dear son. four and a half years old

Dear Ethan,

FOUR. And a HALF. YEARS. OLD. Four is magical. Everyone said it was. And they’re right.

How so? Well, you are suddenly very understanding, and flexible. “Ok mama” is a new constant phrase. You spontaneously obey and make good choices. You use your words to express your feelings. You are fully potty trained, fully able to get dressed and teeth brushed, able to get buckled by yourself in the car, able to be safe outside. You even set the table and get your own water. The independence that has erupted has been super sweet.

The other best part?? Your big kid activities!! Playing Guess Who and Shoots and Ladders. Hard work and earning money to get a reward or an activity. Writing your name, sounding out words, listening to audio books, naming the planets, asking good questions, connecting to everyone around you. Biking on your own. Right now, you’re really into drawing and coloring. You probably average at least an hour a day drawing your own pictures and coloring. Making your own stuff. IT’S FABULOUS.

Before you think this is like the easiest parenting stage yet, you’re wrong. In many ways, parenting this age is so much harder. Your emotions are still difficult to control for you. You still are so rigid in wanting consistency and logic and reason that outside of those things are hard for you to adjust to. Your desire for “truth” is really important which is hard if you think you’re right == and you’re not.

We have a few things we have continued to notice about you

  • You still excell with order and math. You’re constantly amazing us with your “reasoning” smartness
  • You continue to be physically gifted in your ability to control your body. Everything from no training wheels at age 3, to skating and blading, to scooters, to skiing. It comes quickly to you.
  • You are observant and compassionate. This is the strongest trait that your preschool mentions about you – helping anyone who is sad or hurt, noticing the details, asking questions, and constantly wanting to help.

As always your weaknesses (things that cause tension, strife, or anger) are generally connected to your gifts. We continue to try to parent your heart and not your behavior but this is a constant struggle for all of us. We’re learning it together.

Buddy. You are mama’s buddy. There is a connection, a similarity, and tenderness that is super sweat at this age. Coloring, reading, discovering….it is a fabulous relationship. You obvious ADORE your daddy too — you love to dates and activities with him.

You continue to have a love/hate relationship with Evy. You guys fight (verbally and physically) all of the time. Seriously every 10 minutes. But you guys also constantly comfort each other — and refuse to let US comfort you instead! You guys are so rough with each other — but somehow all the wrestling and racing just makes you both laugh harder.

You have switched DRAMATICALLY in your people-skills. From 6months old until around age 3 you had STRONG preferences who you befriended, who you were “socially polite” to, and who you talked to. As you’ve gotten older, that’s disappeared — to really the problem on the other side. You’re overly talkative to almost anyone. You definitely recharge when you’re given quiet time by yourself, but the rest of the day is preferred to be playing with people. You love to share time with people. You constantly ask to see people, go over to their house, even sleep over!

Other than that!? You’re the average preschooler. Legos. Building. Art. Songs. Climbing. Books. Outdoor play. Experiencing everything. Telling lies and the truth. Creativity. It’s all there!!

We love you!

mom and dad