Fiona is 4
You turned 4 on May 31. Right now we call you Fiona, FiFi, Feefers and you also like Fi-yonce. I should add that if we call you anything but those names you object and announce the list of acceptable names. In the last month you saw your sister’s birthdays and have a good concept of what was going on this time. When we asked who you might want to invite to a party your exact words were “the people in this house” and to clarify you said “You, daddy, Niamh and Zoe”. I suppose for you the world is very full of your sisters and parents and while you enjoy time with friends you never really ask to go play with anyone (yet).
Speaking of sisters, you spend a vast amount of time and energy trying to get them to notice you and you have not figured out yet that being mean or loud won’t really help. You steal the ball and run away, you tag along when they try and run and if they out run you, you cry loudly. Cry loudly is still your #1 offense and defense and fall back position when tired or hungry or just woke up or the stars don’t align…
On the positive side, you are probably the most housekeeping minded of all 3. Maybe I don’t remember your sisters at 4 clearing their plates or putting things away but you are actually quite good about it. I doubt you remember when all three of you were home all the time and the majority of your memory has Zoe away at school too and you and I spend our days together doing things. You mimic my cleaning, you help me fold, you are still in love with watching the washer fill and spin, and I have a feeling you could probably bake a cake given the number you have helped make. Like a cat and the can opener, you hear me take out the kitchen aid and you are at my side with your stool ready to pour, watch and most importantly lick. When we make other foods you taste all the way too, including uncooked rice and other things I tell you won’t taste good. If I’m being slow about things you go smell all the spices in the cupboard (learned about tasting those at least). We spend the most time together alone, more than either sister, because in your entire life I’ve only worked from home during your rest time.
In so many ways you get babied still, but, you are pretty accomplished. There is nothing you can’t climb if you can even reach it at all and if you can’t reach you are very good about finding something to stand on. Your legs are super long, they just sprouted over night rocketing you from 24m to 3T completely skipping 2T size. I think your legs (or sisters) make you a good runner too, but, you walked early and ran before you were 1 so you had no place but faster to go. We often walk a mile to the park and you are just fine with that. Physically you can also mix, stack, build, use the remote for easy things, operate the iPad and Kindle, and navigate netflix no problem. Some days you watch a bit more tv than I wish, but most times you will choose to play with your babies or ponies or barbies – of which you have co-opted every one in the house to live in your room but you have no problem with sisters joining (until they feel you are not following their rules and then please see the screaming section of this note)
You can spell, write, and recognize your name and you have about half the alphabet actually known (you sing the song no problem). Memorizing stuff is a cool feature of 4 and you can sing the entire Frozen “Let it go” song pretty well and you will often have a factoid that you tell everyone like when we were going to Texas you would tell everyone “its a state”. Since before you were born you have heard the state song I sing and a few months ago it became clear that you knew the words but not the meaning so that leads to some cute mispronouncings like ‘Clover’ Deleware and ‘indi-apples’ Indiana. You speak well enough that everyone understands you no problem but you still have a few baby words here and there. You can’t say pancakes, you say something like pampams and you are absolutely positive that Gatorade is pronounced AterGater and has magical properties (we even gave you a bottle for your birthday). Zoe actually made up the word ‘snoot’ as her word for the male organ, but you have taken it and ran. The topic of snoots come up way too often in conversation so we had to ban it as a ‘potty word’. Funny story, you decided that potty words were ok to say in the bathroom so every bathroom we enter you immediately start yelling POOP! among other, as you exhaust your potty word stockpile. I applaud your finding of the loophole and I’m pretty glad your vocabulary in that area is limited enough not to be super embarrassing!
Since we are home together you remain a snuggle bug. You want to sit on me all the time and that’s just fine with me. I’m not keen on your ninja ability to sneak into my bed at night but we are working on that. Bedtime has gotten pretty easy recently and unless you get over tired you are ok with it. Earlier this year was a horror and if I never hear the “I have to tell you something” phrase after 9pm again it will be ok by me. Bedtime over the year of 3 started good, declined to bad, spent a month or two in terrible, and after some retraining and long talks got back to ok and now are actually good. Good thing you are not my first, I had some tricks prepared, but you still conned me into sitting and watching you fall asleep and I still end up cleaning your room singing all the songs while you drift off because the entire thing takes about 7 minutes now so I don’t mind. I sing you your ‘I’m a little tiger’ song and then ‘Wonderwall’ and often both sisters songs too and occasionally you want the states song but then you are out like a light for the night (or 3am). Back to the snuggle, being the youngest you claim my lap and since nobody forced you out so you end up being held or sitting on me 110% more than either of your sisters.
It is hard to say what your personality ‘is’ right now because you are pretty different depending on the situation. You are goofy, adventurous, outgoing, independent with regards to helping yourself to snacks or playing alone, easy going when the mood takes you and you know what to expect, loving and even helpful. You actually do a decent job at finding things and follow directions pretty well. Tantrums have more or less degraded to anger or frustration fits but you can be talked down in under 5 minutes and unless you have a good audience or are at the end of your rope, you get over things pretty quickly *only to bring them up many many times in the future*. Places are defined by what we did there or if something happened to you.
This is getting long but you are only this age once… You like dancing and dance to lots of music. You adore the movie Home and Shark Boy/Lava girl. You read every night to your babies and babies are still the toy you go to first. Next year you will go to school 3 days a week and you are both excited and scared. You are just starting to realize that I won’t be there to wipe your bottom…. (oh, 100% potty trained day, not so much nights). You reluctantly gave up your crib this year and we are talking about a big bed soon. Naps still happen but you fight them hard, however you like the down time at 1 and request it still. Tomorrow is your well child and I expect you to be 50% finally for height and probably low for weight but thats ok by me.
We love you all the times. Even when I’m sleeping and you whisper, because I’m sleeping, and ask me questions that you expect answers to. You changed our lives, all of ours, and we are super happy that you are here.
Mom and Dad
ps. I forgot your fashion!!! you look adorable in everything, your short hair is because you twirl your hair and break it but it looks perfect on you. Basically every day you wear a skirt but you also want layers and have no fear of mixing every color or pattern. Unfortunately your only real issue is with breathing and allergy but they don’t keep you down, you can even do the breathing machine alone now and we zertec every night.