I know I say this every year, but how is Baby KJ already four?
The last time I did a KJ update, he was three years old, and man, has he grown!
I know many of you have kiddos of a similar age and enjoy these posts, while others are only here for the food. If you’re only here for the food, then feel free to skip this one! Now onto the world of a fournado!
Sure, he’s a bit taller (not sure exactly how tall his well-check isn’t for another month), but he’s grown in his interests, capabilities, and role as a big brother. It’s been kind of incredible to watch. And while I miss his chubby baby arms and chubby baby cheeks, I also wholeheartedly enjoy this little less hectic phase of having a preschooler. He can do more independently but still needs or wants me close to him. He’s learning daily and absorbing the world around him like a sponge. It’s so much fun to be a part of! I read somewhere that you can miss the baby phase without necessarily wanting to go back. That’s how I feel about KJ, I miss his chubby baby face, but I appreciate witnessing him grow up!
Birthdays and Dinosaurs
He’s relishing in the dinosaur age right now. He knows all their names with surprising accuracy. He went through a heavy bug phase this summer but seems to be a little less interested now. But, he generally loves animals, particularly lizards and snakes and all the creepy crawly things. We threw him a dinosaur-themed birthday party, and he was in heaven! The party was small, just immediate family and godparents but so fun! He also got a bike for his birthday, but he’s still working on learning to pedal. In the meantime, he loves riding his plasma from last Christmas car around the block.
Here are a few of his current favorite things:
Favorite foods: burgers (plain, no bun, no sauce, nothing), bacon, eggs, healthy french toast and syrup, healthy waffles and syrup, rat potato sandwiches (grilled cheese with crushed-up tortilla chips in the middle), grilled cheese, cheese toast, grapes, blueberries, carrots, candy of all kinds, frosting (just like his mama)
Favorite toys: sponges, Love every color lab, kinetic sand and dinosaurs or trucks, plasma car, stickers, dinosaurs
Favorite shows: Dino ranch (Disney +), Octonauts (Netflix), Wild Kratts (PBS kids), and occasionally will watch Barney or Baby Einstein with his little brother.
Favorite books: Fish Out of Water, Little Blue Truck Christmas and Halloween, Tiny Little Fly, A Pet For Fly Guy, The Little Engine Who Could, Dinosaur Seek and Find, Gruffalo, Cactus Hotel, Stellaluna (he rotates his book choices each night, but those one seem to stick out over and over)
This year’s school picture is a keeper for sure! see below
As for favorite activities, it varies. He LOVES preschool and has flourished at his new school, although he sometimes talks about his old school. He occasionally stays for lunch and seems to enjoy that as well. He generally goes three days a week for 3 hours unless he stays for lunch, then it’s an extra 1.5 hours.
We still have him swim once a week, and he’s doing GREAT! He’s learning backstroke and swimming down to the pool’s bottom on his own. We also signed him up for a multi-sport class on Saturdays starting in January. We did a similar class last summer, and he was a quick learner but only mildly interested. So, we will see how it goes on the weekend with Daddy there. He seemed much more interested in soccer when Daddy joined him.
Speaking of baby Nora, KJ seems super excited to have another baby in the house. I’m not sure if he knows what he is signing up for, but I appreciate the enthusiasm. He has flourished in his role as big brother. There was a rough patch when KK started walking where he was very jealous and disliked KK anywhere around his toys, his room, or him. One day a couple of months after moving into our new house, it was like all of a sudden, he flipped. Suddenly, he invited KK into his room, started sharing his toys, and overall seemed to flourish in opportunities to be the “big brother,” such as helping him walk while holding his hands.
What caused this seemingly overnight change? I honestly don’t know. I have zero golden nuggets of wisdom, absolutely zero. Just persistence, respect for his boundaries and for ours, love, patience, and time. But every day after that, watching him flourish as a big brother has been a joy. He loves to show his little brother things, “feed” him, lead him places, help him, and more. That isn’t to say they don’t fight over toys (yes, KK fights back now) or whine, but it’s WAAAAAAAYYYYY less intense and frequent than it was. And now wrestling matches are happening on my living room floor with the boys and my husband. Every time I watch one, I thank my lucky stars. The boys have such a wonderful Dad because I don’t think I could fulfill that role. I mean, if I had to, but I prefer to watch the matches from the couch.
KJ has always been a strong-willed child. I said it in my last post at three years old. There is nothing like the birth of a second child to show you how unique the personality of your first is. Seeing how laid back his younger brother is only showing me how determined and strong-willed KJ is. And birth order has only reinforced that temperament in him. Nothing like taking a strong-willed child and giving them siblings to lead (read boss around) to reinforce that personality or temperament. But his parents are comprised of an only child and the oldest child, so he’s in good company. I remind myself daily that strong-willed children end up being CEOs, Surgeons, and other high achievers.
This section is for all the mamas who struggled with potty training. Speaking of a strong-willed child, man, this was tough. While initially, at 2.5 years old, it went well, it became a sort of power struggle. He had around one accident almost daily for a year (from small dribbles to large ones.) Eventually, I said enough is enough. I flipped the script and put all the decisions on him. If he had no accidents, he could have candy at the end of the night, and I stopped prompting him altogether (and I made everyone else stop prompting him.) PS I hate rewarding kids with candy because it teaches them to value candy above all else, but his value was already there, and it was the only thing he responded to (I tried many other items first.) It worked! Initially, our attempts at weaning him off the nightly treats did not go well. But, after consulting with Odette, the Potty Training Mama, she mentioned the value of the reward needs to go way up when you start the weaning process. So after some revamping there, we’re up to two weeks in between rewards, so we are getting there! He is still in pull-ups at night, and after listening to this podcast with a Urologist, I don’t plan to do any night training anytime soon. I’m planning on giving it a year since daytime just became consistent recently.
More KJ Posts:
- Dear Baby K – 4 months
- Dear Baby K – 5 Months
- Dear Baby K – 6 Months
- Dear Baby K — 7 Months
- Dear Baby K — 8 Months
- Dear Baby K — 9 Months
- Dear Baby K — 10 Months
- Deary Baby K — 11 Months
- Dear Baby K — 12 Months
- KJ – 18 Month Update
- KJ – 2-year-old update
- KJ – 2.5 year old update
- KJ – 3 year old update
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