Four years old! How on earth did the tiny squishy baby that we brought home from the hospital turn into a four year old who is going to be starting school in a couple of months?!
I last wrote an update when Toby was three and a half and in some ways he’s changed so much since then, and in others he’s exactly the same! He is now 110 cm tall, which means he’s grown another 4 cm in the last six months and he is still on the 91st centile. He weighs about 2 stone 10 lb (17.2kg) so is still super skinny even though he eats really well. He is mostly wearing age 5-6 clothes now, although some of his pants are 18-24 months because his bum is tiny! Oh and he’s got size 10 ½ feet.
So that’s the vital statistics but what else has been going on with Toby?
It’s now about 9 months since Toby stopped wearing nappies during the day and 7 months since he stopped wearing them at night too. We’ve had a few regressions where he went back to having regular accidents but at the moment things are going well. He’s even getting there with wiping his own bum (even though he never wants to do it because he’s lazy!).
That’s a bit of a theme with Toby really – he’s perfectly capable of getting dressed by himself, and putting his own shoes and coat on, but he never wants to do it because it’s easier if one of us does it for him. We’re planning on doing a bit of uniform practice over the summer though because he has to wear a shirt and (clip on) tie for school in September and I don’t think he’s worn a shirt since he was about 5 months old – and even that one had poppers! He reminds me so much of my brother sometimes – he’s so clever about somethings and then super-lazy about others. My brother is two years older than me but when we were in the infants he used to come and find me in the playground so I could tie his shoelaces for him! It’s just the sort of thing I can imagine Toby doing.
Like I said though Toby is so bright – especially when it comes to numbers. He loves Numberblocks (hence the birthday cake) and has watched them all so many times. He can count to at least 50 and sometimes remembers the other 10s that come after. He can add and subtract numbers to 20 and he knows what square numbers are too. We haven’t pushed this on him, he just loves it. He uses his DUPLO to make Numberblocks and then do the sums, as well as doing them in his head (and sometimes on his fingers) and he’s always counting things.
He’s doing pretty well with his letters and phonics too. He knows all the letter sounds and can sound out most short words and some longer ones too. I wouldn’t say he was reading yet but I think once he starts school it really won’t be long coming. We’re not really pushing this at all, especially as we aren’t really familiar with phonics and don’t want to confuse things for when he doing it at school. He loves stories though and having a book read to him at bedtime. He recently had James and the Giant Peach as his bedtime story and did really well at following the story and remembering what had happened each time.
Although he knows the letters and numbers his pencil control isn’t quite at the same level. He can write his first name, and copy the numbers if they’re written down but that’s about it. I’m not concerned about this at all, and again it’s something that I’m sure he’ll pick up soon enough once he’s shown how to do it.
His language and vocabulary are really great for a four year old (I think anyway, I don’t really have anyone to compare him too). There are very few of his toddler mispronunciations left now. He still can’t pronounce his ‘Rs’ very well if they’re at the start of words so we still get ‘wocket’ and ‘wed’, and for some reason he calls a ‘cupboard’ a ‘covered’ but I really can’t think of any others. His accent is mostly northern now, after we went through a transition phase when we moved from Scotland and he somehow sounded Irish! He still copies what he hears on TV sometimes though and we correct him to shorten his vowels – no child of mine is going to say they’re having a ‘baaarth’!
He loves telling jokes, even though most of them don’t make sense, and he still loves playing with his DUPLO. He’s got the hang of his scooter a bit more now, and is even managing to steer pretty well. He doesn’t really like his balance bike, I actually think it’s too small and that’s why he finds it difficult. I think we maybe just need to move to a pedal bike with stabilisers and see how he gets on with that instead.
He’s been going to nursery for two days a week for the last year now, although is just going one day a week over the summer. He took a while to settle, we then went through a long period when he was fine, and just lately we’ve gone back to not wanting to go and tears at drop off on occasion too. I think it’s mostly just all the talk of school and things changing that has knocked him off balance a bit. I also think he’s probably quite bored at nursery now and is really ready for the challenge of school. He has made some friends at nursery though, and a few of them are going to be going to the same school as him too so hopefully that should ease the transition a bit.
He still loves all things purple and has his purple muslin at bedtime (and sometimes during the day too if he thinks he can get away with it), and he still sucks his thumb, although this is mostly confined to bedtime now too. Sleep is good on the whole – he either goes to sleep in our bed after a story and then I move him to his own bed once Gabe is asleep, or he goes to sleep in his own bed while I sit in the chair with Gabe until they are both asleep. Although he always seems to go a little bit bonkers at bedtime, and faffs about no end when he’s supposed to be getting ready for bed, he usually calms down and goes to sleep quite quickly.
When I wrote his last update we were going through a phase of early morning waking and ignoring his Gro Clock but after we introduced a reward chart for a while this has mostly stopped now. He occasionally wakes up if he’s had a bad dream, or comes through to our room early, especially if he hears Gabe awake and in with me, but nothing that causes any issues really – it’s his brother who needs to learn how to sleep all night still!
His eating is pretty good overall now too. He has mostly got over his dislike of ‘messy’ food, and will eat most things I put in front of him. He’s still got a sweet tooth and loves chocolate cake, but he also loves fruit and vegetables so I’m not too worried. He has finally given up his need to have mayonnaise with everything, although now wants ketchup instead!
I’m sure there is so much more that I could add about my lovely Toby-T but this post is probably long enough already. I did film a little video though, so Toby can tell you a bit more about himself. And my plan, if I remember is to ask him the same questions on every birthday, and to ask them to Gabe when he’s talking enough to answer them anyway! So here you go, this is Toby at four years old…