And just like that, our little boy has turned four. As cliche as it sounds, it still feels as though it were just yesterday that I gave birth to him. I can still vividly remember everything that happened, and how overwhelmed I felt when we first brought him home. I remember how I worried about every single little thing (and I still do!), but most of all, I remember how thankful I was that we were finally able to be parents.
This year, we couldn’t really plan ahead at all, because we weren’t sure if we were even going to be able to celebrate his birthday, since we didn’t know when the twins would arrive. Thankfully, they’re still staying put inside, and we were able to do a simple celebration in N’s school. He likes quite a few characters these days, and picked a ‘Finding Dory’ cake from Bengawan Solo after much deliberation.
Hmmm… Zootopia or Finding Dory?
The cake caused a bit of drama because I somehow managed to write down the wrong collection date for the cake, and only discovered my mistake when we went to collect the cake on Thursday night, only to be told that I had ordered it for Friday night instead. I freaked out, but the staff at Bengawan Solo was really helpful, and called the factory to check if the cake had already been made. I was so relieved to hear that it was ready, and took a cab down to the Woodlands factory early on Friday morning to collect the cake directly. Thank goodness that C had just gotten home from JKT that morning, so I could leave N at home with him, while I went on the super long taxi ride to get the cake.
N was really excited that both of us were going to school with him to celebrate his birthday, and was in such a good mood the entire day. We were almost late for school, because there was a terrible jam outside his school, but we made it just in time for him to join the daily birthday celebration on stage in the school hall. I like that the birthday children take turns to thank everyone, and that the staff prays for all of them at the end of the song. C and I went off for a quick lunch after that, before returning to celebrate N’s birthday with his class during lunch.
The cake that was way too big for the kids to finish
N with his cake
This year, I didn’t have much energy or time to think of something interesting for his goodie bags, unlike last year, when I made personalised name blocks for his classmates. I got some brown paper bags and sticker books from Daiso, and ordered some organic lollipops from iHerb. N’s job was to decorate the brown paper bags with Do-a-Dot markers and stickers, but after working on just four, he declared, “This is crazy boring, mummy.” *rolls eyes* I had to turn it into a competition between the two of us, in order to get him to finish decorating all the paper bags!
Decorating the paper bags
Can you tell which one I decorated?
Factory worker filling up the goodie bags
On his actual birthday, we kept things simple by bringing him to an indoor playground with my nephew, and having a small family dinner, since N shares the same birthday as my mum. I secretly wrote him a birthday note from Tiger, and left it at the foot of his mattress for him to discover when he woke up that morning. Last year, I wrote him a story based on his adventures with Tiger, but this year, I couldn’t get my act together to do anything special. He was really happy with it, and kept exclaiming over how beautiful it was, which made me really pleased with myself for being able to make him believe that Tiger gave him the note. Then, he said, “How can Tiger do this? I think you did it, Mummy.” I tried convincing him that Tiger did it on his own, and N said the note was “so beautiful” and that “Tiger writes so nicely”, but after a while, he reiterated, “I don’t think Tiger did it, Mummy.” Sigh. When did four-year-olds become so cynical?
The note “from Tiger”
Reading the note with Tiger
Posing with Tiger
They held hands everywhere they went
N has been very blessed to receive presents from some of his ex-classmates, and even one of my readers. We’re trying to teach him to wait, so he doesn’t get to open all the presents on the same day. He’s been pretty good about it, though he was so excited over his birthday weekend that he kept waking up earlier than usual, and asking if he could open a new present. C and I got him the Lego space shuttle that he has been eyeing for ages, and he was soooooo happy! We’re taking our time to build it together, and I love how serious N is when he’s putting the Lego pieces together.
Thrilled to finally get his space shuttle
With the first completed set
I’m so glad that we managed to celebrate his birthday this year, and that we had such a lovely weekend together. Things are going to be very different soon, and I hope he will remember how much fun we had together for his fourth birthday!
I also recorded some little bits of information about N at his age on my Dayre, and thought I’d put them down here too.
N at Four Years Old
N is still the happy baby that he was when he was born. When he wakes up on his own, it’s usually with a smile, and when he sees me these days, he greets me cheerfully with a sweet “Good morning, mama!” We hug, and he often says, “I love you so so much!” or “You’re my sweet darling mama!”
He is generally good-natured, and loves to play, especially with others. He prefers to play with someone, rather than alone. When he’s alone, Tiger is usually roped in to play with him. He still plays a lot with cars, but recently, he’s been more into rockets and trains.
There’s lots of running and jumping around these days, and I keep having to tell him not to jump so much, because he’s quite clumsy. Luckily, he doesn’t cry that easily when he falls or bumps himself, unless it really hurts.
N is very sociable, and interacts with anyone and everyone he meets. He isn’t usually shy, though he occasionally takes time to warm up. He loves talking to random strangers and even animals. One of his favourite people is our postwoman, and he runs to talk to her whenever he sees her at the letterboxes. I suspect it’s because he knows she’s the one who brings all his books that I buy online! I do feel awkward when he asks questions loudly about the people we meet, but that’s what kids do, right?
His favourite activity to do with me is read, and he’s always asking if I can read “just one more book” to him. He still hasn’t shown any interest in learning to read on his own, and I’m quite clueless about how to go about teaching him phonics so that he can read independently. I’ve been trying to make him do more “work” these days, but it’s been tough. I don’t want to kill his love for learning, so sometimes, we just do fun activities instead.
N still doesn’t eat very well on his own, and is still quite a fussy eater. We’ve been encouraging him to just try a bite of whatever “new” food he comes across, and sometimes, he does, and finds that he actually likes it. His favourite food is still sushi, and he loves going to Japanese restaurants. He also likes udon, but it must be plain. The Yoshinoya kids’ meal is also a hit with him, and he finishes that in record time. He often requests to have “crispy wantan” from Din Tai Fung, and eats them with plain noodles. He likes macaroni, salmon, corn, and broccoli, so he can eat that combination every day if I cook it for him. I guess he’s not very adventurous with food? When we eat out or tabao, he usually asks for fishball kway teow, or yong tau foo with fishballs, egg, and broccoli. He loves eggs too, and can eat them at every meal if I let him. Some mornings, I make scrambled eggs for his breakfast, because he won’t eat anything else.
N is easily amused, and laughs crazily at slapstick humour. I think his fav cartoon at the moment is the minions, because they talk funnily, and there’s quite a bit of slapstick comedy in the movies that he’s seen of them. He likes to try and tell us jokes that are not funny, then asks, “Do you like my joke? Funny right? You laugh.” The good thing is that he is satisfied even if we just say, “Haha.” but I do feel silly saying that.
N still loves to be hugged and cuddled. He needs to snuggle with me before he takes a nap or sleeps at night, and this is something that I love doing with him too. I don’t know when he will outgrow this, so I better enjoy all the “I want to snuggle with you first” while I can! I love holding his little hand and walking with him. I wish I could carry him, and hold him close to me, but I can’t, so I make up for it by hugging him tightly as often as possible.
Blessed fourth birthday, my little darling! May you continue to be cheerful and good-natured. We pray that God will continue to watch over you, and give you good health. Daddy and Mummy love you more than you can ever imagine.