Little Z is now 4 and and a half and I think this has been our most interesting and challenging year yet in parenting. I thought it would be very much like the 3s, and in a way it is, but wow, the amount of talking and questions have increased about threefold. As have his little antics. I always think we now know what his personality is like and he usually surprises us with yet another layer or angle to his character and I think I’ve now realised that this is just something that’ll keep happening. Maybe right into his 30s and beyond.
At the moment his inquisitiveness can be both hilarious, and exhausting all at once. Questions come like a quick fire round, as do his offered of help. The other day, through sheer distraction from all his observations I accidentally shut the car door on my own foot. Needless to say there was some screaming and a lot of wincing in pain. Luckily, a few wiggles of my toes confirmed it wasn’t broken. It did throb for a while though and I had visions of adding this little injury to all the pregnancy ailments I have building up.
4 year olds are rather interesting though and through all the challenges they do provide some very good entertainment sometimes.
So these are all the the things I’ve learned 4 year olds do (and don’t do!):
1. They’ll potter into your bed in the middle of the night courtesy of the light from their night lamp. Then politely ask Daddy if he could stop breathing because it’s far too loud and disturbing his sleep.
2. Again, politely, they will ask if you could “budge up” in bed. 4 year olds obviously need all the space in a double bed for their octopus limbs which they’ll keep slapping you with all night long in their sleep.
3. Ask you 57 questions in 10 seconds flat and expect answers RIGHT NOW! If the answer doesn’t suit they’ll just keep repeating it until you give in and tell them what they want to hear. They should employ 4 year olds to break down spies.
4. As an alternative method of crushing anyone’s steely demeanour, they will follow up each of your replies and ask “why? Why? Why? But why?” . Until you break and give them the two ice creams they’ve been fishing for since about 6am.
5. They will ask if you need help with unwrapping your birthday presents / blowing out your candles and helpfully unwrap / blow them out at lightning speed before you’ve opened your mouth to reply.
6. On the other hand, they’ll be “really tired” when it comes to tidy up time and ask if you “can help me? Please? Please? Please?”. Complete with big innocent puppy dog eyes.
7. Same with pulling their pants up once they’ve been to the loo. “Please will you help me pull my pants up? Please?” . Sigh.
8. Bizarrely you will hear how they are a complete little angel at preschool and how they’ve got yet another sticker for helping out his keyworker.
9. You suspect they are a little in love with their keyworker and your suspicions are confirmed when they say she is beautiful. You then spend an hour asking what they think of you. They eventually relent and call you beautiful too. Good boy.
10. They charge you up to £50 for an imaginary ice cream from their imaginary shop. And then charge it on both of your toy credit cards. Daylight robbery.
11. They present you with their Daddy’s Ps4 game, point to the age limit on it and announce “I’m 7 now. Can I play this?” . Yeah, that would be no. Nice try.
12. Tell you they are very hungry. But only for marshmallows.
13. Ask if you’re enjoying your marshmallow and offer to finish it for you.
14. Ask the baby bump if they had a nice day.
15. Insist on having Cheerios. Then ignore them completely and eat all your breakfast all your breakfast instead.
15. Ask you when the shop will be sending the new baby. Then look at you suspiciously when you give them a pretty vague “a few more weeks, it’s not quite ready yet”.
16. Laugh hysterically when you accidentally shut the car door on your own foot.