My daughter Kaylee recently turned four years old, and in some ways things are better. She can understand more when we explain things. She’s really into getting dressed and buckling her seat belt on her own. She proudly proclaims, “I do it all by my whole self. Bam!!!” She makes up adorable songs and dances. She’s finally starting to poop on the potty.
I’ve been really surprised at how she’s gotten even more stubborn though. She’s been a picky eater for the last two years, but now she really wants to subsist on only goldfish crackers, mac ‘n cheese, yogurt, and “treats.” She’d just as soon skip meals than drink milk or eat a slice of cheese pizza. Her favorite answer when we ask her to do something is, “I don’t want to. Not at all. Never!”
Very early on we nicknamed her “Princess Grabby Hands,” because she had the reflexes of a ninja. She would grab something, you’d take it from her and put in on a table, and before you could draw your hand back, she’d have it in her hands again. Time seems to have only sharpened this skill.
She’s hyper-aware of all things electronic. She constantly has to touch my iPhone, Kindle, or my husband’s iPad. She yells, “I wanna see!” We say, “Look with your eyes,” and she says, “I want to see it in my hands!”
Kaylee still naps at preschool, which means she stays up until 9:30 pm those days and is cranky the next day. She complains every day about going to school, but she loves it while she’s there. In August she’ll start pre-K, and I’m curious to see how she adjusts to having a more structured and more academic curriculum.
Despite her recent increase in frequency and intensity of tantrums, it’s not all bad of course. Kaylee can sing most of the songs from “Frozen,” which somehow isn’t annoying yet. She blends “Let It Go” with “Everything Is Awesome” from the Lego movie. “The snow glows white on the mountain tonight / Everything is awesome!”
At bedtime, she still wants me to lie in bed with her. After awhile, she either says, “I want you to go,” and gives me a little shove, or falls asleep with one leg draped over my mine.
Kaylee still loves to dance. She’s getting stronger, more balanced, and more expressive. The doctor told me at her checkup that Kaylee is likely to be about 5’3.5″ tall. That comforts me because she won’t be eligible to be a professional ballet dancer and be subject to the pressures of that career. She could still get hooked on gymnastics, but so far she doesn’t seem too attached to it.
She’s much more independent, but every now and then she runs up and throws her arms around me, and I squeeze her back as hard as I can and kiss her hair because I know that she’s growing up so fast, and these hugs are getting fewer and farther between.