I have to say, so far having a four-year-old has been WONDERFUL!! I love the stage Tralee is in. LOVE it! She's so clever, so funny, so full of life, so smart, so sensitive, so bright, so beautiful (inside and out), so opinionated, so stubborn, so vigorous, so snugly (when she wants to be), so ready to learn about the world around her, and I feel so lucky to be her mommy.
The night before her birthday, I let Tralee sleep in my bed. Jim was out of town, and I like having sleepovers with my kids when he's gone. I did the same thing when I was little when my dad traveled. I eventually out-grew it, and my kids will too (probably faster than I like). Anywho, before we went to sleep I turned to Tralee, and while tracing the features of her face with my finger, I told her about the day she was born. I told her how excited we were to have a baby girl, and how she was the most beautiful baby we'd ever seen. I told her that her daddy and I cried happy tears when we first saw her, and that she was a feisty little kicker. As I told her all about her birth day, Tralee's big brown eyes looked into mine as she took it all in. I loved that moment. Then, as her eyelids opened and closed in the lazy way they do before you drift into dreamland I whispered "have sweet dreams my baby girl." I knew the next time Tralee awoke, she would see the world as a four-year-old.
So far my four-year-old has been cracking me up. When I went to fill out some insurance information with our new agent. Tralee and Hunter came along for the ride. While in our new agent's office Tralee was saying the craziest things. First the agent asked what her name was, and how you spell it. Tralee surprised me when she answered, "T.R.A.L.E.E." We'd been working on spelling her name, I just didn't know she could actually do it!! At another point Tralee turned to our agent and said, "You would be really sad if your husband died." All I could do was laugh since I have NO idea where this topic came from. A few minutes later Stinks added, "I would be really really sad if Hunter died. I don't want him to died." The agent and I both tried to keep straight faces. I really wish I remembered what else Tralee said to our agent, because it had us both in stitches.
Tralee had me snickering again today while we went grocery shopping. As we were waiting in line to check out Tralee turned the woman behind us and said, "I have lips, do you have lips?" The kind lady answered, "Yes. Yes, see, here are my lips." Next Tralee pointed to me and said, "This is my mommy. She has lips too. See, here are my mommy's lips." I smiled and nodded to the stranger Tralee struck up a conversation with. Since the whole lip thing went over well, Tralee decided to carry on the conversation by saying, "This is my body, Jesus gave me my body." I'm not sure the lady knew what to do with this so she said, "Oh! Alright." I kind of got the feeling that stranger lady didn't share our particular faith, and wasn't ready for a four-year-old missionary to come preaching. However, I was pleased to hear that what Tralee's been learning in Sunbeams (and at home) is sinking in.
I started talking to Tralee about stranger danger, seeing as she's ready to strike up a conversation with just about anyone. I've been giving her quizzes like, "What if someone you don't know comes up to you and says, 'I have the cutest little kitty in my car, but it's hurt and needs your help. Want to come see?' What would you do?" Tralee usually answers, "No!" Then I tell her to run away as fast as she can and come find Mommy or Daddy. I don't like these kinds of conversations, but I do want to make Tralee aware of the whole stranger danger concept.
On the same topic, Tralee also knows how to unlock the front door. She loves to answer the door whenever someone knocks, or she hears the doorbell ring. We've had talks about only opening the door if we know who is on the other side. She seems to get it.
Tralee's also starting to understand that she's having some difficulties with her speech. If you've read my blog for a little while, you know Tralee is in speech therapy. She has some problems saying certain letters. S is a big one she struggles with. She can pronounce S if it's at the end or middle of the word, and even if it's at the beginning of the word if a vowel comes after it. But, if it's an S word with a consonant right after it, it becomes the most difficult word for Tralee to say. After all of our talks about strangers, Tralee was trying to ask me what a stranger was, but it kept coming out, "hang jes." I couldn't -- for the life of me -- figure out what she was saying. "Mom, what are hang jes?" I kept guessing, "Hangers? Anxious? Hinges?" Tralee was getting frustrated and tried so hard to say it right. Finally she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, "Oh! My voice doesn't work right. I give up." That my friends, broke my heart! It was the first time Tralee vocalised the fact that she couldn't say words the way they sound in her head. It was also one of the first times Tralee gave up. She hardly ever gives up! She's stubborn like her parents. Luckily, my stubbornness kicked in when Tralee used all hers up, and I worked even harder to figure out what Tralee had been saying. Finally I guessed, "Strangers?" Tralee's little face lit right up, "Yes! Yes Mommy! That's it!" Tralee's speech gets better and better everyday, but we still have some work to do. I want her voice to "work right" for her.
Her cute little voice sure works right when she sings. I love to hear her sing, make up songs, dance and sing at the same time. It's all quite magical. One way she likes to sing that cracks me up is when she sings while plugging her nose. She starts, I laugh, then she laughs. By the end we're both cracking up. I tried to get it on film to send to Jim (he's still out of town), here's the video I took:
And just for good measure, I took a video of Tralee dancing her way to Petco. Just so you know, Tralee picked out her outfit in all these pictures and videos. I LOVE the crazy ensembles (she calls them costumes) she comes up with.