Dear M, Now You Are Four

May 23, 2020

I think I’ve probably started every birthday letter to you in a similar way, but I cannot believe that you are four! You are becoming more and more grown up every day. I’m so pleased that I have written these letters to you each year, to record how you have grown into the wonderful person that you are.

A year ago, I couldn’t have begun to imagine that we’d be spending your birthday this year in lockdown. It’s such a strange time but you’re doing so wonderfully well. You are living in your own little bubble of princesses and butterflies! Earlier this week, we went for a little walk down a disused railway line. It was such a special time, just us as a family, strolling in the sunshine and listening to the birds in the trees. You skipped along, chattering away, conjuring up a fantasy that the path would lead to a princess.

You’re obviously disappointed that you’re not able to spend your birthday with your grandparents and your friends, but you’ve already made plans for your ‘number five birthday’ as well as birthdays number six, seven and eight, and invited them all already! Lots of your friends and the adults from preschool have sent you birthday video messages, and we’ve arranged to FaceTime your grandparents to show them all of your presents, which I hope you’ll love.

You’ve been counting down the days until this birthday since you heard Joe Wicks say that it was 1st May on his P.E. with Joe workout. “May!” you said, “that’s my birthday!” Unfortunately after that, each morning when you woke up, you expected it to be your birthday, not understanding that you needed to wait until the 23rd. But we made a birthday calendar together and stuck it to your bedroom door, and since then you’ve diligently ticked off each day, counting the number of sleeps until your special day.

B is also very aware that it’s your birthday, now that she’s two. “You’ve already had your number three birthday,” she explained at dinner the other night, “but you haven’t had your number four birthday yet!” But now, here we are! You are four. I’m so pleased that you’ve got B to share your birthday with you. I’m sure you’ll have great fun playing with your new toys and exploring the craft activities that I’ve bought for you both to fill the day – princess and mermaid themed, of course! I have no idea where this princess obsession has come from as I’ve tried my best to take a gender-neutral approach to your toys, games and the activities we do together, but here we are! If you love it, then who am I to deny you?

In keeping with the princess theme, you’ve worn a pretend crown on your head for most of the past six weeks. Occasionally the crown is swapped for cat or Pudsey ears, but the crown is definitely your favourite, as you are utterly convinced that it transforms you into Princess Elsa. The other day you informed me, with complete seriousness, that you wanted to be Princess Elsa when you grew up, and inquired with me as to when you might expect to receive your magical powers.

Growing up is something that you approach with enthusiasm and great excitement. You are hugely excited to start school in September, happily oblivious to the fact that we have no idea if that will even happen in the way that we would hope or expect it to. For now, we are hoping for the best and you are excited to be shopping for your school uniform; online, of course! In preparation for starting school, you have been working hard on writing your name and have been starting to take an interest in letters and the sounds they make. You’re also a very keen mathematician, and can almost count all the way to thirty by yourself. You enjoy ‘activities’ that involve maths and like to solve addition problems, especially if they also involve princesses!

M, I love you, and I’m so proud of you and how your main concern for today is that you have a chocolate birthday cake. I know that we’re going to have lots of fun together at home, and I’m so looking forward to watching you learn and grow some more, now that you are four.

All my love, Mummy xxx

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