Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Developmental update at 4 years old

I still can't wrap my head around the fact that Tristan is 4 years old. When it comes to small children, every year that goes by is astronomical! Tristan is so different and so much bigger now. As adults we may age but we are pretty much no different than we were a year ago. For kids, it really is astronomical. Throwing kids huge birthday parties may seem excessive but it's such a huge milestone that I really love doing it. Tristan's construction party was his biggest party yet! It will be hard to top that one. Parents tell me that kids grow out of the parties as well and they don't get excited about them much as they get older. Right now all the kids are so young and excited and that makes me even more excited to throw a birthday party! One day, we can all look back on all these special occasions with fond memories. The experiences are priceless :)


Showing his white teeth after a dentist cleanup.
Tristan is a little person who you can have clear conversations with. His pronunciation of letters is improving all the time. Anyone can understand him most of the time. He used to have problems saying the sound of "f" but now it's fine.

He is developing his own personality but a lot of Jean-Louis and I are in him as well. He copies us and often says "aw, man!" "that is so cool!" and "what the hell?" It's not the best thing but we don't swear (or at least I never) so you will never hear him say anything worst than "hell."

He can seriously listen to you and understand what you tell him, if you have his full attention. I had a conversation with him about how bad it is to eat things that are burned such as burned toast. I told him it tastes awful and it can also lead to cancer and cancer could lead to death. The first time I told him that it just stuck with him. He knows that I yell every time his dad eats burned toast and so when Tristan sees this, Tristan tells his dad not to eat it because he will die.

When I explain something to Tristan, he repeats what he learns to his dad. He explained to Jean-Louis how some of the African's have no money and no food to eat and that is why they have no meat on their bodies. We do not want to waste food here because we are lucky to be eating so well. That was the lesson there :)

Tristan sucks at keeping secrets. I have told him plenty to test him and so far he has only kept one or two. He blabs to his dad all the time!

Tristan's signature.

He can write his name and copy his phone number. He remembers his phone number from memory as well. He can read numbers well but he gets a few letters mixed up. He also gets French and English pronunciation of letters mixed up some times.

Tristan likes to talk. Some times there is no shutting him up. He's your typical little 4 year old! Blah, blah, blah. But it's so entertaining and he has such a sweet and innocent voice :)


Dining with him has been great lately. He is eating a bit more now but I think he is still under eating for his age. He eats everything we give him. If he doesn't like it much, he still eats it because he knows he has too. For instance, he doesn't really like bittermelon so we don't give him much but he will still eat what we give him. I love bittermelon :)

Being goofy with a funny looking carrot.

He just left his highchair this week! I know we took forever doing this but it was only because he was making such a huge mess. We don't feed him at all and he had to prove to us that he could sit at the table on a regular chair and not make a mess. This week, we had plenty of water spills on the table and on the floor :( One time it was milk too. He still wears a bib to protect his clothes. We may lose the bib soon, depending on how it goes. Then again, even Jean-Louis still wears something on his body to protect his clothes. Ahem.


Tristan sleeps from 9 or 9:30PM to 7:30 or 8AM. That is about the same as usual. He went from not napping at daycare to going back to naps. When he is home with me, he doesn't nap at all. We put him down earlier around 8:30PM or so.

Physical Development

Tristan is 37 pounds. We are looking forward to when he is 40 pounds so we can put him in a booster seat in the car. That should make things a lot easier.

Tristan is around 40 inches (or 102 cm) tall. He is finally tall enough to reach the bathroom sink to wash his hands if he tippy toes. We still have to carry him for the kitchen sink. He is also tall enough to turn on any light switch in the house. I believe at 40 inches tall, he is now tall enough to go on Disneyland rides! Assuming he is brave enough to go on them.

Tristan is wearing anything from 3 to 5 year old clothes. The 5 year old clothes need folding in the sleeves and pants but they don't look overly huge. For clothes that are 3 years old, we just let him wear them as undershirts under bigger shirts. It's cold right now so the smaller shirts are coming in handy! Since he is short, 3 year old pants are just the right length.

Potty Training

Tristan still pees in his pull up at night. At one point he went almost 2 weeks dry at night. We thought that was the end of pull ups but we were wrong. He just went 4 nights dry and then peed again. Since he is our only child, we haven't felt the urgency to push him much. Now that he is 4, we are having more conversations with him about this because he can understand more. Hopefully he will decide to stop all pull ups soon.

During the day, we can trust him to go potty by himself. He pees and washes his hands by himself. When he has to poo, we normally go assist him.


Tristan is a fun and imaginative child. He likes to pretend play and he tells crazy stories or sings funny tunes all the time. We sort of do that ourselves so he definitely gets some of it from us.

When he does something bad and we yell at him, he gets mad and tells us that he will hide under the table and never come out again. We need to control our yelling some times but he is going through a time where it is some times really hard to get him to listen and do what we tell him to do. He likes to stall things he doesn't want to do right away such as go to bed.

Tristan is a very fortunate child. We shower him with nice toys and great food all the time and I'm not sure if he is spoiled or not but some times he forgets how lucky he is. When we go to the store, he some times asks us to buy him things. I tell him that I don't like it when he asks for things and that really nice and good boys don't ask. Good boys just get things some times. I tell him it's okay to tell us what he likes and show us but don't ask us to buy it. Now when we are at the store, he grabs toys and brings it to me and says "this is really cool." See? He's learning!

Lately, we have found that he has been over opinionated and stubborn a lot. For instance, when he doesn't want to put on his coat himself and wants us to, we could be standing there arguing for 10 minutes. Sometimes we are able to convince him to do it but other times, he will throw a tantrum. Yes, a tantrum! We haven't seen these sorts of tantrums since the terrible twos. Luckily, these don't occur as often and don't last as long as the terrible two tantrums. It's still pretty awful though :(

Tantrums aside, I think Tristan is at the age where he can be a lot of fun to be with. He is mature enough to have conversations with and smart enough to rely on for help some times. He corrects us many times when we talk to him and we don't even realize we made a mistake. He likes to be useful so he helps where he can with things around the house. For instance, he helps set the dining table and this past weekend he helped put up decorations on the Christmas tree. He did break an ornament along the way though. It was the first one we ever broke:( Oh well. It could have been worst.

Tristan is very affectionate. We shower him with kisses and hugs and tell him we love him all the time and he does the same to us. His grandparents in France noticed how affectionate he was when we were in France this past Spring as well. I hear that kids grow out of this affectionate phase so I want to enjoy it as long as I can :)


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