We’ve made it to the Promised Land. Yesterday you turned four.
Four years old. Those three little words mean a whole lot, Kiddo. Not only are you not a baby anymore, but you’re also not a toddler. Your legs are steady and you amble with purpose. In fact, you’re starting soccer today with Daddy. We have to put those non-toddling legs to work. You’re gonna rock it, Beanie, with your pink cleats and pink shin guards.
Oh and hey, congrats on being the person who’s making me a soccer mom, the one thing I swore I would never be.
I’m not gonna lie: three has been – oh how shall we say? – a challenge. This last year has simultaneously put hair on my chest, made the hair turn gray, and then made the hair fall out. As a three-year-old, you were what the books call a “strong-willed child,” the kind of person who likes her way and isn’t wont to flexibility. There have been slammed doors, tantrums, screaming, illogical demands, and lots and lots and OMG SO MANY picked battles. Back when you were a baby, I read a blog post about how three-year-olds are jerkwads and I remember putting on my judgypants. Then three came and I got my comeuppance. Three is hard. It takes no prisoners. Three makes you pine for the days when the hardest part of parenting was getting a few hours of uninterrupted sleep and cleaning up a blowout diaper at Walmart.
But three was awesome, too, because you did all kinds of new things that made me swell with joy for the little girl you’re becoming. You got potty trained and shaved off roughly $47845784576594 from our yearly budget since we don’t have to buy as many diapers anymore. (You promptly replaced that expense with Paw Patrol toothpaste, BTW.) You went to parents day out, too, which was kind of a huge deal. You cried every time we dropped you off for the first few months, but now you love it. This year you also gave up your pacifier, a battle we had been fighting since before you were even two. That was completely your victory; honestly, I was just as dependant on it as you were because that pacifier represented sleep and calm for me. But you did it, Beanie. You. Did. It.
You’re learning to write your name and to add, too, and those are skills you’ll have down pat by the end of four because you’re going to pre-kindergarten this fall. I know you’re nervous about going to your new school, but trust me when I say that school is going to be awesome for all of us. Daddy and I have been with you almost every minute of every day since you were born, and it’s going to do us all a lot of good to expand our worlds.
I’m not under any illusion that things are going to magically become easier and more fun and perfect now that the threes are behind us, but when I look at the strides we’ve both made in developing patience and practicing more grace over the last year, I know that we’re entering a new chapter of our lives where things will certainly be a lot more peaceful. Even if you (and I) still get tantrum-y occasionally, I love it that you now ask me questions about spirituality, why things are the way they are, and family. I can’t wait to tell you more.
C, you are my beanie. I love you bigger than the whole world.