It seems to be my rhythm these days that I post the yearly updates for you and your brother a few months late. Better late than never, though, right? I just want to be able to remember your personalities and quirks, the things that made me and your daddy laugh when you were these ages, the things that made you YOU.
You turned four years old on July 28th, 2016, and you were excitedly talking about it for at least the six months prior. You just couldn't wait for the big day.
We had a few small get-togethers with family and friends, and those were good enough "parties" for you. You of course got more presents than we knew what to do with, but you loved it all.
Let's see, what are you like at age 4...
You are loud and excited. Oh so loud and excited. You really struggle turning the volume down, even in just normal face-to-face conversation. You just can't help but belt out whatever you want to say with extreme enthusiasm. You are vocal and expressive and SO excited about life. It takes very little to get you wound up, wiggling and jumping around and shouting out goofy words. It's hard to get you to sit still long because you're easily distracted and ready to move on to the next thing. You're a very happy-go-lucky boy about most things, and even when something upsets you, you brush it off a moment later. Tears rarely last more than a minute or two, and you're incredibly quick to forgive.
You have never-ending energy and really don't sleep much. You're always wired at night time and rarely fall asleep quickly. Almost every night you get out of bed at least twice between the time we officially tell you goodnight and the time we climb into bed ourselves. You have all kinds of excuses for getting out of bed - you're hot, you're cold, you can't get your covers pulled on correctly, you need us to wipe your bottom, you need water, you can't find your stuffed animal...the list goes on and on until Daddy and I are about to pull our hair out. And then you're almost always up early in the morning, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to seize the day. You have to wait until your clock turns green at 7am to come out of your room, and then you'll go wake up Daddy and stick your face into his and announce, "Daddy, it's green o'clock!" Sometimes you'll sleep in until 8:45 or so, but that's a rarity. I swear you need less sleep than me. I'm not sure how you do it.
You love music and singing, and if you're not talking then you're usually singing. You frequently sing about things as you're doing them, making up words and the tune as you go. You can still sing on pitch fairly well, as you've been able to do since you were two. It still impresses me and I just hope that you continue to like singing as you grow older. You have a strong, clear voice and I'd hate to see your ability to sing go to waste...but at the same time I am determined to not force my dreams onto you or your brother. I want to let you grow to pursue your OWN dreams, even if that doesn't include singing as I've always wished I could. :)
You still have an ornery streak as you have for a while. It's not uncommon for you say things that are intentionally hurtful or self-serving, and so we've been working on learning to use our words to love people and not be mean. You can be very sneaky and are very quick to use white lies to cover up things you've done if you're worried what you did was wrong. You're incredibly skilled at coming up with quick excuses that sound logical, and I oftentimes find myself stumbling over my words as I try to respond to your reasonable-sounding explanations for your misbehavior. When we do discipline you, your face will become downcast and you'll immediately apologize in a remorseful voice. But then two seconds later you'll be grinning and laughing again. I'm never sure if our lessons and disciplines are getting through to your heart, or if you're just acting the way you believe we want you to so that the moment will pass. It's a tricky thing.
You're still very accident-prone and give me about 800 panic attacks per day. Every time I hear a thump or bang or yell, my heart jumps through my chest wondering if you're hurt. You always have bruises and scrapes and cuts. When you run on the pavement, your daddy and I both cringe inside because you trip and fall so frequently. You're falling less than you used to, thank goodness, but it still happens.
You love cars and action figures and all kinds of sports. You love, LOVE playing on a soccer team. When your team scrimmages, you keep track of the score and run over to me and daddy on the sidelines to enthusiastically update us on the points after each goal. You always want to play football in the house or throw a frisbee outside or kick a soccer ball or swing a bat. Or wrestle. Basically anything physical and competitive, you love it. In fact, you turn almost everything into a competition. It seems to be in your blood. It doesn't matter if you're getting dressed, brushing your teeth, cleaning up toys, or getting in the car - everything is a race or a test to see who can win. Oftentimes we don't even know we're competing with you until we lose.
You also love to play make believe, and even when playing by yourself, we'll overhear you talking for your action figures, having them live out their pretend lives. You love playing nearly anything with your brother. He is most definitely your best friend and I would say you are probably his now as well, although he may not willingly admit it. Your daddy and I felt like we waited so long for you two to get along, and sometimes we wondered if the day would ever come when you'd play together. Now you've become favorite playmates and do almost everything together, and your daddy and I talk quite frequently about how incredibly happy it makes our hearts to see you loving and enjoying each other.
You're in the 4s class at preschool now, and since starting this school year you've finally learned how to hold a pencil correctly, hurray! And you're totally a lefty, which is just yet another genetic quirk of yours that we've found. (Add that to your brown eyes, two partially webbed toes on each foot, and, bless-your-heart, rare health conditions.) Now that you can hold a writing utensil, you're starting to write and draw more which is precious. You still really don't like coloring much, and your coloring pictures from school often crack me up. It always looks like you scribbled the absolute minimum necessary to get your teacher's approval so she'll call it done. But you are now writing your name and drawing pictures on your own accord, and that's very exciting.
In terms of health, you're growing well, learning well, and abounding in energy. At your 4-year checkup in August you were 40 inches tall (42nd percentile) and weighed 37.9 lbs (67th percentile). You continue to be on your restricted diet and handle it like a champ. You're very trustworthy and careful with your restrictions, but at the same time you don't let them get you down. Very rarely do you seem sad or left out when you can't eat what others are eating around you. I thank God for your easy-going personality, because it's made this journey with you so much easier, on both you and everyone around you.
We're so grateful to have you in our lives, little buddy. You make us laugh and challenge us, and we can't imagine our lives without you.
Love you lots,