It has been a long time since I have had a four year old in the house. I had forgotten what four was like.
I had forgotten how much four year olds love to count. They count everything – bites of cereal, flowers in the garden, blocks, books, bubbles, steps. Everything.
I had forgotten the :”Watch me!” phase. Everything they do is big and exciting and needs to be watched. “Look at me jump!” “Look at me run!” “Watch me climb!” It cant be a bit frustrating when I am trying to get a job done and constantly have to stop to watch. All too soon, these things will become mundane and not note-worthy, so I have patience and celebrate her little accomplishments with her.
I had also forgotten the intense desire to do grown up things and to be a “big girl”. The parental inclination tends to be to say “you are too little” or “it is too dangerous.” But I try to squelch those comments and let her try. With supervision. And I have found that given the chance, she often can do things that I thought would be too hard for her. And if things are too hard, she realizes it without me stepping in and asks for help. I think it is important for her to explore her limits and to understand that if she needs help, it is okay to ask.
I had also forgotten how amazing the world is through a four year old’s eyes and how many questions they have as they explore. Sights, sounds, colours, tastes are all worth close examination. We literally slow down and smell the roses. And touch the snail. And taste the clover. And watch the clouds. It is an awakening for her and a reawakening for me.
This is a fun stage. I’m glad I get to step along this path one more time.