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.