You are four years old! This was the year that you fully understood that you were having a birthday and that meant presents and a party and a cake and is it TIME FOR THE PARTY ALREADY!!! Let’s just say that I’m glad we planned the party for the morning because I think your head may have whirled around and fallen right off if you had been forced to wait until the afternoon for the festivities. The funny thing is, we didn’t really prepare you for where we were having the party or what it might involve, but you just assumed it was going to be AWESOME! One day when you are about 11 or 12, I will help you plan a sleepover for your birthday and you will second guess every suggestion I make and think that it will all turn out terribly. So I’m glad that for this small moment you trust me completely to provide a fantastic time.
It was nice. We did a party package at the Museum of Discovery. You chose a safari theme months ago. This meant animals would be there, but we didn’t know what to expect. They brought you a chinchilla, a hedgehog, a ferret, a snake, and a baby alligator. The lady that presented animals explained them one at a time and let you and your guests pet them. She probably felt like she was talking to a wall at times since she would ask questions and 10 timid kids would stare back at her. But today in the car you told us you wanted a “so so so soft chinchilla.” We said they were endangered. Just as I was about to explain what endangered meant, you said, “but I won’t make a coat out of mine, so it won’t die.” You are such a good listener. I had no idea you even heard her explain how chinchillas became endangered, but you remembered it all.
So I feel good about the party and I know you had fun, but let’s keep talking about you. That’s what these letters are really about after all!
I already said you are a good listener, but let me expand that to say that you are a good student. You don’t always want to get up and go to school, but you are always happy to be there. You are currently very excited about the planets. That is the special unit you guys are on right now. You know the names of all the planets because you learned a cute song. You also know that even though Pluto is still in the song it is actually just a big rock now. You know that the sun is the biggest ball. You told Mamie that you wanted to go to the moon when you got bigger. And let me just say no to that right now. Don’t even think about it. It will be Mars by the time you are big, or a term at the ISS. Nope.
Your teachers told us at your last conference that you are very helpful. Always the kid they rely on to help the new little ones settle in and learn new tasks. They also said your favorite activity is always pin punching. This a small motor skill activity. If I didn’t remember gestating and birthing you so vividly, I would think you didn’t come from me at all. Small motor skills? Ha! Your teachers also admitted that they forget that you are technically still one of the little ones by age. As we do.
You probably get in more discussions about behavior than you deserve or are ready for. You look and sound like you can handle it and then we get confused when you get frustrated in the way that fits your actual age. That’s something for Mommy and Daddy to work on. That’s not to say that you get in trouble more than you deserve. You are really a pusher sometimes. You may have run away from me once this weekend and gotten in some pretty serious trouble. I only mention it so that one day when you have a three year old that runs from you, you will know that you deserve it.
We are also both afraid that you are verging on the edge of spoiled. Being the only child of an only child has it’s perks. Having godparents that don’t yet have their own kids has it’s perks. Being the youngest of four grandkids has it’s perks. There’s just not really a bad angle for you. So before this birthday we went through your room and let you pick out things to give to other kids who need them. And I went behind you and threw away other things that aren’t fit to donate. It’s a start. It’s funny to think back to my little bargain baby with her cloth diapers and breastmilk and crib in the dining room and compare her to the little girl whose bedroom I have to explore weekly to make room for all the THINGS. How do children accumulate so many things?
As always, you gettin older brings your dad and I endless amounts of joy. We just love every new development! The strange thing about four is the finality of it. A lot of people seem to be missing your babyhood. It’s not so much that people really want us to have another child, it’s more that people want to be able to visit with 3 month old Rolo, or 12 month old Rosalind. I would just like to nom on those little thigh rolls you once possessed. I don’t think you own even one roll anymore. Just a straight line with knobby knees these days. Sad. And adorable.
A couple quick anecdotes and I will wrap it up. This is pretty self-indulgent, I suppose.
One: You are learning your three dimensional shapes at school. At dinner with Mamie and Gramps you told them what a sphere was. Gramps played with the words and pointed to his ears saying they were spheres. You laughed and said, “no, those are ovals!” I thought that was cute. And smart. Yes, I’m bragging that I think you are smart. Blogging blasphemy!
Two: You adore the following exchange with your father on daily, if not hourly, basis. “Guess what? Chicken butt! Guess why? Chicken thigh! Guess who? Chicken poo!” In fact, poo and fart jokes are the best for you right now. (Sidenote: you recently became very interested in Lego building. Your father has been waiting for the day he could buy and play with Lego sets since before we knew we were having a child. Thank you for finally reaching the appropriate age for interlocking block structures and loving them with your Dad. It makes him very happy.)
Three: We got you The Giving Tree for your birthday. I think it’s about the saddest book ever, though it makes far more sense to me now, as a parent. I read it to you twice last night. When the boy came to the tree and asked for the trunk to make a boat, you told me that the tree was happy because now it was with the boy all the time. I tried to explain that the stump that remained was the tree, but you weren’t having it. The tree got to go with the boy and so it was happy. You singlehandedly made the saddest book in the world have a happy ending. Good job, sweet girl!