William & George: 4 Years Old


Wow, this is so overdue. It's been such a busy couple of months and I've been trying so hard to get to bed before 10pm to try to catch up a bit, even if it means putting off things I would love to check off the to-do list. I've been putting off this post in particular because I know it will take so long to write. I love to try to capture everything about the boys for that age and unfortunately I haven't been doing a good job at noting down all the funny things they say and do. But that's okay, I'll remember what I can and try to capture them in this moment... before they're four-and-a-half!

Just last week they finished their first year of preschool. They've grown so much, physically and developmentally, but it does also feel like the year flew by. So much of it was adjusting to life with Coco at home that before I knew it, she's a year and they're four years old.



They adjusted well to school and their end-of-year progress reports reflect growth in every single category. We've been assured that they play with other kids, but often find their way back to each other. Their best buddy is Roch and we've had some playdates with him. It's so fun to watch them with kids, really playing together now, being leaders, protecting each other. A few months back, both went through a phase where they didn't want to get out of the car at school. It wasn't terrible, but we came up with a plan that if they got out nicely the first time they were asked, they would get an extra book at bedtime. Eventually it just wasn't an issue anymore. I think they liked school, they would always have fun stories, but I wouldn't say they love school. They would much rather it be a weekend when they can be home with Mom and Dad.

Miss Katherine notes that William often starts his day in the block area, incorporating other items to build garages for cars, houses for wooden people, etc. He often spends time in the art area and is 'particularly interested whenever there is a cooking project.' He also loves roof time, riding bikes or playing with the big blue imagination blocks, which he often takes a leadership role in directing construction. She says he's great about turn-taking too, and loves playing chase. He's an active participant in group time and spends a lot of his free choice time on self-directed fine motor activities and 'has shown proficiency in this area of development'.



 

George also likes to start the day in the block area and allows space for others to join. He is quick to respond when asked to clean up and tidies his area before moving on to the next activity. He spends a lot of time in the dramatic play area, utilizing various props, toys and costumes.  'He loves having a class room job and asks each week if he is the line leader, snack host or class helper. George enjoys rooftop time and runs with a big smile to see which toys are out on any given day.' He also enjoys art and has been practicing his name on the sign in sheet. 'He shows a great deal of interest in the natural world and science projects, especially the planting and gardening units.' He still spends a lot of time with William but has become much more independent and has created his own friendships.

EAT: We've gone through lots of ups and downs with food and while I definitely wished they ate more variety, I do feel they've improved since we started on our new plan back in January. George has a handful of fruits he'll eat, William continues to eat as many different fruits as we offer. It's very slow progress with veggies, but overall, I think they're willing to try new things more often which has led to a slightly bigger variety of foods consumed. We stopped using their milk cups when they turned 4 as G was drinking way too much, but we actually just gave it back to him but only fill it up once a day. W, on the other hand, never drinks milk anymore but has accepted having yogurt added to his oatmeal as a replacement. G continues to eat ridiculous amounts of meat, W not so much but I think he's still getting plenty of protein. They've done well with the one-treat-per-day idea. I'd say breakfast is their best meal of the day. It's pretty crazy that we'll sit down sometimes before 7am and it will be after 8am and they'll still be actively eating. It's kind of a pain for me because I'm making a multi-course meal, but they eat most, if not all, of it so despite the mess, I'm glad they're at least off to a good start. They like toast with butter and honey, waffles, fried or scambled eggs, cold cereal with berries, oatmeal with yogurt and berries and usually we save pancakes and French toast for the weekend. I always have high hopes of serving one dinner and everyone eating it and we've made some progess with that, but I think, at least recently, we've taken the battle out of it which makes a huge difference. They could be worse eaters, that's for sure.





Turkey bone at the fair!

SLEEP: Sleep has been fine. William continues to nap here or there, maybe a couple of days a week, and still has no problem going to bed at regular time. George naps very rarely, but then has a harder time going to bed and is up at least an hour later. Bedtime has generally been pretty good, with the occasional trip downstairs to settle them down. It helps that William is usually so tired that he goes right to sleep and even when G doesn't nap, he often will still play around or read in bed for a bit. They don't always sleep until sun clock comes up at 6:50, but they do stay downstairs which is good enough for me. William has started having some bad dreams, though the 'bad dream catcher' we put together just before bedtime last week seems to be doing the trick for now.



PLAY: It's so fun to see everything they can do now, most impressive is the fact that they can ride two-wheelers! Without training wheels! Dave gave them their new bikes (their 4th birthday present) on his birthday a few weeks before theirs since we were going to be out of town for their big day. He took them to the park to test it out and then sent me a video of them riding... I was almost mad, I wanted to be there for that! But he said he was so surprised that they both literally got it within 15 seconds of trying. The balance bikes they got for their third birthday really did pay off and they had no problem getting the hang of balancing and pedaling. Dave did a bunch of research and got woom bikes, 2 different size and got hand brakes only so they never had to transition from back-pedal brakes. It took them about a month of practicing before Dave was confident enough in their ability and took them over to Golden Gate Park to ride. They do great! I guess they get so many comments as they ride by. Plus, Dave has his bike all set up so he can tow their two bikes on the side of his over to the park and then they can each ride their own bike in the park.



Imagination play was so big at the beginning of the year and they still like that (and it sounds like it's one of both of their favorite areas at school), but the last few months they seem more interested in building. They've gone back to duplos a lot, or building 'Jessica traps' with pillows and blankets or various houses, buildings, etc with magnatiles and wood blocks. Puzzles were so huge shortly before their birthday -- G was doing his map puzzle multiple times a day -- and that's totally dropped off in the last month.



I would say their favorite things to do with Dad are taking their pedal bikes out, sweeping/cleaning the backyard and watching shows. With me, we have our book time every night and otherwise they're pretty independent. We've been going swimming as a family many Saturday afternoons which I think they really enjoy. If Coco is awake, they (especially George) always want to be near her. Art was such a hit a few months ago but we haven't had the art cart out nearly as much lately.



Stats:
William
weight: 34lb (30.5lbs 1 year ago)
height: 39.25 inches (36.5 inches 1 year ago)
shoe size: 9
clothes: 3T generally is fitting well but he is starting to outgrow some of the pants

George
weight: 43lbs (39lbs 1 year ago)
height: 42.75 inches (39.5 inches 1 year ago)
shoe size: 10
clothes:  mostly 5T, a few 4T depending on the brand




To my boys... Four years old. It's weird, I think I've always loved you becoming more independent and love the freedom it allows us, which I feel like I didn't have for so long since I had two of you. But now I feel like this is sort of the beginning of the end. This time next year you'll be preparing for kindergarten and I think I'm now starting to realize how quickly it really does go by. It's so hard in the beginning, even long past the early baby days. Each phase has it's perks and challenges, but unfortunately I think there are only short windows of it being just fun and (somewhat) easy before you're off to school all day long and my time with you becomes more limited. I feel so lucky that we have various people around to help so that I do get to spend quality time with each of you. It was so fun to go to the recycling center, pixieland and park with you in the East Bay last week and made me miss that we don't have more days like that together. But I know that's not how it would be if we did so I think for now, taking advantage of the weekends, weekday afternoons here or there and other special days out makes for a good balance.

Berry picking
Pixieland

Recycling Center!

While you're both so independent now, the current challenges we're seeing are 4-year old tantrums (I think they're worse than 2-year old tantrums because we know you can communicate now but that doesn't seem to help) and the constant struggle of keeping things fair. We hear all day long, 'but that's not fair, George xxx' or vice versa. I think we're at a point now where there are things we will try to keep even, but they need to figure out that a lot of things in life just aren't going to be even despite you being twins, the same age, etc. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to handle this. There's also been a new dynamic of George the tattle-tale and William the instigator which is a work in progress as well.

  • You had your first sleepover at Ma's hotel! Well, G only made it until 9pm before getting sick and throwing up, but I have no doubt he would've made it.
  • When W gets mad, he says through gritted teeth, 'I'll never play with you again!' (even to kids at the park he doesn't know, as I've witnessed) or 'I'll never let you kiss me again!'. So now G immediately says, 'I'll always play with you and kiss you!', also through gritted teeth. 
  • W offered a Sam and G offered a monkey to Coco since we need to get her a friend to sleep with.
  • You guys loved the tater tots at WesBurger (so good!) and always ask when we can go back there.



heading for our first sleepover at Ma's hotel

George...
You're becoming so independent and are so proud of yourself when you're able to do new things. I couldn't believe it the day you came upstairs and showed me that you had buttoned up your whole shirt, correctly. I didn't know you could do a single button and to see you do the whole thing was so cool. You were so proud. Although you can be a bit overbearing, you absolutely adore your sister. When you get hurt, you no longer cry for Daddy, but instead run to get a hug from Coco. You tell her constantly how much you love her and practically smoother her in hugs and kisses. It's strange to say that I can physically see how much you love her, but it's true. You continue to go through various obsessions. For a while, you would do your map puzzle multiple times a day. You even had puzzle city set up downstairs with all kinds of puzzles completed. Most recently, you've been obsessed with 'the manners' book, a Richard Scarry Please and Thank You book with various rules and manners. Not that you actually follow what's said in the book, but you love reading it nonetheless. Your energy is unrivaled, even after dropping naps. William usually still beats you to sleep, even when he's napped. It's still hard for me to believe how big you're getting. You're already past my belly button and up to my waist now. I feel like I'm going to blink and you'll be taller than me, just like your cousin Kyle is taller than Aunt Jen.

our buttoned shirt!
helping W with his shirt


Choosing your own clothes, Yellow Man!


  • You were still hungry after 3 slices of pizza and our medium pizza was gone. William had a full slice left but offered to trade his full slice for 3 of your leftover crusts. 
  • We're reading Treasure Island and there's plenty of talk of rum so you guys keep asking questions despite my various explanations -- it's an adult drink, it's alcohol, it's kind of like wine. You kept asking why the Captain was drinking rum and not water and I said, 'I don't know, he's a sailor'. Then you said, 'maybe he gets tired of looking at water all day so he doesn't want to drink water.'
  • One night you were asking about whale sounds since you had it on your sound machine. You said 'whales talk through water and we talk through air'. 
  • You ask the best questions, never just 'why?', but very specific questions and often you end up offering your own thoughts before I can answer.


William...
Recently you've been much more willing to try new foods and are trying to grow taller. This is getting a bit tricky, the older you guys get, the bigger the size gap between you and George. We try to focus on other things, but we've been at various amusement parks lately and it's definitely created a big issue when G is tall enough to ride. We were at the fair the other day and both of you were tall enough for the 2-person motorcycles but we didn't realize until you got on the ride that only G was tall enough to ride in the front seat/drive the motorcycle. You were devastated! Next, Dad took you on the huge slide that you go down on riding a sack. G kept winning the race, being heavier, he had  more momentum. So apparently Dad held G's sack to let you get a head start and you were so excited to be winning, until you came to a stop as it leveled out, but before the end... and G just flew by you to the finish line. You were so mad! You've had growing pains here and there, that have actually woken you up at night and required medicine to get you back to sleep. You've also started having nightmares, so we built dream catchers and that seemed to help. Your nightmares were about wolves, which is sort of funny, since you've been obsessed with wolves lately. When you're in a good mood or excited about something, it's the best. You have a huge smile and eyes that light up. When you're tired, you get a high voice and are in a terrible mood. You still need a lot of sleep and even with a nap some days, are still begging G to be quiet so you can go to sleep. Although you like to push your brother's buttons lately, you are still the sweet boy who gives in to G when he's throwing a fit and wants something you have. You make my heart melt when you compliment me by telling me how pretty I look anytime I'm dressed up. You are definitely the guy who's going to notice when his girlfriend gets her hair cut. I don't get to witness it as often as I did previously since you're at school now, but I love to witness you interacting with other kids. You're definitely extroverted and get so much energy out of being around others. It's so fun to watch you grow!

Choosing your own clothes, Green Man!


  • A few months ago you decided that you didn't need to wear a nighttime pull up anymore. You had a few dry nights, then two wet nights and then you've been dry since.
  • One day after soccer, you had a birthday party at the park so you got to miss quiet time, do the jumpy house, have cake etc. We had a haircut that night and on the way, I was asking you about the party and you weren't really answering about the cake, though G did. Finally I said, 'do you think I won't let you get a lollipop after the haircut since you already had cake at the party?'. You said yes and when I said I'd still let you, finally admitted to having cake.
  • If I (or someone else) does something you don't like, you say, 'God's not gonna give you any Christmas presents!!'




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