Four is

It’s been over a month since Rachel and Claire turned four. All through the muckety muck of the thundering threes I kept my eye on this prize, looked for this light at the end of the hellish tunnel that was age 3.5 times two.

I had read about the half years, how children can experience disequilibrium and get thrown off balance mentally and maturity wise, while throwing you off your rocker.

Other twin moms kept me going with tidbits of encouragement. They’d been there. They were still alive. They seemed somewhat normal, and the nervous ticks from the traumatization looked to be wearing off. They assured me that it wasn’t specific to my kids. All kids were jerks at this age.

“Oh, 3.5 was terrible. But four? Four is glorious. It was like a light switch went off and poof! They were normal again.”

“Those moms who talk about the terrible twos… their kids must have not made it to three!”

“Keep wine and chocolate in stock at all times.”

“3.5 sucks. That is all.”

So about a month in, we’re looking pretty good. I tear my hair out less. I definitely like them more. Yelling may still be a daily function, but at least not an hourly one.

I’m noticing little changes in their behavior and maturity that’s showing all of the signs of something I have simultaneously yearned for and feared all at once: they’re turning into little girls.


Four is problem solving. It’s “We have to wear our swimming suits to swim!” and “Sissy! I’ll find your water cup!”

Four is learning to set the table, even if it’s just napkins and forks. We don’t really get fancy around here.

Four is offering me a sip of your juice at breakfast when you see that I am without.

Four is shedding of some of the baby fat, the emergence of skinny legs and slender arms. But please hang onto that little belly a while longer, if only to make me feel less alone in that area.

It’s “Where’s Rachel?” and “I need my Claire!”

It’s waking up agonizingly early and being rip roaring and ready to play.

So maybe four is when I will teach you to make coffee.

It’s when a 30 minute nap is enough to keep you up until 9pm.

So maybe four is also when you’ll learn to get Mommy a glass of wine.

Four is the magical world of pretend: superheroes, princesses, and baby spiders (WTF?). It’s dinosaurs, McQueen, Mater, Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony, all rolled into what would be one frightening Pixar endeavor.

It’s taking your Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash everywhere because they’re your favorites.

It’s reaching up and getting your own water from the dispenser. And pouring it in the sink. And getting more from the dispenser. And pouring it in the sink.

Four is loving preschool, making friends, and loving your teacher like she’s a member of the family.

It’s genuine pleases, excuse me’s and thank you’s.

It’s constant closeness, subtly interlaced fingers, and sweet heads placed in your sister’s lap.

Four is the constant push and pull. It’s playing together always, yet getting frustrated by the close quarters, yet not wanting to separate for even a minute. It’s having difficulty discerning the screams and whines from the laughs and squeals of delight.

Four is also a barrage of genuine feelings. “Mommy, I’m mad at you!” or “That makes me happy!” and my favorite, “Mommy, that’s not a choice!”

It’s the funny things that come out of your mouth. “Yeah! That’s a great idea! That’ll be awesome!”

And then the bizarre: “Daddy, are you going to take you penis too?”

It’s the soft stroking of hair, coupled with “Iss okay, Sissy…iss okay…” when you know she’s in trouble. It’s stealing glances to see what your best friend is thinking.


Four is whispers in bed about what we’re going to do tomorrow. It’s nuzzling of noses as we lay our heads together. It’s wiggles and squirms that slowly give way to deep breaths and soft snores as you fall asleep with your warm hand on my cheek.

Four is pure love. Random hugs. Heartfelt “Mommy, I loooooove you’s.”

It’s so much that I don’t want to forget, yet so much more than I can even write here.

But it’s pretty awesome.



Join the Conversation


    1. Hahahaha! It’ll get better. It’ll get worse first, but then it will get better.

  1. How sweet!! So there’s hope for me yet?? LOL Cheyenne is going to be 3 in a couple of weeks and she is already beginning to enter the brat phase. I have to admit she really didn’t experience the terrible twos like I thought she would. She has been very good up until just the last couple of months. So it’s good to know that at 4, they seem to mature a little and get easier, even if only a little. But first, I have to make it through the next year…maybe I’ll stock up on wine . Yelling has become more frequent around here and I am tring to find alternative ways to get my point across so she’s been spending a lot of time in time out, but kind of defeats the purpose when I warn her by asking if she wants to go to time out and she says “Yes!” Ugh. Although when I read your posts like this, I envy you having twins because of all the special “sissy moments” and double love. You are such a great mom and those little angels are growing up to be sweet little girls! Unfortunately, they have to go through some not so pretty phases first, but you got to love motherhood and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I love how one minute, I can be so mad and yelling as Cheyenne is on my last nerve, then all of a sudden, she will do something so cute that it brings tears to my eyes and makes all the mad go away. 🙂

    1. I think the frustrating and maddening times mixed in with the good ones are the hardest thing to grasp. I get so mad sometimes and then they just make it all ago away. Sometimes. 😉

  2. You really captured the art of motherhood here. You brought a tear to my eye with your sweet appreciation for the most important calling in the world – mother. Cherish, as I know you do, each moment and they will be lasting memories. You have some pretty great kids and you can be proud of them, I know I am. Love you.

  3. Someone asked me just yesterday what has been my favorite year so far (my twins are now 9). I could not for the life of me answer. To some extent it is all such a blur. But this clarified it perfectly. Four. I loved the age four. You captured it perfectly.

    1. Thank you Amy! I love hearing from moms of older kids who seem to have made it through with minimal emotional scarring. 😉

  4. I think this is one of the best posts you’ve written. So beautiful, the way you describe your girls and the way they are coming into their own. I love the pictures and the glimpse into your lives. Xo

  5. My daughter is four too and so many of your lines speak truths about her as well – especially the skinny legs part. Every time I look at her I see her baby self disappearing right before my eyes. I was just comforting a friend who is in the throes of 3.5 that four really is awesome.

    1. Hahaha it’s nice to be on the other side of that hill now. And yes — that picture that I took of Claire sitting in her chair at the table was when I looked at her and said, “OMG she’s a little girl!” So weird.

  6. I love this post so much. It reminded me of when my girls were little again and what I have to look forward to when my son is 4. Such sweet memories and a wonderful age for sure.

    1. I really think it is the best so far. We’re able to get out more and so more things without it being so much WORK.

    1. I think 5 will definitely be easier too. I hear there is a world of maturity gained between 4 and 5.

  7. Lori, something we figured out early on, and that our daughter’s kindergarten teacher hadn’t quite figured out (which surprised the heck out of us, because otherwise she was an incredibly awesome teacher!) is, never offer an option you don’t want the kid to take. If the kid chooses the punishment option, that’s her choice.

  8. Oh, I got misty eyed reading your descriptions of age four with your girls. This is beautiful. I wish I had started something like this earlier. I love the idea of describing them at an age.

    It definitely got a whole lot easier at four for me too. I can’t imagine my daughter times two at 3 years old. Twin moms have a special place in heaven. =)

    1. Hahaha! man alive it was tough some days, but honestly? I’m most worried about my youngest. This girl is tough at 2. I’m scared of 3 with her.

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