Coming Into the Clear That Is Age 4


We never had the terrible twos, but boy did we have a threenager. Year three is sort of when I found myself no longer able to be the mom I wanted to be, if I’m bold enough to admit it. It was during this year that I messed up and broke my personal no-yelling rule for the first time and it was this year that I felt like I was failing more often than I felt like I was succeeding. Year three was my first really hard year as a mom and I held on hopefully but not too hopefully to the rumors that age four was when everything gets better.

As it turns out, age four is very special. My husband and I both noticed a distinctive change in our daughter about two weeks before her fourth birthday. She was much more patient and understanding with others, and exerted true empathy. This new-found maturity means she is truly kind, and it’s so incredibly sweet to watch.

I care for an elderly family member with my daughter in tow. It has been incredibly challenging to balance both of their needs. Up until these recent changes, I felt completely paralyzed as they both yelled at me (my grandmother is suffering from dementia in her old age) and I struggled with guilt on both sides.

We hadn’t visited since COVID hit, so it could have had to do with that, but our last visit was such a welcome breath of fresh air. My newly-turned four-year-old spoke kindly to her great-grandmother, remained patient when the old woman couldn’t quite understand or hear her, and she even handled social distancing protocols well, enforcing the no-kissing rule without either side getting upset. Thank. God.

I know it’s only been two weeks since her birthday, but I have a feeling that this year is going to be a good one.



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