Ben is 4-1/2!

Four has been such a fun year with Ben so far, and we’re only halfway through it! As with any age progression, Ben has grown up tremendously these last six months since I’ve done a big update on him. He started pre-kindergarten, can get himself dressed to go play in the snow and can make himself toast or a sandwich.

Ben’s stats:

  • Weight: around 34 pounds {as of late August – 20-30th percentile}
  • Height: about 42 inches {50-60th percentile}
  • Clothing size: 4T
  • Shoe size: size 10 toddler
  • Favorite foods: crackers, pasta, any type of cheese, most meats, roasted chickpeas
  • Favorite activities: playing outside, picking wildflowers, climbing, running, riding his bike and scooter, doing art projects, playing pretend, building with blocks, reading stories….

I haven’t done an update since Ben turned four, so a lot has happened! Ben had a magical summer. Aside from the fact that social time was quite limited, I think this summer was what dreams are made of for kids. Ben just got to be a kid. He fell in love with nature this last spring and summer. One of his favorite summer activities was picking wildflowers and making the most precious bouquets for us.

Hiking adventures were aplenty this last summer, often with Ben taking the lead. His stamina grew quite a bit over the summer; however, now that we’re not hiking as much it’s petered out a bit.

If I had to pick Ben’s absolute favorite summer activity, it would have been riding his bike. He has progressed tremendously since he got his new 16″ bike mid-way through the summer. Alex took Ben to some gentle mountain bike trails at Ski Hill and he absolutely crushed it. His confidence is unstoppable when he’s on his bike!

It was so unbelievably special for Ben to spend more than a month with his grandparents this August. Ben’s love for his family runs deep and he absolutely adores his relationships with his family. It has been really hard for him to not see family with the pandemic, so the time we were able to spend together in August was extra meaningful.

One-on-one time with a dedicated adult is extremely important to Ben, as I’m sure it is to all kids. He thrives in situations where he’s getting special undivided attention from someone he loves. Some of my favorite one-on-one moments with Ben are the time we spend chatting before bed or on a long car ride, bringing Ben to school or when we pop out for a quick errand.

This fall Ben started pre-kindergarten at a school near our house. As of today, his school is still in person, by some miracle. It is astonishing how much Ben has learned and grown up since starting school. His perspectives are wider, he has a new-found way to play with words and make up little rhymes, he randomly sings songs in French, and best of all, he gets to play with other children right now.

Ben’s teacher at school is remarkable, and perhaps the most empathetic adult I’ve ever known. Ben adores his teacher, his friends and going to school. We couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to elementary school.

The relationship that Ben has formed with his little sister is endearing and heartwarming. These two little loves adore each other in the sweetest way I could have ever imagined. They were each other’s only friend for about six months, and you can really tell. Their hugs goodbye or “I love yous” goodnight melt my heart. Hannah drives Ben absolutely crazy but you can tell just how much he loves her.

Since turning four I’ve seen Ben’s personality level out quite a bit. When Ben is in a great mood, which is most of the time, there’s no one I’d rather be around. His sweetness and unconditional love is overflowing. He has a natural curiosity and love of nature.

Ben can be quite mercurial at times and is working hard on calming down after being upset. He gets attached to little things – a caterpillar he found on a hike, or a random stick in the yard, and even a little cat toy – and depending on his mood, it can be very hard to say goodbye to those little items.

We have a brand new “feel good chart” to help channel his big emotions into something positive. We’re working on executive functioning skills, physical awareness and resilience.

Ben has gotten rather into building with different blocks lately. He can be extremely focused and wildly creative with his structures.

One of my favorites is to make block towns or mess around with the rainbow arches to see what we can make.

Lately Ben has become enamored with random art supplies. Give him a handful of pipe cleaners and he can create just about anything. His painting and drawing abilities have changed and developed tremendously these last few months.

Ben is honing in on his passions and I’d say nature is at the tippy top of his list. He loves playing outside, foraging in the forest, looking for and learning about wildflowers and helping in my garden during the growing season. We have a fun winter ahead of us and I am so excited to see Ben on skis this year!

It’s been such a pleasure watching Ben grow into the sweet four-and-a-half-year-old he is today. He melts our hearts with sweetness and love, makes us laugh and keeps us on our toes.