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10 things about Tiernan, aged 4 and a half

Posted on: December 30, 2011

4 and a half. Wow, this year has gone so quickly. I can’t believe you’re half way to 5. That is such a big deal!

Good stuff:

1. We are about to start our last year at home together. It feels bittersweet. On the one hand, I’m looking forward to seeing you thrive and learn HEAPS at school, as I have no doubt you will, but on the other hand, I’ll be so sad to see you go. I won’t be ‘number one’ anymore – your teacher and your little friends probably will be. So, I’m determined to make the most of this year. We’re going to do lots of fun things, and try to get some Mummy and Tiernan time when we can.

2. You just had a hair cut (really short – your Dad took you to the barber) and oh my gosh, you are so grown up and handsome! A beautiful, beautiful boy. You’ve also had a growth spurt. Sometimes I look at you and just wonder how tall you will be when you’re seven. Or ten. To me, you already look big enough to be in school. I think if we gave you a uniform and a back pack and sent you along, you’d fit right in. My baby is so big now.

3. You are starting to be able to recognise some numbers and letters, and it makes me so proud when you read them out. I think when you start school the year after next, you will be really really ready. You could almost go next year, but you’re not ready socially. Another year at home will make sure you’re primed and ready to go when you’re 5 and a half.

4. You love to play rhyming games. You’ll say, “What’s a word that rhymes with five?”, and we all have to jump in and call out all the words we can think of that rhyme. You really get the whole ‘rhyming’ concept, too. Although you often call out nonsense words that do rhyme, but aren’t words. Like bive. Or sive. Or kive.

5. Like most kids, you are looking forward to being an adult so you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. Sometimes you just try to do whatever you want, whenever you want now (see more below), and when we remind you that, actually, climbing on the bench and ransacking the cupboards for food is not appropriate behaviour in our house, your response is usually something like, “Well, when I’m 89 I’m going to do what I want!” Somehow I don’t think you’re going to be all that nimble at 89!

6. For Christmas, we got you and your sisters a trampoline. You were overjoyed. When you saw it, you exclaimed, “Oh wow, a trampoline! I’m going to jump on it right now!” And then, while you and Molly were jumping on it, you told us, “I wishded for a trampoline, and now I got one!” Your amazement was so cute, and it made us so happy to see you enjoying your present. You’ve enjoyed it every day since then, too.

7. Just before Christmas, we received your learning portfolio from Jillian, your Family Day Care Educator. In it, she had lots to say about your clever observations, and your charming personality. It was a joy to read someone else’s perspective on the unique package that is ‘Tiernan’, and to hear that you are so valued by this person and by your little peer group. I also enjoyed seeing some of the artwork you have been producing with Jillian, and in particular, your drawings. It’s rare that you will actually sit and draw with me at home – you usually say that you can’t do it and want me to do it for you. So I don’t get to see what you can do very often. It made me happy to see some gorgeous, smiling faces that you had drawn to represent your family, and also a drawing of a train that you did. I love them and will keep them forever.

8. Also, just before Christmas, you started talking about some friends you have made at preschool, and you wanted to know whether we could invite some of them over to play. I look forward to trying to catch up with some of your friend’s Mums and Dads in the new year, to try to arrange a playdate or two for you. Actually, I’m a bit nervous about it, but it’s nice that you are starting to make friends, and so I’m happy to do this for you. Maybe I’ll make some friends, too?

9. Speaking of preschool, Molly will be starting with you next year, every second week (it’s complicated!) and I hope this will help you to feel more comfortable there. You’ve come a long way in the past year, but sometimes you are still a bit reluctant to go. I’m hoping that one year with Molly around (sometimes), will help your confidence, as you will get to be the big brother, and show your sister the ropes. I’m sure you’ll be very helpful.

10. The other day, you were watching a movie that you thought was really funny, and the sound of your laugh just made me crack up. Every time. You often do silly laughs when you’re mucking around, or being annoying, but this was a genuine belly laugh, and it was infectious. Love it. You’re great.

11. Bonus one: you say funny things in your sleep!

Aww!

Not-so-good-stuff:

1. I think I mentioned this one last time, but Oh My God, I am sick of arguing with you every morning to get you dressed and ready. We don’t even have to be going anywhere, but still you somehow manage to turn it into a big, stressful ordeal. Okay, so maybe I’m the one getting stressed, but seriously, it sucks. Just. Get. Dressed!!!

2. You’ve discovered lying. You do it a lot. You try to cover up things that you know you shouldn’t have done. You also do it when it’s completely unnecessary. I’m not sure why – as with everything you do that’s unpleasant, I’m hoping it’s just a phase that you will grow out of. In the meantime, I’m trying to get the message across that lying about something makes it so much worse than when you just tell the truth and own up to whatever you did. Problem is, I keep forgetting that I’m supposed to just say, “Ok, thanks for telling me you ate all the biscuits and spilt crumbs all over the floor and then fed them to your baby sister and then pushed her over…”, without getting mad at you for doing all of things. Because you told me you did it instead of lying about it. I just go ahead and get cranky about it whether you admit to it or not. Which only makes you try lying again the next time. I think it’s going to take us both a while to work this one out!

3. Sometimes you are an ungrateful little arse. Yep, I know you’re only 4. Yep, I know you’re egocentric and have no empathy whatsoever. But, I can’t tell you how embarrassed I was when, on Christmas Eve, you opened up three gifts from your great-grandmother, and declared each one ‘for babies’, before asking her for something different instead. I could have died. Cue big lecture on the drive home about what it means when someone gives you a gift and how, even if we don’t really like the gift, we show our appreciation by thanking the person for the gift, and keep any other thoughts to ourselves. Or at least wait until later when the gift-giver is not around.

4. Your ‘inside voice’. It doesn’t exist. You need to grow one. Pronto. I’m going to blame your Dad’s side of the family for that one.

You are the slightly shorter Optimus Prime

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