you insisted. So, we sat there and watched how they drew Spirit, and the artist gave a tutorial on how to draw the horses. Halfway through it, you stood up, went to the table, asked for your school supplies and you sat down and started drawing circles on the paper. You then asked for help to draw a horse from the circles, just like you had seen in the “short.”
Driving along in a train, you pretended to stick your hand out the window. You said, "I won't fall out, I'm not like Mr. Potato Head or something."
One morning you went out in the hallway. I could hear you talking to someone and giggling. When I asked you what you were doing, you told me, "I don't want to tell you!" I assured you that if you told me, you wouldn't get in trouble. You looked at me, taking my measure, and then replied, "I'm messing with the bird."
Sitting on the landing of our stairs, where all the cats congregate and our bird cage is hung, you exclaimed in your best narrator voice, "Welcome to Pet Land!"
About a month ago, I bought a Keurig on clearance at Walmart. Now whenever you hear it, you come running and ask for hot chocolate, in your whale mug, with two ice cubes, a lid and a straw. You gather everything that you can reach and group it on the counter so that it's all organized and convenient. How can I turn that down??
From Halloween, you still have tons of candy. You get a piece every day and you get to pick it. You saw the lollipops when they were given to you and I think they're horrible, so I threw them away. I'm silly for doing that, I know, but I can't help it. You still ask for them every day and the way you say "lollipop" is just the cutest thing ever. I'm glad I tossed them, because I would give them to you if I had them anymore.
You say some pretty deep things sometimes without provocation, and I'm always shocked when stuff like that comes out of your mouth. This month, the one that took me aback was when we were Watching the opening scene of Lady & the Tramp, you exclaimed over the cuteness of Lady as a puppy. The scene changed to the night time and Lady being put to bed all alone and the commentary by Jim Dear about being a master and training the puppy from the beginning, and then he locks Lady in the room. Watching all this, you exclaimed, "He locked her in there!!" Then you said, "The thing about being a master is… it's not about locking someone away, it's about loving them." I'm guessing that it's because in Awanas one of their core teachings is that Jesus our master loves us… Plus, you have been very much into loving our pets. Apparently, the way the movie's script is worded triggered this in your mind.
On the eve of your birthday, I put 3 year old to bed. I feel immensely blessed to be able to hold you in my arms as you fall asleep each night. There is some sort of magic that happens when your eyelashes flutter against your cheeks in trust as you fall asleep. On the cusp of sleep, your eyes close slowly, open, close slowly, open, I hold my breath… and your eyes drift closed, your hand twitches, your leg moves, your breathing deepens, your body relaxes. One thousand four hundred and sixty times you have fallen asleep in my arms at night. You say it makes you feel loved and safe and that you like that. I will hold you and let you fall asleep in my arms for as long as you let me. Just as you obsessed yourself into rolling over, crawling, pulling up and eventually walking, I know it is inevitable that, when you are ready, you will pull away and fall asleep on your own, too. However, for as long as we waited for you, dreamed of you, longed for you, and all those nights I would lay in bed and wish that I had a child to hold in my arms. Now you are here. Now I can hold you in my arms. My very own child. Sometimes I still don't believe it. And it seems that time with you goes much faster than the time did without you. So, I hold you for these fleeting moments, and you gently cross into dreamland in my arms, for I know the day is coming all too soon when you will fly far and wide on your own wings, and I will remember with gratitude these times, with no regrets. No regrets ever.
More pictures from this month can be found here — Link
We love you forever,
Momma (and Daddy)
2 responses to “Letter to our 4 Year Old”
Love you William an Happy Birthday son, love Daddy❤ ,
I was reading like, one paragraph at a time when I had a moment. But that was okay, too because I got to savor it. 🙂 I’m all a-sniffle from this one. I don’t know why this one in particular. Maybe because 3 still is like… you know… a toddler. And four just sounds like such a big kid. *sigh* What a big sap I am.