Four turns to Five

It’s here. It’s like the little hump that’s been a hop, a skip, and a jump away. Except, now, it’s a few skips with her hair flowing up and down behind her. Little is going to be 5 this week. F-I-V-E. Nope, I can’t believe it either.

HBAllie

Yesterday, I texted a friend

I have this unreal expectation that on Wednesday, when Allie turns 5, this attitude will suddenly disappear.

My husband calls it Allieitis.

You see, this little four year old girl is a tough four year old girl. A few months ago I wrote about my frustrations. I didn’t publish it until yesterday.

She’s a delightful child. Everybody at her school and her camp knows her and (it seems) loves her. Kids follow her around. She’s a natural leader who knows how to have a conversation, consider others’ feelings and play independently and in groups. And all this is wonderful. And I’m super proud of the little lady she’s becoming.

She’s still a princessy tomboy. She’s never afraid to get dirty, and a little scratch or bruise doesn’t stop her. She participates in four sports (and would do more if time allowed). She loves to craft and plays with her dolls and animals every day. She also changes her outfits 4 times a day and at least one of those outfits is usually a princess costume. She’s beginning to learn to read and write and will draw a picture or create a clay figure as soon as she’s offered a chance. She has hobbies aplenty. She’s well-rounded. Gosh. She sounds downright perfect. And, yes, I’m biased, but she is perfect. As the kids’ and I discussed last night, even imperfections can be perfect.

But just like teachers say is true with all kids, she’s a different person at home than she is out of the home. She’s still tough. I’m thinking back now to the situation I wrote about in June and realizing that things are getting easier in some ways. But, she still wants to be on her schedule. Do things on her terms. She’s not exactly easy going when it comes to understanding that she has 4 other people’s lives to contend with.

Perhaps this is true of siblings, especially 3rd siblings, or youngest siblings. It makes sense that they’ll act out for attention that so often and easily goes to others. Everyone points to the fact that she rides along to so many practices and events for her  big brothers and this is her way to remind everyone that she’s here, too.

Will five be different? She’ll still be a remarkable, loving and lovable child, that’s for sure. But will five suddenly get easier to parent? Hearing that four is the most difficult, I’m still holding tight to the idea that five will be better. Maybe not on her birthday, but, maybe, she’ll significantly mature this coming year and life will begin to flow more evenly.

Someone remind me of these posts when we’re in the midst of tweenhood and puberty.

Parenting is rough at any age. It’s like the grandmother in Parenthood’s rollercoaster of life. And every year, we’ll hit our ups and downs. I recall quite a few of them with Big and Middle. And I know more are around that next turn.

In a recent conversation with my sister-in-law, we discussed sleeping and how you try to sleep so much when you’re pregnant, as your body prepares you for endless nights of sleeplessness when your babies are new. Realistically, it seems that half of your pregnancy you’re really not sleeping well as you toss and turn because your bump is in the way, as you’re woken by that sudden pang of a cute little kick, or heartburn you’ve never experienced before. As you get up five times each night to pee because the baby is sitting on your bladder. All that sleep you need to prepare for the baby? You’re really getting none of it. Instead, you’re learning early what it will be like to wake 4 or 5 times each night for a few weeks. And you’re body is preparing you in it’s special way.

And, with children, perhaps they’re preparing us for the next steps. After all, as difficult as this year has been, we’ve certainly learned how to deal. How to make due with the attitude of Allieitis. How to adapt and think on our feet. How to give in and ask for help. How to let it go. How to discuss in a way our children will listen. How to balance our busy lives.

Parenthood. We all know it isn’t an easy life. It teaches us so much about our selves. It helps us to be a different, usually better, and more patient person. It helps us to know how to best work together. How to grow and behave. It teaches us, just like life has always taught us, about expectations and exceptions and unique possibilities and relationships.

This rollercoaster. It’s a ride. A ride of loops and whirls and swings and extremes.

I like it.

Happy birthday, Little!

mom of 3 and wife living in the Philadelphia suburbs, Julie is a former elementary school teacher and a Public Relations manager. She is the owner/editor of Julieverse, a merchandiser with Chloe + Isabel (jewelryverse.com) and founder VlogMom and Splash Creative Media. A marketing strategist and freelance education and parenting writer by trade, Julie attempts to carve out time to enjoy playing with her kids, PTO, cooking and exercise.

© 2014, Julie Meyers Pron. All rights reserved.

Comments

  1. says

    5 is soooo much better than 4. At least for O, it was like a light switched. As a side note, we say my niece Allie has “Allie-tude”… :)

  2. says

    Dear Julie,
    Thank you for sharing your family with everyone. Being a Dad is the best job. It has its heartbreaks, but that is part of life they say. The best part is that they love you. You have great kids. We are blessed. Perhaps now our job is to show our small and not so small ones that what we have isn’t what everyone has and we need to do what we can to care for those that don’t have what we take for granted.

    Thank you for your shares, words of advice as always. It is appreciated very much.

    From the Heartland,
    William R. Staplin
    Senior Advisor, Ph.D. and Father of two who eat PB.J.
    International Center for Professional Development

    • says

      thanks for your comment, William. You’re right. It’s a great time to remind the children of how very fortunate they are. (And, good timing!, I have a post coming on that next week!)

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