Your fourth birthday is tomorrow. I know every parent says this at some point (or many points), but it really is true that time is going by so quickly. It really seems like we brought you home from the hospital just the other day. But when I turn around, I see this big kid! Who talks to me, and says things like, "Mommy, how does gravity work?" I am amazed every day at how fast you are growing. It hits me at different moments throughout the day: sometimes while doing laundry and folding your size 5 pants and remembering that just a short time ago I was folding your tiny onesies, and sometimes when I realize that you're finally pronouncing the "th" sound when you say, "Can I have another apple?" instead of "anonner" like you've always said. I guess I'm going to have to get used to this growing up thing!
Here are some of your favorites, as deemed by me. Because we know that if I asked you, you'd say you love books about cars, shows about cars, food about cars (oh, wait...) and car toys.
Books: You love the Knuffle Bunny books. It's a good thing these happen to be your favorite, because I don't think I could tire of reading them. over. and over. Millions of Cats is also a favorite. You like to listen to books on CD in the car, and Burt Dow, Deep Water Man is so far your favorite book on CD. We've actually only read it together one time, because it's very long and has a lot of colloquialisms that I can't wrap my tongue around. But you're more than happy to listen to the story on CD for the whole fifteen minutes it takes to read through.
Shows: Cars still holds a special place in your heart, as does Wall-e. You also enjoy watching Little Einsteins--we only own three episodes (via iTunes), but you're content to watch those over and over. You really love our family movie nights. Daddy makes his homemade popcorn and we all watch a new movie together. So far your favorite movies have been Toy Story and The Sword in the Stone.
Food: You love veggies, as always, and still dislike meat. We've been eating salad with dinner a few times a week, and I've been surprised to see that you actually love salad! For some reason I thought that children wouldn't like to eat lettuce, but you commonly empty your salad bowl. One new development in the past six months is the quantity of food you've been eating. You commonly eat as much or more than I do at meals, and you frequently need snacks in between meals. It's customary to hear, "Mommy, I'm hungry more!" an hour minutes after you've just eaten a meal.
Toys: You're really into Legos, particularly building Lego vehicles. Besides Legos, you really only play with vehicles of one type or another. You play with your dump trucks and construction vehicles in the sand box and in the dirt, you race your matchbox cars on the floor, and turn your Lego cars into roller coasters and race them across the kitchen counter. It's amazing that your love for cars started when you were as young as nine months old and has continued. Makes me wonder if you'll be a car enthusiast when you're older.
New things: We're very excited that you're beginning to read. You can read simple words like "cat", "hat", "the", and some words in the "oo", "or", "ch", "ar" families. Daddy was very impressed when he took you with him on an errand the other day and you read a sign that said, "Wet Floor"! I've realized that they way you've been learning to read is mostly on your own. I'll give you a mini-lesson when you seem interested in how to read a word that has a certain sound, like "book", but then later we'll overhear you reading words on your own and trying to sound them out.
We are beginning to see some new aspects of your personality. You are a rule-follower and enjoy telling Ben what he should do and what he shouldn't do. You are growing into your masculine tendency towards protection and often tell us, "Mommy, I'm the one that will protect you!" when we go on walks and there is the potential of a...lizard attack.
Your behavior has been uncannily good lately. We went though a few rough months this summer of serious heart training with you and it looks like we are enjoying the fruits of that...for now...until the next phase that we have to learn how to respond to. But for now we are enjoying a very polite, (relatively) respectful, joyful little boy who is a pleasure to be around.
You're remembering your dreams a lot lately. It seems that you mostly dream about typical little boy subjects, like submarines, trains, rocket ships, and race cars. One particular dream you recounted to us went something like this: "Mommy, last night I dreamed about a rocket ship! There weren't any windows. There were people inside that were yelling because they wanted to get out. And the rocket was on fire!" I was horrified, and thinking of the Apollo 1 fire asked, "Did the dream make you sad? (trying to figure out if it was a nightmare). You answered, "No, it wasn't a nightmare. The people weren't sad. They were just trying to get out." I was really confused at this point, but moved on to another topic.