Oh Lena. I can’t believe how much you have grown up since the last one of these I wrote. I’m currently laid on my side breastfeeding you, 2 days before your 4th birthday. You keep breaking to tell me things about our day together (we had a fun day out at a theme park and you want to recount all your experiences, you are so fucking cute). While you are quiet for 5 minutes (which let me tell you is bloody rare) I thought I’d jot down a letter to you for your fourth birthday.
What are you like right now?!
Well you no longer seem younger than Arlo did at the same age, you seem much more grown up than he was at 4!
Honestly, you are incredibly cool. I don’t think there is going to be a cooler person on the planet. You are so authentically you and you don’t give a crap what anyone thinks about that. You bend the world to your will and are strategic to get your own way by hook or by crook. If you need my help to do something and I tell you no, you’ll simply figure out a crafty way of getting what you want some other way with your own modifications. You often don’t ask for help or permission at all though, you want something, you’ll just figure a way out to bloody get it. The downside of all this is that you have a zero tolerance policy for not getting your own way and will scream blue murder over it for prolonged periods of time! You can be exhausting to parent at times!
What do you love right now?
You still love animals, especially horses and unicorns (try telling you they aren’t real!). For your birthday we are taking you for a pony ride, I can’t wait to see your little face. You love drawing and colouring and like to get the colours accurate – you’ll double check with me what colour things should be. You love to play role playing games. Like one where you randomly make me pretend to be the sun trapped by evil clouds. Worryingly, lots of your pretend games involve telling your toys that their mammy and daddy are dead and they have to go live with their grandma! I don’t know if I should be worried it’s wishful thinking or whether you’ve just watched too much Disney! You love your iPad, Netflix, YouTube and TV in general. We love watching shows and films together. Your favourite recently was Maleficent which if I’m honest tells everyone everything they need to know about you. There was one fight scene that was quite intense and mature for you so I looked at you and asked if you were ok and if you were finding it scary and you said no and then shouted ‘DO IT’ at Maleficent to kill some soldiers. You’ve always loved Halloween and creepy stuff too. My little weirdo! You love fairies, trains and cars. You are always talking, singing, dancing. You love to make up your own songs which are always very amusing and sometimes a bit creepy.
Milestones this past year
You’ve grown up so much over this past year. You are quite small for your age though on the 4th centile and are wearing clothes labelled for a child a year younger.
You stopped napping sometime after 3. In the summer you stopped wearing nappies. You had maybe one accident on day one and then you were away. We went to our first festival together only 4 days later and you did so well (minus a major poop incident in a field that resulted in you raving in a pair of wellies and a Jeremy Corbyn t-shirt for an afternoon!
About a fortnight ago we did you your own bedroom for the first time and you are currently bed-sharing with daddy instead of mammy which is a huge change for us both given we slept next to each other breast-sleeping since your birth.
You are still having ‘minkies’ usually before bed, in the morning and sometimes when you ask for it in the day. Part of me wants to tell you that 4 year olds don’t breastfeed anymore and stop you on your birthday because your latch is atrocious now. But you do love it so and ideally I do want you to self-wean on your own terms.
We had a period after 3 where you had a really challenging phase that required all my parenting skills (link) but we weathered that storm and now you are much more reasonable. As suspected, I think it was just to do with your language and comprehension. Now you understand most things and we have lovely little chats. You can make up elaborate stories too!
We did term of music lessons which you loved and we go the playgroup together every Thursday. We are trying to make the most of the last months before you start school in September. We have applied for your place and are nervously waiting to see if you get into the same school as your brother in April. You go to nursery for 2 full days a week and always hate to go in the morning but seem to have fun when you are there.
In the summer you started to play out (supervised) with the other kids on the block which you love. You love nothing more than being allowed to run free, it’s a nightmare getting you back in at bedtime!
You’ve gotten better at eating recently, you will now eat some vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. You are still pretty fussy though. Your favourite foods are macaroni cheese (obsessed), pizza (especially takeaway Dominoes), spag bol but most of all you just love snacks and sweet food. You are a total chocoholic to the point that I worry that it’s a problem. I told you that you were a chocoholic the other day and you said ‘that sounds nice, can I have one’ which pretty much sums it up. You ask for pudding after every meal to the extent that you even think that breakfast pudding is now a thing.
You have the whole household wrapped around your little finger. We are all smitten with you, we all still call you baby. Arlo is the most patient, kind and generous big brother. Sometimes you are pretty mean to him and hit him but he always responds with love. You fight a lot but love each other loads too. My favourite thing in the world is to watch you play and cuddle together.
Wishes for 4
So what does 4 hold for you my little cherub? I hope that you get into the same school as your big brother and that you like it there and your transition from nursery to primary school goes well. I hope that you wean from breastfeeding this year, the old fun bags can’t take much more abuse! I just hope we continue to be best friends and have the best time together. You are perfect in every single way and I just hope that I can continue to help you believe in that as you grow up and kick arse!
Love you Baby, happy 4th birthday.
P.S. I asked your dad if I had missed anything important and he said to say that every Monday you and he go to get bacon sandwiches together and you love it but you only ever eat the bread and leave the bacon. Yet if we give you bread you wouldn’t be interested. He’s a deep guy obvs.