You’re four and a half this week, my little Sprocket. As it’s strange to think you’ve been in the world four and a half years, it is impossible to imagine a time before you.
At four and a half you're constantly in motion. You're climbing a tree, or a curtain, throwing yourself in mid-air to turn a summersault on the trampoline, running after a soccer ball. You are very comfortable within your body and love doing funny walks, making funny faces. I watch you flying across the trampoline, pretending to be a villain or a superhero - it changes on a dime - and think you could be a ballet dancer, your movements are so full of purpose and drama.
Your present loves are robots and dinosaurs. You long for a robot-dinosaur with unassuaged passion. At night before you sleep you want ‘pretend-stories’ about robots. Your requests are simple – the story should be about two green robots with buttons or two blue robots with buttons (they need to be the same colour.) Their names should be Sprocket and X, your best Kindy friend. You don’t mind if the robots don’t do much. Going to the playground together is fine. When I’m having a brain fry you don’t mind if I substitute a little. So far we’ve had The Three Little Robots and the Big Bad Robot Eating Monster (instead of a house of bricks the third little robot built a spaceship), Goldilocks and the Three Robots and The Three Robots Gruff. Our songs are also getting changed. We now sing about 5 Green Robots Sitting on a Wall and Robots in the Spaceship, (Robots in the Spaceship/eating Memory Sticks/ Data-Fail, Data Fail/ we all Fall Down/ Call in the Computer Daddy/ He’ll know what to do/ Data Save/Data Save/ We all Jump Up.
You’re love for dinosaurs is secondhand but strong – your friends are very interested, so you are too. I read you dinosaur books from the library and you are curious about how the dinosaurs lived long, long ago and the big fire-rock (asteroid) which came and changed their world. You laughed at me as if I was crazy when we looked at the picture comparison of dinosaurs and people. Of course Mummy’s much bigger than any dinosaur! Silly picture! You also find it hard to believe me when I tell you monsters aren’t real, they’re just pretend. Dinosaurs are real, so why aren’t monsters?
We are in the midst of many, many whys. Why is the sky high? Why does the earth go around the sun? Where has the sky gone? (On misty days) Why can’t I.. Why do I need to? Why do I have lungs? Why do we need air?
You play beautifully with your little sister, and I love watching you run and give each other hugs when you’ve been apart. You’ll make dens and burrows and robot bases together, hiding under bedcovers with various action toys and teddies. I hear giggles and long stories being told. You run around the world (on the trampoline) then stop to hatch a dragon egg, briefly become a super-hero and then you're a puppy, barking as Poppet leads you proudly round.
You still love kisses and cuddling up and are starting to say “I love you,” more. Each night as we say goodnight you whisper it and it is very precious. You still slip your hand in mine sometimes when we’re walking, and you love telling long and involves stories about robots and kindy.
You love cooking – chocolate brownies, chocolate sauce pudding, chocolate cake, hot chocolate, chocolate biscuits, we’ve made them all. Why yes, there is a bit of a theme here! (I’m not even going to begin on the times you and Poppet decided to do some cooking on your own…) Cracking eggs, adding ingredients, peeling carrots, stirring, all these are the best of fun.
Your determination and problem solving skills are still superb. I locked the marshmallows in a safe, put the safe on top of one wardrobe, the key on top of another… and you managed to retrieve both and unlock the safe. I already dread trying to hide your birthday and Christmas presents!
Your face lights up when you see your kindy friends and you run over to them joyfully. If your daddy and I try to stay for a little you tell us firmly, but politely, “It’s alright, you can go now.” We try to take our dismissal well, but it’s hard seeing our little baby all grown up and independent.
Our Little One, this time five years ago you were growing within me, our longed for bublet. You were our starfish, our arf-ing, milk-drunk selkie, our little Pacific Island adventurer, climbing volcanos, swimming in lagoons and charming everyone at the market. You were our music-loving cuddleupagus, forever in company with Sheba, your grandparents' dog, ukulele in hand, and now you are our dynamo, full of story and action, social and loving.
Thank you for being you and four and a half wonderful years!