Life as a (4 year old) Dean

Landon had his 4 year old check up this month and as the doctor said… he sure is predictable.  His height (43″) and weight (41.3 lb) have stayed right on the same line as they have since he was born – 94% and 87% respectively.

As we are in this new territory, Landon is really showing us his independence and loves having little responsibilities.

Fun Facts about Landon at Age 4:

– He dresses himself most mornings. We lay out outfits the night before (because sometimes he can’t reach his closet items) or he’ll pick some of his favorites and in the morning he usually dresses himself.  Sometimes we have to remind him that basketball shorts and a tank top aren’t appropriate when it’s calling for snow.  But it is awesome for him to exert his independence.

– He took his first completely solo shower this week.  No help with shampoo, rinsing, anything.  He got in and did everything all by himself!

– He is fully day-time potty trained but he is not night-time potty trained- yet! There have been some good, dry nights, but for the most part, he is wet in the morning, so for the time being we are sticking to a diaper at bedtime.  He often tells me – “Mom, I don’t want to wear a diaper tonight.”  But after several accidents, and only a few dry nights, we just aren’t quite there yet.

– He likes helping with chores. He’s always loved to clean, but I give him a little more responsibility now – he always has to put his dishes in the sink after a meal and he helps unload the dishes with the kid items, Tupperware and the silverware.

– We had his first “very mischievous” incident.  One day he got time out during dinner and he was sent to his room while we all finished eating.  When I went up there about 20 minutes later, he had about a million tiny pieces of toilet paper all over his room.  Tons of them – think confetti and nickel sized pieces in a light dusting across the floor and a ginormous pile tucked behind his bed.  I made him clean them all up.  His quick reply, “Can you help me pick these up?” “No, Landon, you ripped them apart and made the huge mess by yourself, so you will be picking up each piece by yourself.  This will be a good reminder to you that when you make huge messes, it’s not a fun thing to clean them all up.” Needless to say, we haven’t had a similar incident since.

– Still loves helping with meals (standing on a chair at the counter) and pouring/mixing.

– Is doing a (mostly) great job in his role as big brother.  There are these sweet moments that I see nearly daily of him sharing his treat with Brooks on his own accord, or letting B know that he is going to finish his turn and give him a try.  Of course, there are also screaming/pulling matches with one little boy on either end of a toy.  But overall, he does a really nice job with Brooks and gives him a lot of praise.

– He is so sensitive and sweet.  This is one of my biggest challenges as a parent. How to discipline him enough so that he gets the message but I don’t break his sweet spirit.  I don’t want him to become so jaded with discipline that he stops trying to ‘choose the right thing’, but I also want to be quick to nip things in the bud with some firm discipline when I find he’s getting in a ‘tough routine’ in a particular area (whether that be with sharing or talking back to adults, etc).

– Landon absolutely adores Daddy snuggles and always asks Dean to come and tuck him in and snuggle him at bedtime. It’s so sweet.

– At school and around other kids, Landon tends to be a follower of the crowd. I want to work hard to instill in him the ability to make the right choice, no matter what the other kids are doing.  I know, easier said than done. I definitely struggled in this area as a child.  But I hope that he learns to become a leader of his own mind and body and as a result, makes good choices for himself.

– He rides a (training-wheeled) bike well.  We’re still working on the right way to stop (i.e. not dragging your feet on the ground).  But, boy, does he love to be outside – driving up and down the sidewalk and driveway.

– He has some decent coordination.  I’m sure he gets this from Dean and not me.  He’s tried tball and football in the yard with Dean.  At school, he was in a gymnastics/athletics program – think somersaults and walking on balance beams.  I think this spring is when we’ll get him into his first team programs – not sure what yet – maybe soccer or tball.  I’m still pushing for swim lessons prior to summer so we can get him as comfortable as possible this year.

– He is smart.  He constantly surprises me with the things he remembers and properly correlates to other things.  Like talking about how trucks work certain ways and correlating them to the trucks he plays with a Gigi and Papas and knowing their uses.

– He is starting to recall things – like knowing the words to entire songs (Let it Go, anyone?!) or parts of movies and books that we read regularly. He’ll quote them through out the day.  “Mom, isn’t it funny how Mater says “This ice cream has turned!” in the Cars movie?!”

– He knows all his letters and does a really good job of writing his name. I think writing it on 20+ Valentines this year really got him over the hump.  Other letters are iffy… like an “S” that looks like a giant staircase, but an “I” or “B” that looks perfect.

– His pictures look like more than just a line or circle now. Instead its a big circle with two little circles and a line (i.e. eyes and a mouth).

– His imagination is growing. He pretends a lot more than he used to and tells me all kinds of stories during playtime of the “monster that is coming over to get us” and the “lion that just came over to eat you!”

– He says ‘real’ prayers now. Not just repeats of what Mom and Dad say or the song prayer that they do at school.  But he prays his own prayers (or butts in on my bedtime prayers with him).

Mom: “Thank you Lord for Landon and what a great helper he is. How he did such a great job putting those dishes away tonight. And thank you that his is thoughtful and kind to his friends at school”
Landon (cutting in): “…And encouraging. Say that I’m encouraging.”

Typical Landon prayer: “Thank you Jesus that we can love you. And that you love us. And that you give us all this food.  And that we are thankful. And thank you for my birthday coming up. And for Grammy sending me two more presents.  And thank you for my friends, too. And Brooksie, Mommy, Daddy.  Amen.”

– He is so complimentary.  He is always telling me, “Mom you look so beautiful in that shirt.” or “Mom, I like your new hairdo.” It is just the sweetest to get unprompted kudos from my little boy.



Baby Boy… you are such a blessing. You’ve made my transition to Mom as easy as it could possibly be. You are thoughtful, loving, ENCOURAGING and just completely precious. You make my heart melt at least 5x each day with the things you say and actions you show.  I am just enamored with the little man you’re growing up to be.

I pray that God will show me the best way to be your mom and help you to be the man He wants you to be.  You are so loved. Not just by your dad and I, but by your brother, your grandparents, cousins, aunts/uncles, teachers and friends.  You are such a sweet boy and I love, love, love you so much.

Thanks for being the greatest firstborn. You are leading the way!

I love you the most.




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