Someone in turning 4 in a few days.
Four years ago I was in the hospital on bed rest, anxiously awaiting this child that would forever change my life.
We were walking along a road near our house one night when I snapped this picture of you. I watched you and your brother run, play and explore all the while, strong winds were whipping through your hair. It became acutely obvious to me that you were leaving the toddler years behind and moving into the preschool years. My heart filled with so much pride and love. Looking at this picture makes me reminisce on the year you have had…
Three was not an easy year for you. It wasn’t so much that it was terrible; it just wasn’t what I was expecting. You are not a child that I can spring things on and a lot of the times you would like for things to happen on your terms. Sometimes I accommodated this when it pertained to small things like getting dressed, but a lot of times parenting is not a negotiation and it was really hard trying to teach you this.
We really worked a lot on kindness. You are such a sweet and loving little boy but you really like your play time not to be interrupted by Jack. He loves you so much and I know you do too. I can see it when you decided at a certain point in your day that it is time to run and play with him. But playing with him has to be on your terms. You do not like it when he tries to play with your toys or investigate what you are doing. You like to play alone a lot.
You learned to share a room with your brother this year, then quickly decided that that was not for you and come looking for Mommy and Daddy in the middle of the night. Gone are the days when you would go to sleep on your own, in your own bed and stay there all night. You have taken up camp in our room. You fall asleep there, we move you into your own room and then you find your way back into our bed sometime in the night.
You found a new love in Thomas. We have collected movies and trains for you to play with. You sing along to the songs and sometimes do a little dance. Your love of the Wonderpets has diminished but you still like them every once in a while. You started to watch full length movies but far and few between are the ones that we watch right to the end. You stop and go back to the beginning to memorize the lines. Your fav’s are Charlotte’s web, The Bee Movie, and The Lion King.
You liked to play with Playdo a lot this year. And I do mean a lot. I liked that you were being creative so I was continuously getting new tubs as the old ones dried out. You tried your hand at painting as well but your attention span is short and you only really enjoyed it for a few minutes. Balls and blocks still seem to be among your favorite toys. You like to build towers over and over again. Repetitiveness is just a part of who you are. You could sit at the table and fill a jar full of buttons over and over again for over an hour.
You speak and refer to your self in the third person still. It’s funny to hear you say “Michael has to get things going!” I’m not really sure what you want to get going but it makes me mile. You have funny little accents that you try out regularly. Grandma says it sounds like you have marbles in your mouth. I especially love the British accent. Your vocabulary is coming along. It isn’t perfect and some days I worry how you will communicate at school. You follow direction well and like to help out Mommy with all kinds of things, but you just don’t have that two way conversation that I would liked to have with you. I know that you will get there when it is your time.
I tried hard to teach you about God this year. We went to church a lot and learned goodnight prayers and to be thankful for what we had. One of the most special moments I had with you was one night when you started saying your prayers from memory one night with out prompting. I especially liked when you said you were thankful for your police hummer.
We experienced some wicked temper tantrums this year. And I do mean wicked. Nothing seemed to work to calm you down. I tried everything. Some days I felt like the worst mother in the world. There was one night that I gave up and cried at night at the top of the stairs only to have you come out of our bedroom and crawl into my lap and hug me. You certainly have the Jekyll and Hyde thing down pat.
You became really attached to me this year. A lot of the times I couldn’t leave the room without you calling out to me. You became a very cuddly little boy, often crawling up into my lap in the morning just for a snuggle. You even started to ask for hugs and kisses. It always makes my heart full.
This job of mine to teach you to be a good person is so hard and some days I am so afraid I have messed up. Other days I see your smiling face and your funny little conversations and I know you will be just fine. When you leap into my arms, there is a trust in your eyes that reassures me that I am doing an okay job at this parent thing. I am excited to see what four has in store for you, excited to see you start school and make friends. I pray that it will be a kinder, gentler year for you and for me, and that your fourth year is filled with much fun. Where ever the wind blows you this year Michael, remember that I will always, always love you.