To my beautiful boy,
And just like that you are four. I can’t believe how fast the last four years have gone as I still remember so clearly the day you were born. What is it about four that seems so much bigger than three?
I’ve found the last year hard. Since turning three, you have become so confident but with that has come some defiance and attitude. You know exactly how to push mine and Daddy’s buttons and there are times where we both find you hard work, as you need attention constantly – particularly if your Daddy is there. You do not leave him alone and I can’t help but feel sorry for him as he does not get a minute to himself. He is by far your favourite person in the world (I can totally understand why)! There are days when I count the minutes to Daddy coming home so he can take over with you for a while, or when it’s bed time, just so we can collapse on the couch in an exhausted state, probably even more so now that I’m pregnant.
You are very independent and headstrong (you take after me) and you certainly know what you will or won’t do, what you do and don’t like, what you will and won’t eat – the list goes on 😉 You seem to rule the roost and this is something Daddy and I have been trying to nip in the bud for quite some time, but we have been unsuccessful with it! You are the same when you are at your Nan and Grandad’s or with Jack and Holly – you want to be in charge and want everyone to do what you want and in turn for us to let us do what you want. You don’t understand that sometimes you can’t always have your own way. I sometimes forget that you are still so little and get frustrated with you for not understanding or for pushing the boundaries and I will shout at your or get cross with you. I always feel guilty for this and promise myself that tomorrow will be a better day, but we do seem to be in the same cycle. A few weeks ago, I felt like you’d really turned a corner and you were behaving so well, taking lots of care of me, helping me do jobs, there was no shouting or screaming. I felt like we’d finally turned that corner. Unfortunately, it was short lived as the following week, you were back to shouting and screaming if you didn’t get your own way and you’ve also started to really lash out and hit us. We don’t know where it has come from, but sometimes you will say you are trying to be like a boy from nursery, who you tell us is one of the naughty boys, so we don’t know if he is naughty and you are perhaps copying him. It’s hard to know what to do when this happens, because sometimes there’s no getting you out of the mood, so we often leave you to cry after being told off.
Bedtime and toilet training are two other problem area’s – we got you into a really good bedtime routine when you were around 18 months old and you learnt to self soothe, but the older you get, the more you seem to want us to stay with you. More often than not it is nearly 9pm before you are going to sleep. This is really tiring for me and Daddy as we feel like we don’t get much of our night. We have said that we are going to start being stricter and bedtime and there will be less playing and letting you control the situation – you will make all the excuses under the sun to stall going to bed. Your favourite at the moment being you’re hungry. This is the killer one for us, as we would never deprive you on the off chance that you really are hungry! I think we just need to find a routine which works and stick to it.
Potty training is another problem area – you have been in underpants since around February / March time, but are still in nappies overnight and are still doing number two’s in them. A few months ago, we went through a stage of you not going at all, and you ended up so constipated that you made yourself quite poorly. Thankfully, it only lasted a couple of weeks, but it was horrible seeing you so unhappy. Over the next 12 months, we really need to crack this and get you to use the toilet all the time.
You know what though, for all the tough times, there are so many more good times. I think a lot of the above is you learning your way in the world, about what is right and wrong and testing the boundaries. Although it can be incredibly hard at times we wouldn’t change you for the world. We knew being a Mummy and Daddy would face it’s challenges.
You are so funny and I think you thrive off making us laugh. Especially your Daddy – you are like two peas in a pod and you have the best fun with him. I think you also count the minutes down until he gets home so you have your best pal back to play with. I’ve never seen anyone idolise their Daddy the way you do.
You are such a chatter box – you don’t stop talking from getting up to going to bed and are just so cheeky – especially when you are doing something you shouldn’t be. Like now – you have asked me can you have some haribo and I have said no because I am making tea, so you have gone and got a knife (it’s plastic) to try and open it yourself and you did such a smug little laugh because you thought you could get one over on me! Mummy won this time though as you quickly realised that a plastic knife isn’t much use getting into a packet of sweets!
In terms of nursery – you’ve been going since just after your second birthday and it’s very hit and miss. You will be ok for ages and then every so often you will really not want to go. Over the summer holiday’s you’ve not been going as much – only a day and a half instead of your usual two full days and a morning. I was nervous about you going back on Monday for a full day, but you were absolutely fine. From October, we have decided that you will go for five morning’s and no full days. This is for a couple of reasons – the first being that we can’t really justify paying so much childcare fees when I’m going to be at home on maternity leave and because I think the five mornings will be good for you to give you a bit more stability. I’m quite looking forward to having the morning with baby then having you both at home in the afternoon.
Speaking of the baby, I have just been so very proud of the way you’ve accepted that there is a baby growing in my tummy. We told you about the baby when I was only about 6 weeks pregnant and for a long time, you weren’t very interested because I think it was hard for you to understand. A few weeks ago, you felt the baby move properly for the first time and since then you’ve shown a real interest, always asking if it’s moving, where it is in my belly and often you will come over and cuddle my tummy. I can’t wait for that moment when you meet your brother or sister for the first time – it will be one of the happiest moments of my life.
You love nothing more than to play fight with your Daddy and recently you’ve got quite into teenage mutant ninja turtles (which was theme for your party), and your imagination has really developed in the last year. When you are playing, you do this little American accent and it so cute listening to you. Your favourite thing to play with is still the train set we bought you for Christmas last year and as such for your birthday we bought you some things to add to it – bridges, stacking blocks and a turn table.
I can’t put into words how much I love you. You are the best thing that has ever happened to me and your Daddy and every night before I go to bed, I’ll come into your room to kiss you goodnight. Recently, I have taken to sitting by your bed for a few extra minutes, and breathing you in. Watching you sleep and wondering what you are dreaming about. There is something so beautiful and peaceful about watching you sleep. You still look so innocent and you could be a tiny baby again.
Today, for you last day as a three year old, you spent the morning with Daddy and then in the afternoon when I got home from work, your Nana took us out for lunch, then to the park, where I snapped some pictures of you. It’s not often you’ll let me take photo’s of you, so I really love the one from today even more. I want to capture every moment I can before the memories fade.
Don’t ever change my darling boy – you keep being as strong willed as what you are (even if it does drive us mad). I want you to go far in life and be the best you can be.
Thank you for being ours.
Happy Birthday Sweetheart.