Number 4

My dear Michael,

I have so many words — much like you — I cannot even think where to start. You don’t worry about starting; you wake up, and start talking, and you don’t stop unless you are pouting or asleep.

You would think I would get used to your chatter. It still surprises me, usually on a Saturday morning before I’ve had coffee.

You have thoughts. You have opinions. You have questions, although not as many as your big sister Flora. You want to have conversations. That’s exactly what you will say. “Can we have a conversation?” The other thing you say most often is, “Mommy, watch this.” And I really do have to get better about stopping and watching that. I vow to do better. After all, you are suddenly 4, and I am starting to realize all you children just keep getting older. Pretty soon, you won’t be asking me to stop and watch. So I better get it in now.

You like building toys (Lego and Duplo), cars, super heroes. You like to pretend. You like your sisters, and you get upset when they don’t want to play with you or share with you. You are able to play independently, you just don’t always want to. You are paying Kate back in karma points for all the times and ways she has harassed Flora. You like routine.

Your teachers at daycare LOVE you. We recently took a field trip with your preschool class to a pumpkin patch. As you sat for story time, I spoke with one of your teachers. “Michael is such a sweet boy,” she told me. “He’s polite and helpful. He’s such a nice little boy. Is he like that at home?”

No, I told her. No, he is not like that at home.

And you aren’t — you have temper tantrums, you fight with your sisters, you tell me I’m dumb. But not all the time. You are sweet, and helpful, and polite, too. But you aren’t afraid to be angry, or sad, or stubborn. You also give hugs and kisses, very often unprompted. You will throw your hands around my neck or climb up on the couch for impromptu cuddles.

I probably spoil you a little bit. I lay down in bed with you waiting for you to fall asleep. Some days, I ask the girls to *please* share and *please* play with you just so you won’t have a fit. Although, I am trying to get better at letting them have their space from you. But you are my last baby; thus, I baby you. I’ll have to keep an eye on that.

You won’t wear anything with buttons. You’re not the greatest eater, although it’s more out of distraction than dislike of food. When you are hungry and focused, you will demolish a meal and have seconds. You are agile and active without being hyper, although you do sometimes bounce off the walls.

You are hard to put into one word. But you are fun and funny, and you are sweet, and you are my boy.

Happy birthday, my boy. And many, many more.

Love,
Mommy

The 4-year-old

Happy Birthday to Me!
Happy Birthday to Me!
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