Our little one is going to turn 4 in a month. I know you are happy and excited for your little girl.
Aren’t you already changing the cake designs a million times based on her suggestions? I know you still have a backup cake plan which she’d finally nod her head to.
Still, isn’t it surprising how, just 4 years back, you thought this little girl was so fragile? You still do sometimes, don’t you? That’s one constant struggle that’s giving you lots of stress. Look into that.
You held her safely in your arms. It was nice to watch her learn things on her own. One at a time, from turning around, crawling, walking, running, learning to hop on one leg, jumping, talking, and negotiating. She is now sitting next to you and discussing so many everyday things in detail now.
As she sits down and lists down all the things she needs, I see the twinkle in your eyes. I know how much you are amazed by her. Aren’t you also laughing about how they learn things quickly? She is also reminding you about a few things you often forget.
Trust me, these Goosebumps on your arms are for real. The little one is not just little anymore. She is slowly becoming an independent little girl (alright, big growing girl, as she says).
From Panic Attacks to Fits of Laughter
As you sat down to write this, you had an entirely different plan, didn’t you? You were planning to address this letter to her. Looks like you have started to write a letter to yourself.
You wanted someone to tell you how thankful, grateful and blessed you are to be the mother to this darling. Who better than you could do this? You are also nervous about taking your tight hold off her as she is becoming independent.
As you write this at 5 in the morning (which is surprisingly early for you), you are rejoicing in gratitude. Even as you are trying to find calm amidst your inside chaos.
Your memory is taking you to the moment she was born. To that moment when everything changed for you, and you became a mother.
You are thinking about this cute little baby girl sleeping so quietly in your arms. However, the moment she wakes up, you know she fills the room with the loudest cries that threw you into fits as a new mother. Such loud cries from someone so small made you wonder if she’d take you on one hell of a ride.
You learned to differentiate between hunger cries, sleepy cries, and vaccine pain cries. There’s just that one cry which still brings your heart to your mouth and gives you a panic attack.
When she falls and hurts herself, she lets out a loud wail in pain. Holy God, the number of prayers you send up and the chants you do in that flick of a second, even God would tell you to RELAX.
When you felt frustrated, you wondered why you became a mother. There were times when you feel completely lost with your little one. Did you threw tantrums more than the little one sometimes, didn’t ya?
I am glad you’re laughing now as you write all this. Honestly, NO SHAME! It is pure joy to see you finally writing a letter to yourself even though it is entirely about your daughter.
4 Years in 4 Words
Let’s get into your favourite summing up the 4 years in 4 words.
Wasn’t the first year full of wonders and by far the easiest? I know you’d nod your head in agreement now, even though it was tough at that particular moment.
You noticed everything you did. Your attention was completely on her safety. When you held her, you were careful every time. You noted down everything from feeding to sleeping schedule.
As you started blogging again, you felt like you’re rocking this motherhood journey better than you thought possible.
I know that you know now that that’s the only year where you both followed a perfect schedule. BEST LITTLE BUNDLE EVER.
Instead of being terrible twos, it was terrific two’s with her. Being a single parent in a long distance relationship gave you a whole different insight into parenting.
Your little girl wanted to hold your hand or walk with you or stay with you all the time. Now when you think back to those times, it feels like she was very supportive. She was taking care of you in ways she knew.
I agree it was annoying to be watched every second at every place. As you think of it now, you are thankful for her being with you all the time. APPLE OF MY EYE
You finally made up your mind to travel before the pandemic locked your dream away forever. One brave move changed so much in your life. Our little girl was excited about meeting her father. The time you spend together as a family began only then.
During her Threenager year, all the three of you had to spend so much time together. For the second time, you guys felt like new parents. It took a few months before we all were on the same page. Still, we just had one word for her in common, REBEL.
I am glad you read and wrote a lot about her growing up in her threenager year. It helped you to stay connected with her mood swings and her growing up.
I must agree that you learned a lot about life from her point of view and that helped reduce your anger and stress levels significantly.
You also learned not to weigh your opinions about your daughter’s growth with others opinions. Though you are on and off with that, it is still great that you have got better than yesterday.
I am keeping it light by saying FEROCIOUS FOUR before you know what’s happening in the four zone.
As she turns 4
Right now, with just around a month to go, until your daughter’s 4th birthday, I sincerely advice you to stay away more. I guess you had to write this down now because somewhere you realized that 4 is going to be difficult for you to cope up with her independence.
She is just more independent than last year and you’re going to hear her tell that she doesn’t need you anymore. She must already be pushing you away and ouch that hurts.
There’s going to be a lot of “Mom, why aren’t you allowing me to do this, that?” and that would flare you up.
Sometimes you wonder if you are prepared emotionally to handle her. You often realise that you are not, but trust me you are capable.
Just breath in and out and do the breathing practice everyday, sometimes those one-minute breaks help.
After she turns 4
So, the big takeaway as we approach her 4th birthday is in you learning to stay back or stay out of her zone. Best yet, get a job!
There are days when your little girl goes back to being a baby and those are really lovely reminders and moments that you cherish. I know you are glad about her growing up and all that, but it is just a mom’s thing. We miss those moments when we were needed all the time.
I know you have to stay away or stay out of most of her things already, it is making your heart leap out a lot.
As the little girl jumps, slides, and does gimmicks, your poor little heart is out in its mouth and pumping fast. You realized that you cannot hold her back all the time in the name of protecting her from hurting herself.
I know how much you are constantly reminding yourself to say YES often, even though NO is the first thought that comes in. Finally you figured it will do more harm than good and you are willing to change.
Your daughter wants to go down and play by herself with her friends. Though you love the idea, you are not up for it fully yet. So, after negotiating with her for days together, you have come to a conclusion about it. While she plays with her friends, we will finish our walk.
Note to Self
When she says, “You don’t take care of me” or “Leave me alone” or “I hate you”, you doubt yourself. That clearly makes you feel lost. You are reading through so many articles about being a 4-year-old.
It has helped calm your nerves and it has taken away some of your fears and doubts. Though you cannot change overnight, you believe that you will be there on the same page with her as soon as you can.
As she turns 4, let’s make a promise that we will work our best to think through things from her point of view. Even though you cannot understand her frustrations, fears and anger completely, you promise to choose respect and kind always.
You promise me that you will observe in a calmer way without taking your rage personally. All you ever want from your daughter is for her to be able to express herself with you in whatever way that may be.