Four lessons for my daughter on her fourth birthday

Either I’ve spent the past four years in some kind of foggy haze or time has speeded up to a ridiculous extent and, somehow, I appear to have a four year old.

An actual four year old. Four is SO much bigger than three. Four is school and, and – it’s nearly FIVE for goodness sake. And what comes after five? Six. And that’s PROPERLY old.

Anyway, while my child was busy turning from this:

Newborn Frog

Into this: 

Four year old Frog

I have been discovering that motherhood is more than just wiping bums and noses and pretending to be a patient in an imaginary doctor’s surgery.

So, as my baby celebrates her fourth birthday, here are some lessons I’ve jotted down for her, to show that her mum isn’t just good for making peanut butter on toast:

1. There is never an excuse to be rude to strangers

Whether it’s waving a thank you to another driver who has given way to you, or adding a “please” when requesting your order in a restaurant, politeness is a trait that shouldn’t be undervalued. It will help stop people thinking you’re an idiot, for starters. Plus, it’s never nice being on the receiving end of rudeness. Also to go with this lesson – be polite to waiters and waitresses. Always.

2. Stuff isn’t everything

Stuff is nice. New, shiny, sparkly stuff like shoes and dresses and Peppa Pig roller skates. But it’s not everything. And it certainly doesn’t make you a) a better person b) a more interesting person and c) an important person. The things that matter – that really, really, really matter – are the people who love you. Look after them and value them higher than any chocolate bar. You might not believe it now but they are worth a million packets of chocolate buttons.

3. Arrogance often hides insecurity

People who feel the need to tell you how great they are (and, sometimes, how they are better than you) are – in my experience – just insecure. After all, if someone is REALLY as good as all that they don’t need to tell you. You will find out for yourself. That said, sometimes there is no insecurity and they are just a bit silly. Take these people with a pinch of salt but don’t get het up about them. There are more important things in life (see lesson 2).

4. Time spent doing stuff you love is not time wasted 

OK, I use this liberally. I know you love CBeebies and I’m not about to let you watch it 12 hours a day. But, when you grow up, there will be some things you find that you love. You might love to read, for example. You might discover that Orange is the New Black is the best TV show ever invented. You might enjoy watching shark documentaries (it’s not weird – despite what your dad says). Whatever it is that you love, enjoy it. I know you will be a hard working, determined, motivated woman when you are big, just don’t forget to have fun too. Fun is very important.

Happy birthday Frog. Four years old today. Blimey.



  1. Mary keynko says

    Happy birthday little one! Start and finish everyday with a smile even if it’s through gritted teeth! It makes the crap more manageable even if you’re only smiling at your own reflection in the bathroom mirror!

  2. Grandma from the north says

    Book me in for an appointment! These wise words apply to all ages!
    A mum is for always…happy birthday to all!
    four already…can’t believe it. It’s been a brilliant time..with many more to come
    love always. Give F a very big kiss and cuddle from us…
    M XX

  3. says

    Love these lessons. I’m going to bookmark this for G’s 4th birthday in September. Stuff isn’t everything is a great one – I think we need a declutter before the next birthday, otherwise the stuff is going to overtake us!

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