Four and One

How are we the parents of a four year old and a one year old? I feel like it still seems like just seconds ago they were newborn babies.

So, what have the four year old and one year old been up to? Let’s discuss!

Shortly before turning four, Chloë had her preschool graduation. Now, Chloë had been at the same daycare center since she was about nine months old, and while the other milestones (infant room to toddler program, toddler program to preschool) made me emotional, this one hit me hard. By the time the instrumental version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” started playing, I was practically bleeding from pinching myself in an attempt to hold back tears.

Chloë, like most kids at the graduation ceremony, wasn’t too fussed about the ceremony but loved that Mommy and Daddy were there and was quite happy that there were snacks served afterwards.

We started celebrating Chloë’s birthday in early August when a dinosaur event came to the city. If you don’t know, Chloë is our dinosaur girl. The lighting was terrible for taking photos or videos, not to mention we had a baby who didn’t want to be in the stroller (he wanted to be held and brought closer to the dinosaurs) and a preschooler who wanted to run from dinosaur to dinosaur without holding someone’s hand, so I didn’t capture much. I will say, we all had a lot of fun.

After the dinosaur event, we went to Build-A-Bear, where both kids got the Birthday Bear, and Chloë also got Chase from Paw Patrol. And from there, we went home because Chloë had picked out a beautiful cupcake pull apart cake and we couldn’t wait to eat it!

Chloë celebrated her actual birthday at Grandma and Grandpapa’s while Mommy and Daddy were away. I actually asked her the other day to tell me about her birthday (with today’s blog post in mind) and her response was, “I played with Lucy and Otis.” Is anyone else surprised she mentioned Otis?!

We received this picture of the birthday girl while we were away and all we could say was, “She looks so grown up!”

Now, Otis’ birthday got off to a dramatic start. I went to pick up his birthday cake and discovered I had given the woman making it the wrong date. It was an honest mistake. I’ll call it a typo, because clearly, I know my son’s birthday. Anyway, she was AMAZING. I think I arrived at her house at 10am, and she dropped the finished product off at our house at 5pm, so we still had it for our celebration! Chloë was a great big sister and helped Otis blow out his candle (and Daddy gently held his hands because I’m pretty sure he just wanted to touch the flame).

Like most one year olds, Otis had absolutely zero interest in gifts. Thankfully, his big sister was more than willing to help him open his presents and of course, now he’s happily playing with them.

Otis has been standing unassisted for quite some time and prior to Tom and I leaving for Europe he took the odd step here and there, but they always resulted in him falling onto his butt. He figured out walking while he was with Tom’s parents and is now practically running. I think his goal is to keep up with Chloë. Like his older sister, Otis also loves to climb.

While he’s not as talkative as Chloë was at his age, Otis is starting to figure out sounds and words. His first babble was “Dada” (despite my best efforts) and he’s now using that as a way to identify Tom. He can say “Mama” but it’s rare. I think he’s decided he doesn’t have to use my name because I respond to every sound he makes. He says “Baba” as a happy babble when he is playing or walking around. I’ll often hear “oh” and “ooo” while he is exploring. “Buhbuh” is his way of saying “bye bye” and he does it with a wave. His wave is absolutely adorable. Sometimes I get a “hi” or an “up”. And he is working on blowing kisses. We are convinced he has tried to say Chloë, as we heard “o e” while he was outside her bedroom door. He knows to shake his finger for “no no” and sometimes says “uh uh” for “uh oh”. And most recently, he came home from daycare and walked around the house making a high pitched “ahh” noise.

Both kids love going to the pool. Chloë was in swimming lessons for about a year and didn’t really enjoy them, but we recently got her a puddle jumper (controversial, I know) and we’re taking her to public swims and she’s really having fun. Otis, on the other hand, is a natural in the water.

Chloë recently completed a week of gymnastics camp and is back into lessons for the fall session. We had Otis in the gym at the end of August for a drop in session and much like swimming, he was fearless and I think that makes him come across like a natural. Both kids love the trampoline and Chloë discovered she loves jumping into the foam block pit! Right now she’s just jumping in from the side but she seems eager to try jumping from the platform.

While we were at the drop in, a little boy introduced himself to Chloë and then asked for her name. She responded, “I’m Chloë,” and then added, “And this is my mom, Marley.” Whatever happened to the days of Mama and Mommy?

On Labour Day, we took the kids to the Log Farm in Ottawa. While they both may look like miniature Toms, they definitely get their love for farms and animals from me! Chloë was especially delighted when I was able to scoop up a barn kitten for her to pet, and Otis couldn’t decide whether he liked the sheep or pigs the most.

And, most recently, Chloë started school. If you think she would pose for one of those first day of school pictures everyone else got of their children… think again. Thank goodness she’s cute.

The cherry on top of the cake has to be that they are slowly but surely starting to play together. Chloë discovered not too long ago that Otis is essentially a real live baby doll and started trying to put him down for a nap. He was less than impressed, especially since he had just woken up from a nap. I joked that ‘he liked it better when she just ignored him.’ For now, I count it as a win if they play peacefully in the vicinity of one another. But of course, my heart just melts when I catch Chloë trying to hold his hand, saying “I love you” or giving him a hug. It makes up for the times she pushes him or yells at him. Ha, ha.

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