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The BIG Four

annie is 4When Annabel’s fourth birthday was looming, Mike and I would lightheartedly joke to Annie that once she turned four she’d be a Big Girl, and all her “baby” habits would have to stop. Annie always laughed, but on her birthday she started taking it seriously.

On the morning of her birthday, Annabel declared she didn’t need my help tying her shoes. “I’m four now, Mommy. Big four year olds can tie their own shoes!” After watching her struggle for a few minutes (we’ve never even attempted to teach her this skill), I suggested she switch to velcro shoes. That was only the beginning.

At her birthday restaurant, she insisted on ordering herself. “Big four year olds can order for themselves, Mommy!” Of course, she still needed her mommy to read the menu to her, but I was pretty proud when she said, “I would like Swedish pancakes, please!”

My favorite Big Four moment was later that day. Our toilet has a built-in child seat that folds down for Annie to use. As she walked to the bathroom, she said to me, “Mommy, I have to potty. I’m not going to use the baby seat. I’m going to use the big seat because I have a big butt!”

I started laughing, “You don’t have a big butt, Annie!”

She was indignant. “YES I DO. I AM A BIG GIRL NOW! I have a BIG BIG BUTT!”

“Okay, you’re right. Your butt is soooo big! Go potty now, please.”

I love that the silly “big girl” teasing my husband and I started has turned into actual motivation for Annie to try to be more independent…and to embrace her “big butt.”


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