Cloudy with a chance of a Fournado
“And now for tomorrow’s weather forecast. The morning will see heavy storms, with violent thunder and lightening, followed by unseasonably warm sunny breaks, a cloudy afternoon, a unicorn riding a rainbow, and a chance of a Fournado before nightfall.”
Have you been there? Have you got one? Four is feral. Four is ferocious. Four is fucking frightening.
I thought the threenage years were tough, but my Fournado brings a whole new level of WTF.
I roll through my days feeling punch-drunk, discombobulated. It’s the unpredictability that gets me – my darling four-year-old is a hot mess, with a mood that can change from ecstatic to enraged in seconds, for no good reason at all.
One minute she’s a joyous ray of sunshine, the next, a fiery dragon of outrage and despair. And why? Who knows! Her triggers seem ridiculous in their insignificance. An incorrect choice of plate. Not getting to press the button at the lifts. The wrong episode of her favourite show.
She is illogical, suspicious, stubborn, obstinate.
Big, angry tears fall. Far more tears than we had at three. There is much stomping of feet, throwing of toys. She rages, uncontrollable, for five minutes, sometimes 10, then – as suddenly as it started – the storm clears and my smiling angel returns.
“I love you, Mummy. I’m sorry I threw my plate at my brother. I love him too. He’s my favourite brother ever! I love everything. I especially love unicorns. I love farts, too. Do you love farts mum?”
She is charming, joyous, full of love.
Oh the love! She has so much love. I hear “I love you, Mummy” eleventy billion times a day, at a minimum. She is so full of love that sometimes it just explodes out of her and turns into tears. And then she’s sad, because she’s crying. Not crying because she’s sad mind you – but sad because she’s crying … because she’s happy.
It hurts my brain.
Four is funny
Hilarious, in fact. She has her stand-up act down pat, willing to do just about anything to get a laugh out of her audience, from mum and dad to an entire bus load of people. She’s a born performer, turning the aisle into a stage, singing and dancing to the cheesy supermarket music.
She loves to tell jokes, although is still getting to grips with what makes a good punch line.
“Knock knock Mummy!”
“Umm. OK. Poop who?”
“What? No. Just poop.”
If I could bottle the ensuing giggles I would make millions.
She argues with me about the slightest little thing. She wants to do the buckles of her car seat up herself. I brushed her hair the wrong way. She wanted the purple cup and not the pink cup .The sky is green, the grass is blue.
Her clever four-year-old brain can understand quite complex issues, but doesn’t seem to help out much in terms of regulating her emotions. She just has so. many. feelings! Living with a Fournado is like living in a house with someone experiencing permanent PMS. And, being four, she can now talk back in beautifully constructed sentences. The writer in me can’t help but be proud. *Pours wine*
Four is friendly
Far too friendly some might say.
“Hello!” she calls out the car window at unsuspecting passers-by. “I like your hair!”
Stranger Danger is a concept she just doesn’t get – to her a stranger is someone you just haven’t waved at yet. She smiles at everyone, stopping to chat with every man and his dog (especially his dog) as we wander through the shops.
She went from being a very shy three-year-old to this four-year-old politician, brimming over with confidence and a desire to connect with people. As a fairly introverted mum, it scares the crap out of me.
“You shouldn’t talk to strangers,” admonishes an old crone who is the recipient of her latest random conversation.
“You’re not strange, you’re just like my nanna!” It’s hard to fight her logic.
Four isn’t fair
Not a day goes by without several proclamations of how hard done by she is.
“It’s not fair!”
“It’s not my fault!”
“I didn’t do it!”
She points the finger at her two-year-old brother, who is so enamoured with her that he’ll happily accept the blame, regardless of the transgression he’s admitting to. The other day he confessed that he had destroyed my new lipstick, despite the bright red evidence as plain as day on her smug little face. Her powers of manipulation are impressive already; I’m terrified of the teenage years.
When she’s pissed at me she declares, “I hate you! You’re not my best friend anymore!” with such fervour that I fear she really means it. Until five minutes later, when she’s curled up in my lap promising her undying love. It’s hard to keep up with this Fournado.
Four is feisty
Despite tormenting her little brother on a daily basis, she is also as loyal and protective as a bulldog. If someone threatens him, or tries to intimidate him, she runs over in a flash, baring her teeth, throwing her weight around.
“That’s MY brother. You LEAVE HIM ALONE!”
She puffs her chest out and confronts kids much bigger than her, kids she’d never usually go near. The mother bear instinct is strong in this one.
Four is fleeting
It’s a roller coaster, this time of her life. It’s exhausting but exhilarating, hysterical and hilarious.
When we’re in the throws of a tantrum, or I’m trying to negotiate with this tiny dictator who just cannot see reason, I force myself to remember that this is just a phase, and soon enough things will level out and calm down again. She’ll be able to rein in her emotions, she’ll have more perspective, more understanding.
For now we’ll just roll with the crazy Fournado punches. Because out of everything that four is, most of all it’s fabulous.
This post was first published on Kidspot.