…as he often reminds me! our youngest son, tate, turned FOUR years old last month. what a great age — definitely old enough to remember what a birthday in the gallagher house entails, for sure. he talked for weeks ahead of time of being woken up with singing and breakfast in bed and presents. he was so very much looking forward to his big day. we celebrated with the traditional breakfast in bed of mommy’s homemade chocolate chip scones, a special pancake lunch (tate’s choice) with friends, and a wild & crazy birthday party at chuck e. cheese’s (a first — & last, we can only hope — for us gallaghers). tate felt so special and celebrated, and most of all, he is THRILLED to be FOUR.
the past four years have flown by. it’s difficult to believe that we only get him all to ourselves for one more year at home. he is such a trooper on a daily basis — coming to the office with us, setting up & cleaning up SCY nights & events, running errands, etc. much like both of his older brothers have done. we’ve got one more year to hear him playing with his toys, making sound effects (as i’ve learned only boys can do really well) and chattering away to himself as he plays without his brothers. he has us all to himself during the majority of each day, for only one more year. it is fun to be a family of three during the day. life is much simpler and easier than it was back in the days of diapers, bottles, nursing, naps, sippy cups, portacribs, etc. it is such a joy to have funny conversations with tate throughout the day, to have such quality one-on-one time with him, reading books, doing puzzles, watching him learn and grow so much. this next year will be a fun one of trying new things and getting ready for kindergarten the year after that. this summer, tate will get to start swimming lessons for the first time — he is already so comfortable and confident in the water, i can only imagine how much he will love lessons! he’ll also get to try some different classes at the local rec center, like “little learners” or tumbling. i think he is going to love the sense of being involved in anything that simulates a classroom.
our taters is quite the kid. he can be completely sweet & affectionate — he tells us that he loves us, often, without prompting, at bedtime. he loves to snuggle and he loves to be sung to. we love to lie down together at “rest time” in the afternoon — an easy way, i’ve learned, to trick him into a nap. he makes silly faces and tells great stories. he likes to recount experiences to us, moments after they have just occurred. repeatedly. even if we all just experienced it together in the first place. “remember when…” yeah, we remember. that was two minutes ago, boy.
tate is a tough guy. he is currently sporting several scratches up the left side of his face — cheek, nose & forehead. and a scrape on the knee, too, for that matter. he makes tough faces and grunting sounds and just finished showing me some sweet moves — jumping from chair to chair in the living room, and onto the floor with a forward roll. it’s pretty clear that he has two older brothers that he fights to keep up with every day — in that sense, he was born running. he is by far the most physical son we have — he will hit and throw punches more than the other two combined. i’m guessing that has something to do with being the youngest of three boys as well…
the boy wears his heart on his sleeve and you don’t have to guess how he might be feeling. if you say something to make him mad, you will know it instantly. his facial expression turns real ugly and he says, “i HATE this day” or “this is the worst day ever” or “i’m never going to play with/talk to you again!” on a good day, you can make an over-the-top similar facial expression and get him to laugh, melting his grumpiness away in an instant. on most days, he needs a solid 2-3 minutes to cool off and then all is right with the world again. if you say something that makes him happy, he will squeal with delight and give you a huge hug, exclaiming, “this is the BEST day ever!!!” most of the time, he is also quick to say “please” and “thank you.”
he is a smart & curious boy, and i know he is going to learn so much over the next year. he is asking about letters and what different combinations of them spell. he is counting and beginning to add on his fingers. he is starting to keep up with his brothers in computer & video games. he loves to take things apart and put them back together again. he can button his own pajamas, zip his own coat and brush his own teeth. he’s certainly not waiting around for us to do it for him!
i could go on and on about our tatey boy… he is a gift and a joy and he is a little man with a personality all his own. i’m so grateful that he is a part of our lives and our family! we love you, little man tate! yay for FOUR!!!! this is going to be the BEST YEAR EVER!