I can't believe that you are four (whether you think you are or not). It seems in some ways that you were just born yesterday. Four is halfway to eight, which is halfway to sixteen...which scares me to death, so I'll just back off that train of thought right away. Your childhood is going by way faster than I ever imagined it would.
Your delayed speech is a thing long forgotten. People always told me "you just wait until he talks, and you'll wish he'd never learned" - but while some nights I do breathe a little sigh of relief when the house is quiet but for the sounds of you and your sister breathing, that warning could not have been further from reality. I love hearing you talk. I love talking to you. I love that we can now have conversations and talk about the way things make you feel. I love that you have your own opinions on everything and yes, I even kind of secretly love the screaming dinosaur "roars" that terrify your sister out of her mind every.single.day.
I love your over-eager willingness to help and I try to let you whenever I can because your devastation when you are told no is so utterly heartbreaking. You want to be involved in every single thing that is going on, and at least five hundred times a day, you ask me "how come?" You never say "why" and I kind of love that you've adopted your own version of this common childhood question.
You get stronger every day, I think, and you don't really know your own strength. You routinely bowl over your sister and hit mommy in the legs with your head. It's not always on purpose, but we're trying to learn about being gentle either way.
Last summer, I realized that you don't play with cars the same way you once did. Right now, your favorite things to play are Octonauts (we have so many toys I've actually lost track) and puzzles. You're exceptionally talented at big floor puzzles - we have an outer space one that you can do all by yourself!
When you play, you have so much more imagination! I routinely hearing you inventing conversations between your cars, or pretending to be Captain Barnacles when you are playing Octonauts. The cars tend to get grouped by size ("daddy cars," "mommy cars," "brother cars," etc.).
We're still working on night time potty training, but other than that you can go all by yourself most of the time. We almost made it to age 4 without another major injury, but last week you had stitches in your chin. You handled it like a champ and haven't even worried about it since it happened.
We started preschool in the fall, but haven't been able to keep up with a consistent learning schedule. I think it may have been a little too much to expect of you at age three, anyway. We've done more unschooling this fall and winter, and as a result you know most colors, the alphabet, and you can count to sixteen or seventeen. We'll do a more official preschool this fall and I think we'll all be ready for it.
Your favorite books right now are Stanley's Garage, Stanley the Builder, Stanley the Farmer, anything about Curious George, and the Usborne Pull-back Busy Train Book.
I haven't heard you call yourself "Inky" in weeks. I almost can't bear it.
You love going on adventures, and every day you want to know what the plan of action will be. If we're searching for something (or if we're in a store), you like to say "let's split up to cover more ground!" In stores, that's frightening for mom!
You learned how to use Netflix within a day or two of our having a subscription. You relish the freedom of being able to choose your own show to watch and put up quite a fight when I say we have to let Addie choose, too. Your favorite shows are Octonauts (of course), Clifford, Wild Kratts, Busy Town Mysteries, and LaLaLoopsy (which mom and dad really can't stand).
You and Addie are best friends, though you spend more time bickering with each other than playing most days. Maybe that's not entirely true. The screeching and fussing at one another seems to occupy a good portion of our time, however. She wants to do everything that you do and you're not always thrilled about it, but we're working on helping you understand that she looks up to you and you need to be a good example.
Sleeping is still not great, but it's also not terrible. You go to sleep around 8-8:30pm, wake up sometime between midnight and 3am to crawl in bed with mom and dad, then sleep until maybe 6:30 or 7am. A couple weeks ago, you slept in until almost 9 two days in a row and I thought we had a miracle on our hands. Unfortunately, it didn't last. I think you are actually tired most of the time, but you run so fast and fight it so hard that you don't even notice.
Food has taken on a whole new meaning in your life. You've been on a somewhat special diet for several months because I was pretty sure you had a cavity forming on one of your front teeth (good news: that's cleared up now), but in January we went to a specialist as suggested by our chiropractor. She ran some tests and determined that you have a pretty significant yeast imbalance, so we are currently on a diet that consists of no dairy, egg, wheat, gluten, and oats. You have done so much better with all of this than I expected, but finding meals to eat has been a little bit difficult. We're still trying to get you to eat vegetables, but they are hidden in smoothies regularly and you swallow small pieces of them without much fight. You're also able to swallow small vitamin supplements, which is amazing! We're not sure if these diet changes will be permanent or not, but thankfully you've adapted just fine - and I think your palate will continue to improve as your body is healthier and we are able to find more options for you to try.
Most of your shirts are 5T and your pants are 4T. You weigh 42 pounds.
I'm not sure I know how to put into words how precious you are to me. I can't believe that you are four, and I really can't believe that means we are on our way to age five. FIVE. For today, I'm going to enjoy my busy, wild, exhausting, wonderful four-year-old Lincoln as much as I can. Here's to a magical, wonderful year of your childhood together. It may be the best one yet.
Past Birthday Letters to Lincoln