Now you are four

Dear Felix,

Now you are four!

My little matey - what joy you bring.

This morning, you told me I was a ‘twinkle-toed livewire.’ It’s a line from one of your books, and you’ve been really taken with it.

‘What do you think it means?’ I asked.

‘Like this,’ you said, doing a funny, frenetic dance up on your toes.

‘Oh, like this.’ I copied you and you frowned.

‘No. Not like that.’

You get angry when we get things wrong, and it is hilarious, but if we laugh, your outrage intensifies. You are full of delight when we get them right, and it’s intoxicating. Making you laugh is one of our primary objectives. It’s a good way to live.

This morning, we visited the school you’re going to go to. It has a veggie patch, and a billy-kart, and a big, elaborate and haphazard-looking castle that kids have made over the years out of scraps of wood and plastic and other junk.

You walked right over to the castle like it was made for you. Lately, you’ve started to do that more - just stroll on into new things. You check to make sure one of us is nearby, though. Like a boomerang, you venture out, then return. I hope you always will.

Some more of your interests and fervent likes and dislikes have solidified over this last year, which is fascinating and funny.

You like: Books, being told stories, imaginative games; the sound of your own voice. Pickles, blue cheese and olives. Dumplings, sushi and chocolate. Dinosaurs/dragons. Cuddles. Strawberries. Lego. Carbohydrates in general. People who will muck around and joke and play with you. Odd socks. Nail polish. Christmas music. Pretending to be a baby puppy or a baby dragon, always named Harry.

You dislike: People who don’t muck around and joke and play with you. Cake (little weirdo). Clothes that are not your ‘favourites’ (your favourites are usually the ugly but practical things I bought for childcare). Being bored. Not having your questions answered or taken seriously. The vacuum cleaner. Getting your face or hair wet, involuntarily. The constraints of linear time. Not winning. Cucumber.

I love getting to know you. I love being able to soothe you. A couple of nights ago, you woke up with croup and a fever, and you were pretty distressed by it, understandably. To try and calm you down, I told you a story. These stories on the fly are challenging but fun. If you start to fiddle or get up and jump around, I know the narrative is not cutting it. You command high standards. I love that about you, too, that you demand to be respected in all your tiny personhood, always.

I love that when I sit down on the floor, you will always back into my lap, or climb on me or just barrel into me or your dad, in your sometimes brutal brand of affection. Your daddy is the best at playing with you, both the complicated role-play games and the intricate Lego scenes. I’m the best at comforting you. You switch between calling us Mummy and Daddy or Mum and Dad. I’m trying to be fine with the latter. You’ve allowed us to start calling you Fizzy again.

You have learnt how to tell absolute whopper fibs, but you’re a bit shit at it. You’re also working on your negotiation and influencing skills, and you’re better at them, like a small but effective CEO, micro-managing your team of two parents.

Matey-moo. I’m honoured to be on your team.

I’m honoured to be your comfort and your solace and your home base.

You have my heart.

Love you forever,