I can't believe you're four. Where has the time gone? Oh, wait...I've spent much of it trying to convince you to eat your food, get up from the potty, wash your hands, put on your clothes, and go to sleep. Even still, on one hand it seems like you've been here forever (what one earth did I do before you were around?), and on the other I can't believe it's been four years since the crazy week or so surrounding your birth. We've been through so much, and yet we've only just begun.
I read through last year's letter and it was interesting to see how some things have changed, and how some other things have stayed the same. Late last summer you got into superheroes, and that has been a big part of the last year. All of a sudden we have Batman and Spider-Man and Captain America everywhere, which I guess isn't a bad change of pace from all sports, all the time. But you're still way into sports, though which sport continues to change with the seasons. Right now I'd say your favorite is soccer, but you like playing baseball with Daddy (and you're pretty good at it!). Hockey wasn't a big deal this year, probably because we only went to a few hockey games. Lacrosse was huge during the season, and it was pretty awesome when you got to go down on the field when the Knighthawks won and touch the cup! This year you'll probably get to join a real team, which is going to be an interesting challenge for you.
We're still having a lot of trouble with your behavior these days. You absolutely refuse to listen most of the time, and some of the things that come out of your mouth are beyond rude. I blame that mostly on your friends and the natural four-year-old desire to get a rise out of people. However, the listening thing is definitely the problem that wears on me the most. We waste an obscene amount of time trying to do anything, just because you're content to do it on your own terms, no matter how much I insist it needs to happen right now. It's certainly frustrating, but ultimately the stuff you don't listen to now is just little stuff in the grand scheme of things. It'll be worse if you're not listening when we talk to you about drugs or bullying or reckless behavior, because those would be truly life-altering bad decisions...as opposed to right now where you're mostly just making us a little nuts. I like to think that our persistence will pay off in the end and you'll listen when the time comes. For now, excuse the yelling and just maybe try to listen once in a while to let us know we're not failing completely.
Tonight you almost managed to ruin your own birthday dinner with your stubbornness. You wanted to play soccer before we left, but there just wasn't time and you had a fit. You didn't want to change back into your clothes from your soccer clothes. You were difficult at the restaurant, throwing crayons and stacking items on the table until they fell. At least you ate good and got to enjoy being sung to. But there were moments where you were fixin' to get a birthday spanking, and I don't mean the ha-ha funny kind.
One of the goals for last year was potty training, which has gone relatively well. You're pretty great during the day but nighttime is a problem still. The doctor says it's fine. Still, daytime is relatively worry free, and perhaps once we let you out of your room at night (we have a safety thing on the doorknob to prevent wandering), maybe you'll be more inclined to get up and pee. Another goal was learning letters and all that, and you're definitely a rock star at identifying them. Writing is still a challenge for you, though, but I can't tell if that's a) stubbornness; b) the unfortunate result of being ambidextrous; or c) that it's just not your thing yet. That is what preschool is for, I guess. You moved up to the four-year-old room a couple weeks ago, and you handled it like a champ. Other than a couple minor incidents, it's been a seamless transition for you. Thank goodness. I just hope you respond well to the challenges of Pre-K and end up primed and ready for Kindergarten next year. God knows I'm not ready for that yet, either.
You and Daddy are two peas in a pod, at least when you're behaving. You play sports, build Legos, and play with his old pirate ship and all your sports guys and superheroes. You even like to poop in the same bathroom as him, though he doesn't so much enjoy the company. He thinks you're the coolest kid ever (as long as he's not yelling at you), and he really wants to give you the world. So do I, of course, but I suppose I'm a little more conscious of the ramifications of spoiling you. You have moments where you want me, but most of the time I'm an afterthought because Daddy's coolness reigns supreme.
Hopefully in the next year you'll become a big brother and we'll get to see a whole different side of you. I hope it's a good side, because sibling jealousy scares me. I hope to see the side of you that wants to teach your sibling everything and be a great helper. It'll be a rude awakening, I think, but I hope you embrace it and find a side of you you never knew you had. Channel that side of you that loves your stuffed animals and enjoys having "meetings" with them at night. Sometimes you're so cute with them it's ridiculous, and I can only imagine how great it would be with your sibling. In the meantime, though, please stop inadvertently kicking Mommy in the stomach every time you come hang out in our bed. That's not gonna fly when your sibling is in there.
Despite our frustrations, I'm so proud of all you've learned and look forward to watching you grow and learn even more. Thank you for all of the joys you bring into our lives. Remember how great it is when we have those fun moments together, and strive to get more of those. I can never give you enough hugs! I hope you had a wonderful birthday and wish you many, many more.
Mommy (and Daddy, too!)