Raising Richmond: FOUR!

“What’s it like being four?” I asked my daughter. “Eckkk,” she said. Welcome to four!

My daughter is now four. I want to write something poignant about it, but it’s hard to be sentimental when life is the same. Still, I feel like we’re now in another bracket. No more being able to refer to her as a baby or toddler. I don’t need to bring spare clothes for her wherever we go. There are very few places that charge admission where she can get in for free now.1 The only real life changer is that I told her earlier this year that she could ride in the grocery store cart with the car on it when she turned four, but neither of us has mentioned it for months. Because of her crazy good memory, I expected her to run out of her room on her birthday morning shouting “CAR CART! CAR CART!” She didn’t. She did, however, run out shouting, “I’M FOUR!” and then, “I’M STILL FOUR” the next morning.

The past four years of her life have not gone by quickly. I don’t mean that in an exhausted or passive aggressive way. I mean that there’s been so much living and growing and doing packed into those 48 months that things like having a baby shower, dealing with two-hour stretches of sleep, first steps, and even her life pre-pre school, all seem like they happened a lifetime ago. Four years is a long time.

To commemorate her most recent age change, I decided to steal a page from my predecessor and tried to have a question and answer period during lunch at a Mexican restaurant.

— ∮∮∮ —

What is your favorite movie? 


What’s Cottontails

It’s the movie where you play in it. 

What’s your favorite TV show? 


What’s your favorite book? 


— ∮∮∮ —

She then refused to eat her ordered lunch, but then decided to take a tortilla, smear it with refried beans, crush tortilla chips on it, and then lap up her food like a cat. And I got so excited that she was trying something new even though she didn’t technically take a bite of anything.

Four is going to be a challenge, isn’t it? It’ll be a person-version of the rise of the machines. She’s getting smarter and more willful and she knows my limitations. She doesn’t like answering questions. Maybe I ask too many. But I want the answers, and I like her answers when they’re not “nothing.” What’s her damn favorite movie? I brought up the questions again a couple hours later.

— ∮∮∮ —

What’s your favorite movie? 


What’s your favorite book? 


What’s your favorite TV show? 

Jake [and the NeverLand Pirates]

What’s your favorite thing to do? 

Playing at the State Fair.3 

What makes you happy? 

Being kind.

What makes you sad? 


What’s your favorite food? 


You don’t like vegetables. 


What’s your least favorite food? 


What is your favorite pet? 


What’s your favorite comic? 


What’s your favorite comic in the newspaper? 


What’s your favorite color? 


What’s your favorite song? 


She stopped answering my questions again. Instead she asked me a string of good questions like, “what are TV stations?” and “why do we have TV?” Then she fell asleep for two hours.

After thinking about her unenthusiastic responses to my questions, I thought more about her questions. Recent ones include: 

  • Are kangaroos real? 
  • Are bad guys real? 
  • Why do people die? 
  • What are headaches? 
  • Is Nutzy real?4 
  • Why do we have houses? 
  • Why do we have beds? 

I can learn more about where she is in life by her questions than her answers. Her dad and I both like to explain things to her, no matter what the topic is or if she could possibly understand the answers.

The weekend after her birthday, we went to the grocery store and she immediately said “I’m four now so I can ride the car cart.” It was awkward, I couldn’t hear a thing she said, it made the checkout hard to maneuver, and I missed having her in front of me. She loved it, though.

This is four.

Photo by: jlz

  1. Unless it’s something specifically meant for babies, I don’t think children under three should be charged for a ticket for anything. 
  2. The Mamoko books are awesome! 
  3. If this is true then she has not had any fun since September 2013. 
  4. I don’t know why, but I held firm on the idea that Nutzy is real. 
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Kelly Gerow

Kelly Gerow lives and writes in Richmond. She probably does other stuff in Richmond, too.

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