The Trials of Being Four

Petra said to me this afternoon that I was mean – which threw me a little I have to confess. When I asked her what she meant, she told me that I want her to do things she doesn’t want to do, and that I stop her doing things she does want to do. And she’s right, I do spent a fair portion of the day telling her to wash her hands and clean her teeth and say thank you and please, and another portion asking her not to run around with food in her mouth, and to use her inside voice instead of squealing, and to stop bouncing on the bed while I’m trying to dress her, and so on and on.

She leads a sadly henpecked life…

I do try to couch my requests in positive terms, suggesting something she can do instead of whatever it is I want her to stop doing. And I also try to give her as much room as I can to run around and bounce on things and make a racket and insist on being the centre of attention. But there’s no getting around the fact that she is constrained by my limits and not her own. It’s tough being four.

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3 Responses to The Trials of Being Four

  1. Tough being the mom too. Petra’s too young to appreciate the joke, but this became a running gag at my house. If I said “no” to one of the boys and he asked “why,” my standard answer was, “Because I’m mean and cruel and don’t want you to have any fun.” That’s what they were thinking anyway, right? Anyway, they’d roll their eyes, laugh, and learned not to ask “why” anymore.

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