Happy birthday, Gabby!

Happy birthday to Gabby, who turned the big 0-4 today!

I feel like I should say something like “I can’t believe that she’s already 4 years old”, but in reality she’s such a tall and mature kid that I can’t believe she’s only just now turning 4 years old. 3 hasn’t felt right for quite a while!

I use the word “mature” with some hesitance. She’s so agile, verbal, and confident about her abilities. But then she flips out over nothing everywhere all the time, and sigh… yeah, she’s only 4.

However, with every passing week, we see her freak out a little bit less and we’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. She’s not an easy kid by any stretch of the imagination, but we can tell that she’s fundamentally good. For that, we feel so incredibly lucky.

She’s incredibly generous, which is pretty unusual for her age. Everything good she has, she’s eager to share with her family and friends. I know this because I keep asking her to share her candy and cookies with me and she always does without whining at all! Playing store with her involves her giving us all her money and goods, because she doesn’t want her customers to be “stressed out.”

She’s surprisingly caring. I don’t know why that still surprises me so much. I don’t expect a little kid to be so kind. For example, she insisted on bringing her backpack out to dinner the other day and we assumed she just had some of her toys in there. We usually don’t let her bring toys out with her because we don’t want yet another thing to keep track of, but that day we were too tired or distracted to care I guess. When Callie started to whine and cry, Gabby opened her backpack. There was only one toy in there and it was a big baby toy she had brought for Callie. We were in awe!

And of course, we love her crazy creativity. She’s always challenging the way things are done, planned, or used. And that’s good! But it’s also one of the hardest things about parenting her. Our first reaction is always “NO! WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING?!” and we’re working hard to fix that. It’s just hard when we’re too tired to patiently put up with the messes of her using things her own way, and when she’s too tired to be very mindful and deliberate about her actions. Hopefully we’ll all get a little better with age and sleep! It’s quite the balancing act trying to give her the freedom to challenge things, while also being safe and well-mannered. Can’t have that feeling we’re living in a zoo either.

Anyway, happy birthday to Gabby! May she be happy and healthy, and learn to sleep in the morning!

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