Kelly Pegg: The dramas and delights of raising a four-year-old

editorial image
Have your say

My daughter has turned four and wow it’s like having a teenager in the house.

My beautiful little baby girl is now ‘a big girl’ as she informs me. She answers back, throws proper temper tantrums and is more like a 14 year old than a four-year-old.

She recently had her birthday party with 13 friends. We had arranged it at Bounce central and it was superhero themed. She had been excited about it all week but on the actual day she decided to be difficult.

We had tears before we had even left the house, which resulted in us turning up late. Some of her guests actually arrived before us – I mean who is late to their own birthday party? We felt like terrible parents!

Then throughout the afternoon there were tantrums and a lot of taking her to one side to tell her off.

On our journey home my husband and I reflected on our birthday parties as kids. Mine were always at home with sausage rolls and bad party hats. My hubby had one birthday party, which resulted in one of his friends having stitches so his mum refused to throw anymore.

We did that thing that every parent does and we emotionally beat ourselves up “Are we spoiling her?” “Is her bad behavior our fault?” It can be agonising raising a child sometimes can’t it? .I am despite the difficult days extremely proud of Ava-Lilly; she is strong, independent, curious, creative and really sociable. She makes me laugh out loud most days especially when she’s chatting away to me like a little adult or a ‘mini me’ and I love her more than life. Where we are really struggling the most with her at the moment is her dislike for Baby number two who hasn’t even arrived yet. I waited a little while to try for the next one, as I wanted to give Ava-Lilly all my attention and honestly I didn’t feel ready.

The biological clock is a funny old thing; it lets you know when you’re ready not the other way round.

When she first found out she was going to have a baby brother or sister she was fine but over the last month or so she has made it clear she isn’t happy about it all. I think it has something to do with how poorly I’ve been, some weekends I’ve been mostly in bed. I always take her to a horseriding lesson on a Sunday but I had to stop that for a bit because I was struggling with sickness.

She’s definitely found that hard to deal with and as my bump grows she is becoming more clingy with me and refusing to do simple things by herself, like put her socks on.

When we have tried to talk to her about the baby she reacts with “Silly baby, I don’t want one”.

So for a while we stopped talking about the baby in front of her completely although it was pointed out to me that this is a mistake and would only make things worse.

Thank goodness I have friends who have been there and have handed out advice to us. The key message seems to be to include her in the whole process so I recently got her to sort all her books and teddies out. She made a pile that she wanted to keep and a pile that she was happy to donate to baby.

We’ve decided to get her involved with decorating the nursery and when baby is born he or she will have a gift for their big sister. I think it’s lovely to have siblings and since meeting my hubby Chris I have had this dream of having three children. There will be times when there is sibling rivalry and jealously but that’s to be expected. I find it hard to understand when you hear of stories where family members don’t speak to each other. Family is so precious and if you have a sibling then in my opinion you’re blessed and you should treasure that. I know a few people who are only ones and there’s something quite lonely and isolating about it. I have a younger brother – Adam- and he and I are extremely close. He adores Ava-Lilly and spoils her rotten and is always there for me if I need anything. When we were younger we would fight like any normal brother or sister but I have wonderful memories of our childhood together.

We have been through so much and are both supportive and proud of each other and I know that makes me very lucky.

Great tribute to Princess

Everybody is talking about a new documentary with Princes William and Harry discussing Princess Diana’s life.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a member of the royal family, a billionaire pop star or a normal person like you and I, talking about the loss of your mother is never easy.

I think the princes are incredibly brave to discuss how they deal with not having their mum around anymore, especially in front of cameras.

I lost my mum more than 15 years ago and I still find it hard to talk about even when it’s just to friends.

By being so open and honest they are raising awareness about bereavement and helping other young people realise it’s okay to talk about it.

Prince Harry talks about how he still misses his mother’s hugs whilst Prince William discusses the sadness he holds knowing his mother never met his children.

There may be some people who believe it can’t have been that difficult for them as they are rich and have had access to lots of help.

However it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, losing a parent will affect you for your whole life and it is never easy.

I think the boys have created a great tribute to their late mother and are brilliant role models to young people.

Flying the flag for dads’team

We often neglect to highlight just how great dads truly are.

The role of a father is so important in a child’s life and more than not it is mums who get all the praise. I look at my husband Chris and his relationship with our daughter and I know she is one lucky little girl.

He adores her; she is his number 1 and is happiest following him around the garden all afternoon. This week he really showed his love for her after buying her a tree house for her birthday and spending hours in every kind of weather building it for her. Of course at age four, our daughter is oblivious to how lucky she is having such a great dad.

He’s up with her three or four times in the night, he fixes every broken toy and carries her on his shoulders when her legs aren’t; working anymore, it’s a thing with little ones!

Us mums have a responsibility to fly the flag for the dads team. I know I couldn’t do it without Chris that’s for sure.