Truman at Four Years Old

I had to read back over Truman's 3.5 year post to gather my thoughts on what to say this time around. Six months later, at officially four years old, one thing that strikes me as totally different? I hate to even say it: The Weather. Yes, capitalized. It is crazy to think about my boy interacting with other kids on a playground, running around outside in the green grass, and spending our free time in nice weather. As I type this we are nearing the end (please, God) of a looooooong and cold winter. Sub-zero temps, wind chills so awful I don't even know anymore, and lots of snow. So yeah, I didn't realize how much parenting Truman has changed in the past six months based solely on the weather difference but wow. Inside versus outside, isolation at times, stir-craziness. Enough of my 4.5 update we will be back on the good side of the sun!

My big first born: one major thing that changed since my last update? We found out that you will be the oldest of three kids in our family, and you are gaining a baby brother before my next bi-annual update for you! In fact, I wasn't even pregnant at your 3.5 year update but by your 4.5 year update I will be just returning to work after baby boy. Talk about some changes in our family, huh? I wrote an entire post on your reaction and quotes about a new baby and wish I wrote all of your gems down on this blog. Honestly, Truman---you are made to be a big brother. Your kindness towards your sister and even to baby brother in my belly blows me away daily. On a particularly hormonal day, you can make me cry with how sweet and caring you are to your siblings. You'll regularly ask to give baby a 'hug and a kiss from big brother.' This week you told me, 'someday when the baby gets big enough, I will hold his hand and teach him how to walk. Just like I did for CC.' You also asked me, 'What tools did they use to get me and CC out of your belly? I think that hurt us,' so obviously the birth of baby boy is on your mind. Mine, too, buddy!
View More:

I wouldn't really say you are especially inquisitive, but you are definitely an observer. You discovered one of the first patches of grass the other day, buried under piles of snow and finally emerging just a bit to tempt us with promises of Spring. 'Is that grass, mommy? The snow is melting!!' You also love to point out 'planes with smoke' in the air, and realized the other day that it's been too cloudy to see the moon in the daytime--a favorite treasure hunt of yours. Instead of announcing a City Bus, or counting them up in a given day, your new favorite activity involving busses is announcing the number of the bus. Which is not always easy, since the signs are digital and the numbers are a bit square and different. I love watching your mind work and grow and change over time. I'm also pretty relieved you haven't asked the 'why?' question over and over again until I can't stand it anymore. Usually you will accept my first answer, ponder it, and come up with another related question or statement/observation.

You definitely prefer to interact with others instead of playing independently, too. We are working on this skill but any activity I suggest (coloring, playing with a number of various toys, looking at books) always comes down to, 'but I want you to do it with me.' The only really solid chunk of quiet/alone time you will take is when you work on your puzzles. And Truman, you have become a master at them. We have one 100 piece Angry Birds puzzle, with super small pieces, that just a few weeks ago required some assist from us to complete. But now you have your own way to link all of the pieces together in a crazy-fast amount of time. The 48 piecers we have are almost too easy for you now but they do occupy your time without interruption. Sometimes I will look over and you'll have four completed puzzles all across the floor and you haven't made a peep the entire time. I love this phase of independent puzzle play. Hoping it extends to other activities soon.


Speaking of independence, you will now get your self fully dressed and undressed but you get VERY frustrated with taking off your shirts. Especially the long sleeves seem to make you really irritated and you almost always ask me for help. You can do it, though, and as long as we aren't in a big rush I will encourage you to try and not give up. I can already see that you can be pretty hard on yourself and unless you are sure that you can succeed in a task, you might not even want to try. While I understand that 'perfectionist' trait pretty well, we are doing our best to explain that it's alright to fail and get mad and frustrated. But you still have to try, buddy!

And speaking of 'trying' new things, let's discuss your food intake. This still remains one of the biggest challenges with you right now, Truman. I will be honest when I say that I have let go of this battle for the most part so it's not a huge deal to me anymore. I was a picky eater as a kid, my parents didn't force me to eat things I despised, and here I am as an adult enjoying a variety of healthy foods. Even vegetables! Your current top picks for main dishes include: chicken nuggets (especially at McDs, where you ate seven nuggets plus the rest of your Happy Meal the other night), cheese pizza, PB&J, grilled cheese, hot dogs, deli turkey and cheese with crackers. This means that, yes, I usually make your dad and I something separate from you and your sister. It's just so much easier that way--no gagging by you, no throwing food away by me, and no tears from either of us. I think if your dad was home every night by 5 to be my back-up partner in crime to enforce stricter rules, then we would. But since I'm on my own for probably 4 out of the 5 week nights I choose the safer route of letting you eat what you will eat. Luckily you do love fruit, lots of dairy (we buy two gallons of whole milk per week, primarily just for your sister and you!), and of course you love your desserts and starchy carbs. Who doesn't? I just can't get too worked up about your diet anymore. You are a picky eater but you are growing and thriving and eating some decent foods (not all junk) so we'll call that a win and move on.

For how 'average' your four year old diet is, you are certainly above average in your height. Many people have said you look so much older and have 'changed' a ton in the past few months with your appearance. Longer and leaner than ever, I'm guessing. You are in the big boy sizes for clothes now (tear, some of the older boy stuff is SO FREAKING UGLY!) wearing size 5-6 tops and usually pants, too. Not sure about your shoe size--you were in a 9, probably could be in a 10 now? I should really measure and weigh you to give some solid numbers--will put that on my ever-growing To Do list, buddy;)


Something else we've been doing together on our days at home: pretending that I'm a teacher and you are the student, and we have a 'lesson' on a letter of the alphabet each day. You think it's hilarious when I talk in my teacher voice to you and we've been practicing writing your letters for a bit now. You can easily write your name and probably a few other letters without much prompting, but you just really don't care about the alphabet all that much. It's pretty telling when we are practicing your letters and all of a sudden your 'T' will take a funny turn at the bottom of the page. 'Look mommy, my T turned into a rail road track! With a tree coming out of it!' You can't be held down by the 'boringness' of writing normal letters, I guess, so we keep our pretend lessons very short. I had you write your name on 16 Valentines this year and whoo, boy. Painful for all involved. I try not to push it too much since you are just four years old and have many other strengths and hobbies. Plus I want you to like junior kindergarten when you start the half day program this fall. I think you will like it and thrive in that setting, so there will be plenty of time to learn the 'smart' brain things like writing and reading. On your birthday you asked me, 'Now that I'm four, does that mean I have to go to school now?' Not quite yet, buddy!

For now, you sure do like television, though;) Maybe it's a winter thing but screen time is pretty standard around here. I'd still estimate it to be about 1.5 hours on our days at home, sometimes more and sometimes less. If it were up to you we'd leave PBS Kids on all day long and play/talk/eat around the TV noise in the background. Good thing it's not up to you! In the past six months we've seen a change in your show preference. Right now you are all about Disney Junior's Octonauts, Sherif Callie's Wild West, and PBS's Peg plus Cat (my fave!). We also got you a few movies on DVD for Christmas and your birthday, and you can *almost* sit through them for a solid 15 minutes before hopping up and playing while watching. Our newest additions: The Little Mermaid, Monsters Inc., Planes, Despicable Me 2, and Turbo. Oh, and let's not forget about the beloved iPad with Angry Birds for you and your dad's favorite indoor activity. Again, we definitely have limits with the iPad but it has become a fun 'sport' for you two boys. I don't really get the game, or Angry Birds Race, but apparently you are getting pretty good with your eye-hand coordination?

You love books and will occasionally flip through some on your own, but prefer to have us read to you for as long as we can possibly stand. We go to the library at least once per month and pick out about 12 new books each time. Your dad reads three of them to you each night and I think you memorize a lot of the words within a few weeks. I can't even list out all of your favorites at this point, but anything involving dinosaurs, monsters, trucks, or trains are usually still a hit.

Oh, and bedtime is really quite a bit different now at age 4 versus 3. Your sister has officially moved into your bedroom and both of you are in bunk beds as of the last week! You would always tell us that you were scared of bunk beds because 'Calliou dropped his bear from the top bunk and it was sad'. Don't even get me started on Calliou...but you pushed through that fear and love being up high. You also love having CC in the room with you. I think you pride yourself on 'teaching' her not to climb out of her big girl bed, to sleep until your clock is yellow (6:30 am), and telling her not to be scared of the dark. We recently cut out your nap during the day so that you and your sister can go to bed at the same time together, usually between 7:30-8:00. You probably would have continued to nap for a long while but that 10-11pm bedtimes were getting to be a little bit much to handle. Now you fall asleep partway through my 'stories' I tell you after daddy does books and will almost always last until 6:30 in the morning, too. Lori still has you nap for about an hour at her place and has to wake you up or you'd probably pass out for 2-3 hours. Those nights you might take a little bit longer to fall asleep but you are still pretty worn out from daycare in general, so it's not all that different night to night. I miss your naps at home but it's pretty fun to have that extra time with you as CC naps alone.

Camera Roll-455
You love Lori's because of your buddy, Kaydin, who is there. The two of you pretty much get to play all day long together and have a lot of the same tastes in toys. She does some educational 'preschool' type activities, too, but you definitely love your free play the most. Aside from daycare, you have been doing a lot more activities that don't include your parents anymore in the past six months. Going to Sunday School, doing the library's Story Time alone, your gymnastics class and now your swimming lessons are all things you have done without us being right there with you. Most of these things scare you at first and sometimes you will even cry a bit but 9 times out of 10 you will end up loving each activity and will say, 'there wasn't any reason to be scared, I liked that. I won't be scared next time.' I still see a touch of your dad's super shy side (when he was a kid) during activities like this. But we are proud of you for being so brave and hope that junior kindergarten isn't too 'scary' at first for you. Again with the school talk but I just can't believe it's almost time.

You really love your routines, knowing what to expect, and the predictable parts of our weekly schedule. We do dual baths about four times per week not because you are dirty but because you and your sister love to play in the water. You will request a bath on a lot of nights we weren't really planning to do one because I think you enjoy the routine of bath before bed. You also love to splash your sister in the face on 'accident' and have very involved stories of trains summering under water.

The other day you told me, 'Someday when I hit the six (foot mark on our growth charts), I will probably be too big for our couch. And then I will break it.' I love to think about you being taller than me someday! You will also tell me, as you run up to me and give me an unprompted hug, 'You are still my best friend, mommy.' Please don't ever stop saying that, because duh. You are the sweetest little boy around and luckily your naughty side doesn't come out too often. When it does, it's usually because you are overtired and your sister is invading your personal space. Sometimes you will pick on her for no apparent reason, or you have a hard time listening to me because you are busy doing your own thing. I often tell you that I don't enjoy disciplining you and luckily I don't have to all that often. But time outs still work fairly well, as does removing a privilege like TV or the iPad. We are still using your 'caught 'ya being good' rock jar to reward especially great behavior and I find myself forgetting to give you a rock a lot of times. I think we've been on a really good streak with you listening well, playing well, and being my big helper. And that's saying a lot since it's been a long winter (see how I keep bringing up the weather? Sigh).

View More:

Other facts about Truman that I want to mention? You love shooting your dart guns with your dad. You got your first bike for your birthday and we can't wait to get outside and ride it all over town together. You like to hide from us, like to tickle your sister, and like to have a task to do which is proving very helpful for me. You almost always bring a small toy with you in the van on the way to Lori's, keeping it in there all day, and then showing it to Lori when I pick you up. She plays along and acts really excited about a matchbox car or whatever, but it's cute that you demand that as a part of your routine. Everything is a race or competition to you, it seems. We have to see who 'wins' as we walk from the van to the house. Our car tends to go faster than other cars on the highway 'since we have a lot more gas than them.' And of course, you like to yell out, 'Watch how fast I am!' as you sprint in circles around our lower level. Mister competitive---I wonder where you got that?

One final quote that I have to share and then I'll end this mess of words about my first born son: sometimes I like to tell you, 'Don't you ever grow up and leave me, ok?' I'm half kidding, but part of me already does mourn the idea of you moving away from me someday---my mama's boy! Your response is always the same: 'Mommy, I have to turn into a grown up! But I won't ever leave you, silly.' Melt my heart, why don't you. I won't hold you to that promise but for now I will just savor the time we do have together, sweet Truman. You are truly the best, even when we are butting heads and are too much alike. You make us so proud to be your parents and we can't wait to see what this next year has in store for you!

Time flies.

Camera Roll-280
Your fourth birthday party. No separate post for this one, but it was awesome and so much fun for all of us.IMG_7480

And every year of celebrating our first born. With cupcakes!Camera Roll-335


  1. Oh my gosh are our boys alike. The tallness, being sweet to their sisters, the picky eating, the perfectionism, the puzzling, the fave TV shows. Maybe all boys are like this, but seriously, it's like reading about my own life right there.

    So, I can say for a fact, Truman is such a sweetheart. (And I can't WAIT to get them outside!)

  2. What a GREAT post, Julia! You really captured who Truman is right now - so many details that will be so fun to look back on. He is such a sweet boy!

    We've mostly stopped fighting the food fight with Henry, too, and it makes me feel guilty sometimes, but I just do *not* have the battle in me most nights. Maybe when he's a bit older - but maybe not. I don't know. I know we always had to eat our vegetables as kids, there was no way around it, and I HATED them. I love veggies now. People come around. And they're growing and pretty healthy!

    Very impressive how well T does puzzles! Every kid has their strengths, that's for sure. Henry's got his letters down pat but no way would he sit and do a 100 piece puzzle by himself, or even a 48-piece for that matter probably. I love puzzles, though! And we have fun doing them together. Mostly because there are so few options indoors - come ooooon, spring!!!

    Can't believe the school years are upon us. It's pretty scary, but so exciting, too!

  3. You have such a sweet little man, you must be so proud of the "big" 4 year old boy he has become!!

  4. Love their updates! Can't believe I've been reading his for well over 2 years! A's watch "Yee Haw" (Sheriff Callie) a few times now whenever she rolls around on her little horse rider she yells "Cow-wie!" I can't handle the cowboy twang, but I'll take it over the Calliou since it seems every parent hates that one! The things he says to you are sooo sweet and I can't believe he's in bunk beds with CC!

    1. Yeah, I guess the southern twang on Sheriff doesn't bother me too much being from Missouri---but Calliou's whiney-ness is the worst!!!

  5. This is the very first blog of yours I've ever read! Very sweet little family you have!

  6. Love the little sneaky peek of their room! :)

  7. Oh, T, 4 years old already!? Such a sweet boy you are!

    Oh my gosh, the food battle. I have no words of advice…just sympathy. We're in the same boat!

    And awesome about those puzzles. I was impressed that Eli could master 25+ pieces all by himself but T is a genius! Good for him. Love watching our little men reveal their strengths.

    I love the 4 birthday pictures too. It seems from 3 to 4, the kids really lose their "baby" faces. We'll probably say that every year though :)

  8. What a sweet post about your boy! he sounds like such a sweetheart. I have a 2 year old boy, and your son sounds so grown up to me, but I just know that 2 years will fly by in the blink of an eye and I'll have a big boy too. I especially love the collage of him at the end with the cupcakes.

  9. I think all parents despise Calliou!!!

    Food- I'm lucky to have a pretty good eater but she won't eat the same things from night to night. But I started a rule, 2 bites because she is 2. When she turns 3, it will be 3 bites. Most of the time she ends up eating more. Sometimes she spits it out and says it's yucky. At least she tried it. But I agree, pick your battles.

    I love this post. So sweet and you really do capture your kids well.


Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. Sorry that commenting through Blogger can be a royal pain. I'm glad you are commenting despite that, and please email me if you are having issues.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...