Duelling with the FF’s

It’s high noon. The sun is shining through the windows, the tumbleweeds are floating through the hallway (they really are. I haven’t vacuumed in ages. I know, I know). I’m at one end, Miss DP is at the other, trigger fingers at the ready. Eyes, narrowed to slits, staring each other down. This hallway ain’t big enough for the two of us, little lady.

You NEED to get dressed. Your cat dress is in the wash. Your Elsa costume is freaking brown with dirt dude. Pick something else…..!!

And I’m waiting. Waiting for the trigger to fire from the mouth of a 4.5 year old…..

BUT I can’t! My castle is broken. The witches have taken it over. And Betsy doesn’t like shoes.

Well… Wait. What? Did I just blank out for a microsecond and miss something? Did someone smuggle LSD in my coffee? Or did I just watch an episode of ‘In the Night Garden’ and not realise? No. It’s just 4 year old logic. Legit.

four year old ecard

When Miss DP was little, a gorgeous wise parent who had been down the path before me had tried to prepare me for what lie ahead. You think this is tough? Wait until you get to the fucking fours.  The wha? Yes, the fucking fours (or FF’s if we’re talking among less potty mouth inclined friends). It’s a real thing. And like a magical spell being broken, BAM! Hello four, hello fucking insane behaviour. I love my lass with all my heart, but four? Four can kiss my ass. Like a switch was flicked overnight, suddenly we’re all about pushing boundaries, stubbornness beyond control, ‘tude MY GOD the attitude, sometimes I feel like I’m talking to a 14 year old trapped in a little person’s body. The girl knows how to guilt trip already!! Nobody here loves me. Oh far out.

It drives me insane. The battles over what to wear are currently the bane of my existence. Miss DP has a sudden refusal to wear any shorts or pants. All the stunning pairs of Rock Your Baby skinny jeans I bought? All for naught. She will only wear dresses or skirts, but even that has a caveat. The skirts must be able twirl like a ballerina. Fuck me. And the second something doesn’t work out for her? Cue intense sookiness. Whinging, whining behaviour. Akin to water torture.

ff cover

So, what are the signs of the Fucking Fours (FF’s)? Worried you might not be able to pick it? Well look no further. Your diagnosis is here. Some of the main symptoms include:

  • Arms folded across the chest. Often. If not folded across the chest, then firmly planted on the hips. Stamping feet regularly accompanying such arm gestures.
  • Lots of ‘hrmphs’ and ‘ugggggghs’ muttered. Just a preview into the teenage years I hear.
  • Exasperated tones ‘alriiiiiight. Keep your hair on’ (yes we hear this regularly).
  • One minute manically happy, the next sobbing on the floor. Because. Four.
  • Expertly manages to bamboozle your requests with random sentences about something completely irrelevant to what you’re discussing.
  • Sudden onset of ‘convenient deafness’. When asking your four year old to do something, they cannot hear you. Even when standing in front of them and yelling. But if you offer food, then their heads pop up like a meerkat. Hearing suddently intact once again. And so the cycle continues.
  • Can repeat your instructions back to you perfectly. And then goes ahead and does the opposite anyway.

The onset is sudden and acute. Literally an overnight transformation at times. Can last up to 12 months or more. And if you’ve got an over-achiever on your hands, it may even start as early as 3.5 years. Prognosis is good…. Until you hit seven. Seven I hear is a crazy stage too. Hold me. Parents may need medicating. With all forms of gooey treats and alcohol.

But you know some of the biggest hallmark features of four? The sudden jump in understanding and wonder about the world around them. The complete and utter excitement at life. The tight, tight hugs of a little one that understands love and loves you to the moon and back to the earth (as we hear daily). The sense of humour and cute giggles at ridiculous jokes. The care and compassion for others (when they’re not snatching and screaming). Santa is a big deal. And the innocence and pure joy about everything is infectious. Shit doesn’t seem so bad anymore when you hear a random story about how yellow can’t be the favourite colour anymore because yellow is broken and the Gruffalos have spoken and so a new colour must be chosen (those damn Gruffalos have a lot to answer for).

Rubie ff's
Don’t let that cute wistful gaze fool you…. she’s planning her next meltdown…. Fucking.Fours.

So I’ve learned there’s no point in duelling with the fucking fours. Because it makes no sense and my bullets will just ricochet and smack me in the face. So I’ve just gotta roll with it, stay calm and try and focus on the awesome parts of four. And drink all the wine. All of it.

Have you encountered the fucking fours? Or did you have one of those perfect kids that never went through any stages? In that case I want to shake your hand and slap you at the same time. :) Any other insane parts of childhood and beyond to prepare for?

And if you’re kid free, know of any adults that may not have progressed past the fucking fours? I have come across a few in my time. Yikes.

  • I’m not a parent, but even I know about the FFs :)

  • I’m not a parent either but I did once have a class of thirty four year olds, where I learnt all about the FFs. It wasn’t pretty. My nerves were in tatters. This post is spot on…as usual!

    • Holy heck love. A class of 30 FF’s??? How are you still alive? Bugger the cancer, the FF’s can eat you alive! 😛 I am so glad you survived to tell the tale. Just keep drinking all the wines and you may make a full recovery. xx

  • Jo

    Haha! Rofl! You nailed it Dr Sash! I didn’t realise it’s called the Fucking Fours but it makes so much sense now. My 4 yrs old suffers from all of the above. Even smirks when I’ve lost it. Combined with a fiesty 2 yr old no wonder my swearing has increased too! I have tried to warn my friends with perfect younger kids. I shall laugh wickedly when shit hits the fan

    • Oh yeah, this is big business lady. Has a real name and everything! Arrrgh the smirking when Mummy loses her shit? I HATE THAT. There is no hope. Only alcohol. xx

  • OMG!! We’re in the midst of the Fucking Fours as I type!! And in addition to the Fucking Fours, also the Terrible Twos – which are equally as shite. And my plan to get through the next 1-3 years? The same as you – DRINK ALLLLLLL THE WINE! Love it Sasha – awesome post – had me and hubby laughing our arses off. Especially the twirling skirts. Oh god. The skirts and princess dresses. PUT SOME FUCKING PANTS ON KID!! love, love, love this!!

    • Oh dear lady, you have my deepest sympathies. The FF’s AND the TT’s?? That is enough to send any parent to the funny farm. We’re going through the EXACT same thing here. And the TT has even more ‘spunk’ (I think that’s the PC term for ‘she’s actually a little shit, right?), than her FF sister! Bahahahahahaha love that- put some fucking pants on indeed!!!! I have been known to beg on my hands and knees for that some days. I know buy wine by the case so we never EVER run out. It would be like an episode of The Walking Dead here if we ran out of wine. I may turn on my children…. 😛 xx

  • This is HILARIOUS and TERRIFYING all at the same time. I haven’t even made it to the terrible twos yet and already I’m scared shitless. I have zero patience at the best of times, so I have no idea how I’ll handle this…. I have to say though, she sounds bloody hysterical. I’m sure it’s not that funny when you deal with it all day long, but I’d be having a big laugh at this cheeky chicken!

    • Be scared lady. Be verrrrrry scared. Or just blind drunk. Eases the pain. Patience and I are not friends. We are not even on speaking terms. Hence drinking allllll the wine. May I suggest just wrapping yourself up in a doona, with every season of SOA and a big ass bottle of wine and hibernating until say…. ummmm…. 5? She is a little bit of a crack up though. Those random sentences about absolutely nothing?! Puts Sienfeld to shame! Ha ha ha, I’ll send her down to show little Thud the ropes! 😛 xx

  • mary_j_j

    We are out of the fucking 4s with both our children. The lad is 5 and he seems to have a handle on things, though he seems to have latched on to some of the hideous behaviour (at times) of his sister, who is 7. Hold on to your hats, that’s the only advice I can give so far to parents of daughters. 7 with attitude. Take a handful of 4 and let it grow. Our daughter is gorgeous and clever and loving with a switch it seems, its more pronounced than our son’s!

    • Oh I love you!! You’ve come out the other side and have lived to tell the tale! I am in awe! Did you invest in a winery to survive? Because that’s where I’m thinking of sinking my money into right about now. And 7!! I’ve been told that 7 is horrendous! Far out, I have 2 girls. I’ am in biiiiiig trouble, right? xx

  • Lady I tell you right now- embrace these fucking fours with open arms because soon you’ll hit the “hormone years”. They used to be called the “teens”but it starts earlier than that. Around 8 for one of my boys & 11 with the other. These years are kicking my arse like no other other. Give me non- sleeping babies or FF’s over teenagers any day. But I also have a tantrum-ing 18 month old that needs to be seen to be believed. He pegged a dirty nappy at my head the other day because I dared to tell him to stop slamming the glass shower door between the door frame & the bathroom door! HOW DARE I!
    Mate, these kids are hilarious & tiring all at the same time….

    • Oh nooooooooo. Just no. Hormones can go right away thanks! I’m thinking that’s when the girls will be sent to the convent anyways, so the nuns can deal with that. 😛 Starting at 8?? I am dead in the water. DEAD. Can you just strap my wine IV to my arm now? And omg but ha ha ha at your cheeky 18 monther! What an overachiever he is- not content with waiting for the terrible twos, he’s all over it now! my littlest lady started at 18 months too. I am already in the foetal position at the thought of her at 4. They’re insane but you wouldn’t trade them for the world, huh? xx

  • Oh this is so funny and so so relatable. I have a miss 5 who is still yet to move out of the FF’s (fucking fives are a thing too!) and a Master 3 who is about to go there. Ahh.. Pass the wine!

    • Oh Shannon you are scaring me!! I’ve been counting down to February, when Miss DP turns 5. Say it ain’t so! I was hoping that a magical switch would be flipped and it would be fantabulous fives. Fark. And waiting for your 3 year old to hit the 4’s…. it’s like watching the storm roll in over head. Lady, get thee to a winery, STAT! xx

      • Haha! Where’s that magical switch! I really need it before school starts next year! Xx

  • Oh man those fucking fours nearly did me in … three times over. But then so did the 5s and 6s and 7s… you get the idea. Stock up on coping cordial chick… that is my best advice 😉 xx

    • Oh lady, no. No, no, no. It doesn’t get better? Or does it get better because we get drunker?! That may or may not be a word invented by my current consumption of wine following prep info evening. I am heeding your advice with full gusto sweets xx

  • ARGH! I shouldn’t be reading this at night!! Ari already, at 2, is selective on clothing. Currently we are on a rotation of Lightening McQueen, Mater or Superman tshirts. If I have ever said something was too big for him, even 6 months ago, he remembers and it will forever be “TOO BIG!”. Oh and the new thing if he doesn’t want to wear something, “No, that’s babies!”

    • What a little fashionista you have there! I like his style ha ha! And damn that insanely good child memory! My ladies are the same too!! Never.forget.a.thing.Oh little Ari, you’ll make a fine FF’er. 😛

  • Oh my Lordy…I am worried!!! I already have a “I want to do it my way” stomper of the feet and he’s ONE!

    • Ps, I just shared this….it is only right to warn others! Haha.

      • Awww sweets thank you! And yes it IS only right. Consider it our community service announcement right here! Now, I don’t want to alarm you but… you’ve got like a MENSA style FF’er on your hands there lovely. 😛 He’s not content to wait until the year strikes 4, he’s already perfecting his craft. That’s some mad skillz right there he he he. Jokes. He will be an awesome little dude at 4, I’m sure of it! But just in case…. stock up on essential parenting supplies. Booze, gooey treats, trash tv. xx

  • I remember 4 with miss now 12- horrific. I have almost two years left with the youngest. Let’s hope there’s a cure by then!

    • I bow down to you! You survived and have lived to tell the tale! I hear scientists are frantically working on a cure, I will single handedly fund it before my next one hits 4! x

  • The fours were bad here, but there is something at every age I’m afraid. That’s why us mothers are keeping Dan Murphy alive! :) I haven’t even hit the teenage years yet!

    • Oh heavens to Betsy- a stage at every age!! I think I might move my bed into Dan Murphy’s now then! :) Oh teenage years…. I think that’s when we move out of the house, right? x

  • Denise

    I LOVE IT!!! I have 3 girls youngest is in the FFs right now!!! Yes skirts and dresses (twirling only unless they are made of tulle then that’s ok too) and I too have bought RYB jeans that are now too small and never been worn! :( you would think though I would’ve learnt that lesson after #1 and then #2 because they have all been EXACTLY the fucking same!!!! But alas I must tell you, I am in the Tweens with #1 and it has reduced me to tears more than I like to admit!! Except she is more like a 18 year old trapped in a 12 year old!!! I tell you after #4 is out (not long to go) I will be sure to be stocking up that wine again!! Might I add I have added my email but I have no access to it as my FF keeps trying to access my iTunes account and finally I have been locked out of my own email :( not so good when you have to run a business from it as well……

    • Oh I am bowing down to you Denise….. 3 ladies and 3 lots of FF’s!! And another on the way- you are my hero! You need to write a book on surviving the FF’s- it’ll be a best seller. Rule number 1- don’t even bother with the RYB skinny jeans… until they hit 5. 😛 And I am soooooo not looking forward to the tweens. My FF’er is already pulling out tween lines. I’m one step away from the foetal position. Lady, start building that wine cellar now, it’ll be on for young and old once your darling #4 is here! x

  • Oh my god yes. Thank god, because I thought my Ms 4 was just particularly fun, or I was just particularly sensitive. The ‘tude!!!!! All I keep thinking is that I thought I had 10 years before this attitude reared it’s head! And yes. All the wine.