A letter to my daughter on her fourth birthday
You are at that funny age now. You are so big and so independent, yet you are still so little.
You constantly tell us you want to do it "by-a myself!" and you insist on doing everything by yourself. I love that you are making your own decisions. Unfortunately, when it is a decision such as wearing a summer dress on a chilly day or choosing to eat only cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it often ends up in a shouting match. As you, quite naturally, want it your way because well... You are four. And you want what you want. We just want you to be dressed, fed and healthy! And preferably go about it a bit more quietly.
It is sometimes being stressful being the parent of a four year old. The 6AM wake-up calls are harsh. 6AM, on the dot, every day. I love the "Mummy, daddy!" shouts we hear from your room, and the cuddles we get afterwards, but I just wish you could stop wriggling so much and jumping on mummy so much at that time so we could get a bit more shut-eye...
I think you are so keen because you miss me a bit during the week. While I get to spend those mornings with you and drop you off to pre-school, by the time I get back home from work you are already in bed, and we are left just the weekend. So quite naturally, when I am here, you want me, me, me, no matter what time it is.
You are obsessed with baby bunnies, Frozen, Paw Patrol and puppies. Frozen and Elsa was your chosen birthday party theme, your favourite TV programme is Paw Patrol and one of the only guaranteed ways of getting you to be quiet, and you love to hop to school, pretending to be a baby bunny when we walk up there.
You love all kinds of baby animals, and love pretending to be a baby bunny, hopping away, or a baby horse, neighing in a squeaky baby voice. I am of course, depending on the situation, a mummy bunny, a mummy horse, or occasionally a mummy dog. I love this game a lot, although your daddy doesn't, as he thinks it gets you a bit over-excited and silly. And fair enough, it does a bit, but it is still fun!
One thing you have been talking over and over again is babies. There have been a few new babies amongst the wider family, and our friends in the last year or so and you just love them. You constantly talk about how they are "sooooo cuuuuute" and "soooo delicate". You have told us that you want to have a baby sister AND a baby brother. Twins. No tall ask that is! You've also told us that when you are a mummy, you will have ten babies. All at once. You definitely love babies!
Pre-school has gone really well for you. You have lots of friends, and you are a popular girl both at your school, at your ballet class and at Montessori. At one of your development meetings at pre-school, we were told that empathy was one of those things we should try and encourage in you, and after lots of talks about feelings and how other children perceive things you do, we are happy to see that you have blossomed into a genuinely inclusive and friendly little character. You play with others nicely, and insist on including everyone in play even when others might turn their backs on them. Not to say you are always sunshine and lollipops, you aren't, but we are getting there.
You are very excited about going to the big school next year, and so are we. We spoke with you which school you might like to go to, and you said you preferred the one where you are now, with the friends you have, so that is the one we chose for you. I hope it goes well and you will enjoy it. I had to change schools twice in my first year and I am glad you have a bit more stability, and you will already know some of the children there.
You love going to the park, you love doing crafts, you love drawing and colouring in, and you also love doing your "exercises", something you mimic from your dad who has really got into going to the gym recently. You love going to the bath, and you always pretend to be a mermaid there. You love me and you love your daddy, and most of all, you love giving us cuddles and kisses. I love how you sometimes just laze in our laps, watching telly or videos on YouTube.
There are so so so many things I could tell you about us, about you, and about the way I feel about you. But I will tell you just one thing. The thing I tell you every day.
Mummy loves you very very much.
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