The US is preparing for a festival of fireworks, but 4th July in our family is all about Charlie. Today he turned 4. He asked if he could go to a restaurant for dinner - "the one near the Opera House." This is Pancakes at the Rocks, not Bennelong. However, it was still a monumental effort, because it required a train trip and a ferry ride (the latter just for amusement, not transport). I would have dismissed it entirely, but he asked nicely, and I just can't resist Charlie when he asks nicely. Good thing it doesn't happen often.
So now he's 4. He's his own man, needs his space and makes his own decisions. That last point is rather critical just at the moment. We aren't so much parenting him as managing him. If he feels that someone else has made a decision for him, he screams "NO!" and refuses to co-operate, even if he actually agrees with the decision.
On the other hand, he's endlessly amusing, incredibly cuddly and just so...strange. He's also slowly making that transition to independence - mostly dressing himself and so on, but still occasionally feeling the need to babied.
I'm looking forward to this year. 3 is not a great year, the whinge turns on and doesn't seem to have an off-switch. 4 is all about getting more control over yourself, and I suspect the Charlie we will see by the end of this year will be a very different kid. I'm pretty sure I adore the person he wants to be, but just doesn't have the self control to make it happen.
Happy Birthday Charlie Bear, we love you to bits and can't wait to see who you'll be this year.