You’re 4. Well, if we’re being all specific and accurate, you’re actually 4 years, 2 weeks, and 4 days old. Because your mom is a little belated on this year’s birthday greeting.
Not your actual birthday – we were all over that, with days of celebration featuring cake, ice cream, and donuts (Katie really liked the chance to sing “Happy Birthday” over and over again). This year featured your two favorite things: trains (yes, still) and dinosaurs (a new, but deep and abiding love), with a side of your smaller fascination with Paw Patrol. You were okay when we celebrated not with the proper-noun TV show Dinosaur Train, but with the lowercase mash-up of dinosaurs and trains, surely due in no small part to the fact that it meant you got yet another new train to accompany your dino-decorated cake.
This year’s party felt like a bridge to me, as we move firmly into your “full-blown kid” years. I was so glad that we were able to celebrate with your old daycare buddies – despite all going to different schools, you’ve remained a tight little bunch – and with the new school friends who you were so excited to have at our house.
They’re part of the reason why you’re so happy on Mondays, too. As much as you always enjoyed going to daycare, you adore school. You’ve developed a French accent that my high school French teacher would be proud of – as when you said “Bon appetit” at dinner this week – and school has given you so many new ways to engage your curiosity.
I’ve loved seeing your brain in action over this last year, laughing at jokes and funny shows, creating elaborate narratives for Thomas and all of his friends on your many (MANY) train tracks, and putting complex puzzles together faster than I can find four corner pieces. I had fun on our momma-Teddy dates when school was closed, and I smiled upon realizing that you’d picked up my love of the Christmas season, as you wore your Christmas pajamas and asked to read Twas the Night Before Christmas all year long.
And of course I’ve loved seeing you with Katie, teaching her about the finer things in life, like donuts, popsibles (aka, popsicles), and Daniel Tiger. (I could have done without you also teaching her about climbing along the back of the couch, but we’ll let that slide.) The day she finally learned to say “Teddy” – instead of her previous name for you, “Gut” – ranked right up there with hearing mama and dada.
She’s so lucky to have you as her big brother to follow, and we’re lucky to get to watch you steam ahead.
Momma (or as you like to call me now, Mommy)