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Snapshot of our 4-year-old

April 27, 2010 - Betsy Bethel

Our daughter is growing up — and I mean that literally. She is now almost 44 inches tall. That puts her above the 100th percentile — off the chart, so to speak.

I am so grateful to have several tall female friends to whom I can turn for advice when Emma gets older and her height becomes a self-esteem issue. Right now, though, I am in need of size 6-slim girls shorts and pants with adjustable waists, if anyone has a truckload to spare!

Emma's favorite colors are still red, blue, pink and purple, although the two p's are gaining momentum. Influenced by two other p's — peer pressure — perhaps?

Her favorite foods include cereal, Jell-o, fish sticks, chicken nuggets, cheese, ice cream (especially chocolate dipped Dairy Queen cones), Miss Mary Lou's mashed potatoes (and no one else's), and anything resembling a "treat."

By some miracle, she will still eat broccoli. The only pasta she eats are the noodles in chicken noodle soup, which she pretends are worms. She reneged on her promise to Grandma that she would eat macaroni and cheese when she turned 4.

Favorite activities include playing dress-up (she has almost as many dress-up clothes as she does regular clothes), playing outside with friends, having books read to her, watching cartoons, making pretend "stew" out of anything and everything, cooking (for real, with us or Grandma), singing, dancing, "helping" in any capacity, and digging for worms.

Emma has a temper, and she also has learned how to take deep breaths to calm down. She is quick to pass along this tool to any adult who blows his top in her vicinity.

Emma enjoys being helpful. "Can my help?" is a common phrase around our house. She also seems just as tickled to give gifts as to receive them.

She is a keen observer and listener to the goings-on in her environment. She listens and comments on both the lyrics and the musical instruments she hears on her favorite CDs. When riding in the car, she questions me about road signs constantly. Her road-sign know-how has become quite useful — she always points out when a road may be slippery and if a deer may be crossing! She loves the chatter of birds and the purring of our cat, Lucy. But she has an intense dislike of loud noises — she runs from the room if you turn on the vacuum, the blender or the coffee grinder, for instance.

She has picked up an annoying habit of responding with "I don't care" when I say something like, "Your shoes are on the wrong feet" or "Your toys are all over the floor." I tell her I don't like her tone, but I also am learning to forgo stating the obvious and just cut straight to the chase (e.g., "Pick up your toys, please.") I also am trying to let certain things go; the shoes, for instance, should be a non-issue.

Emma has pet names for every member of the household. I have been dubbed "Nonny." Dave is "Diddy." Grandma is "Gamma." Ben (the dog) is Benny. And Lucy is Lukie.

Her best friends are Taylor (at preschool), Elliot and Matthias (sons of my friends), and Brooke, the 9-year-old neighbor girl. She also is in pure awe of her 7 1/2-year-old cousin, Ethan.

She is going to marry Ryan or Kaleb (at preschool), at which point, she declared, she will have to leave us forever. But we can come visit.

Thank goodness.


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