Four and a half. We don’t typically celebrate half birthdays around here, though I always notice them. When Abbie turned 4.5 back on June 21, I made a mental note of it, but that was about it. No big celebration, no cake – I didn’t even mention it to her, actually. I didn’t even think of 4.5 being that much different than 4.
But it is. It is so different.
I feel like Abbie is a completely different kid at 4.5 than she was at 4. She’s clearly been growing and changing all this time, but I feel like I just blinked and suddenly she wasn’t a toddler anymore, or anything near it. I feel like I blinked… and she turned into a full-fledged kid.
As she’s grown, I always have said that each stage has been better than the last, and it’s true here too. But there’s just something about 4.5 that has really changed her, really shown me so much more of the person Abbie is going to be. She’s started showing so many of the same behaviors I did as a kid, and I can’t help but see myself in her.
She LOVES preschool and is so excited to go each day. It took a few weeks of adjustment, but Abbie’s happy to play with her friends, getting better at listening to her teachers, and is even trying new foods. You guys, she ate a vegetable. She hasn’t eaten vegetables (other than sweet potato fries) in at least a year. Needless to say, I’m now stocked up on carrots with ranch. Her teachers tell us she is a joy to have in class.
She is obsessed with Frozen right now (yep, a few years late to that craze). She currently likes to wear a blanket as a cape around the house with her princess shoes and stomp on the floor, saying she’s making ice. When one of us in the bathroom with the door closed, she’ll knock on the door and start singing “Do you want to build a snowman?” She knows every line of the movie and will say it along with the actual dialogue – something I also did as a kid that drove my mother insane (sorry, mom – really).
She loves her baby sister something fierce and is always trying to help her – giving her toys, finding her water, giving her back her snacks. Ella started crawling over the weekend and Abbie was cheering her on, but I know it’s only a matter of time before she’s complaining about Ella getting her toys. Every time I put a bow in Ella’s hair, Abbie wants one too (can’t say I’m mad about that one). I really think Ella has been such a huge influence on Abbie, and I hope she knows just how much she’s going to look up to her.
All this is not to say we haven’t had some behavior issues – after all, she still is a kid. While I was away at BlogHer last month, Abbie started waking up at night and trying to come into our bed. This is a kid that used to refuse to leave her bed to even go to the bathroom, so it came as a shock to us. We walk her back to bed every time, and it’s slowly gotten better. Sometimes she even has a tough time going to sleep, so there have been some frustrating nights – but bedtime is one of the few things I am super strict about. I give in on some things, but never bedtime.
We gave her the simplest star chart ever last month – a blank piece of paper that she gets stars for doing things. I was desperate for something in the moment and it’s been a good introduction for her. I’ve since found a simple printable to use going forward, and we’re going to be a bit more diligent in daily chores. After all, Chris and I could use the help around the house, and she’s old enough to handle them!
Abbie’s learning so much in school, and it’s just astounding to me. She comes home singing new songs and talking about everything under the sun. Since she has a December birthday, she doesn’t go to kindergarten until 2018, but I’m already excited to see her go. I really think putting her in preschool was the best decision for her and it’ll make elementary school so much easier.
So, four and a half is an adventure. Abbie has so much personality and a real understanding of what’s going on around her. I have a feeling that the years will all start to seem faster now. My pregnancy with her seems so long ago now. Before I know it, she’ll be five.
Happy four and a half, Abbie bug. We love you so much!