Monday, June 22, 2009

Four!

I'm starting to appreciate why this is yelled as a warning in golf.

I'd heard of the terrible twos, Anna sailed right through those. No tantrums, no frustration, the toughest part was separation anxiety. Then people told me that 'three was the new two' and yes, burgeoning self-awareness did bring on more attitude, and that coupled with my pregnancy made for a wearying combination.

Four though. Oy.

I'm not sure how much of this is coloured by the addition of a new sibling, but this new found independence has brought with it a real personality change. I'm all for self-confidence, but I will draw the line at being called a 'brat' by my own spawn when I shut her down on three bedtime stories. "Mumma, you're a brat". No 'Goodnight Moon' for you young lady!

Granted, her outbursts are still heavily influenced by her excellent school - there's no "I hate you" (not yet); thwarted requests for a chocolate milk are often met with an achingly childlike "then I will not be your friend". But please, chocolate milk at 9pm, what kind of a hold-out demand is that? Who are you? France?

There is nascent moodiness and petulance where there was none before. We have foot stamping, arm folding and inanimate object kicking. It's hard not to laugh at the depth of her displeasure. She's like a tiny Queen Victoria, only a mini-monarch that says 'hey guys this is not cool' instead of 'we are not amused'. I appreciate she's just testing her boundaries, but how long is it going to take her to realize there are no boundaries, no ever-changing front line, just a firmly entrenched wall of 'what we say goes young lady'. Until she starts paying rent of course.

Is this just a precursor for pre-teen hormones? Is she learning this from other kids or is it part of being four? It's not a big concern. It just feels like the sunshine has disappeared for a bit. When I mentioned it to her teacher she said, at least she feels confident enough these days to voice her opinions, even if it is displeasure. I hadn't thought of it that way, but I'm still British enough to think, bring back 'meek' - all is forgiven.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes! My son went through the same thing, starting at 4-and-a-half. "Then I won't be your friend anymore!" was an almost constant refrain. His attitude certainly wasn't helped by the addition of a baby sister a few months earlier. It definitely felt like revisiting the terrible two's--but worse! Thankfully he is about to turn 5, and he has chilled out a LOT lately. I'm looking forward to this coming year as we recover from the "terrible fours." Good luck!

Fishsticks and Fireflies said...

Two? Two was NOTHING! Three? Three SUCKED. Four? Four is just as bad. Cooper tells me on a regular basis, "Mommy, you are not my friend." My response? "I am sorry to hear that, but we don't have to be friends . . . I am your Mother." I then immediately run to the bathroom and sob uncontrolably.

Damn preschool. And to think I wasted time worrying about what the kids in high school might teach him! I really needed to be worrying about what his 4-year-old peers would be telling him over snack.

notfromaroundhere said...

Something must have changed in the last few decades, I certainly don't find meek or well-behaved 4-year olds here in Britain these days!

Expat mum said...

She's finally realised the baby's here to stay! Oh yes, and when they get a little older (5 and 6) they develop a healthy use of sarcasm, as in "Derr," and "Whatever". I find I then revert to a swift clip on the back of the head!

seadragon said...

Woah, I just read practically this same post on Ask Moxie three seconds before clicking over to your blog!

http://www.askmoxie.org/2009/06/qa-why-do-4yearolds-suck-so-much.html

Michelloui said...

There's something at many ages. In year three the whole of my daughter's class seemed to be against each other. Her teacher said 'year three is very difficult.' Oh. And now in year six we have the onset of spontaneous tears and snappiness. 'why are you crying?' I will ask her, bewildered. 'I don't know!' she wails in return. Hormones sneaking in from somewhere. And then there's the teenagers who live somewhere in our house...

But then again, each age is beautiful too!

Hyphen Mama said...

I'm convinced it'll last through the age of 25. Well, that's what I am preparing for with Wynnie. There's no end in sight...as she approaches 6.

Yesterday as my husband and I were talking and she tried to interrupt and we asked her to wait her turn. She waited a minute then said "Shut. Up." That earned her a bit of time in her bedroom.

mmennen said...

I guess I am lucky - the little outbursts I have seen are pretty *cute* and I still see lots of sunshine from your beautiful firstborn. So maybe she is just showing you the extra large attitude, I am sure her sweetness is not lost, just hidden as she tests you. Right?