Peanut, our second born, can be a handful. She prods the dogs, annoys her big sister, is resistant to any consequence we try to invoke to get her behavior on track, still frequently wakes up in the middle of the night, and often floods the sink when washing her hands. But despite all that, I kind of want to be like her when I grow up.
Photo credit: Sarah Hoag Photography
5 reasons I want to be my 4-year-old when I grow up
1. Be unapologetically you. Peanut wore a Super Girl costume to the store one day last week and later to pick her sister up from school. And she thought nothing of it. She could care less if her green character T-shirt matches her purple character leggings. If she wants to wear them both, she wears them both. If she feels good in it, she wears it proudly. If she feels like dancing, she dances. If she sees another kid and wants to play, she plays with them. We should all be so bold.
2. Feel your feelings. And express them. When she’s upset, she cries. When she’s happy, she laughs. She laughs A LOT. When she wants a hug, she throws her arms around your neck. When we drop her sister off at school, she yells, “I LOVE YOU!”
3. Eat when you’re hungry. Sleep when you’re tired. Peanut will stop eating when she’s full – even if it means no dessert. Actually, even if she’s in the middle of eating dessert. If she’s tired, she sleeps. The other day, I found her at 5 p.m. asleep on the floor of her bedroom. Yes, it can be hard on a momma when she resists bedtime or wakes up in the middle of the night. But sometimes you just gotta nap.
4. Find the joy and wonder in the small things. Everything is amazing to Peanut. An ant on the sidewalk, a bee on a flower, a plane flying overhead, a picture of a leopard on the entrance to the zoo. (Imagine the zoo itself! Mind. blown.) We should all take a moment to appreciate the miracle of life and a pink sunset every now and then.
5. Figure it out. Ok, she’s 4 so there are sometimes ridiculous things she wants me to do for her even though she’s capable (carry her like a baby to her room after her bath, for example). But so many times she is so determined to do things by herself that she figures it out on her own. Buckling her carseat. Putting together toys from different play sets to build a magnet tile tent for a doll and her horse. Getting the toothpaste tube open using her teeth, or climbing on top of her sink to get something out of the medicine cabinet. Yes, she will give me a heart attack one day, but when the girl is determined, nothing is stopping her.