Mia’s answer to everything these days is: “but I am 4.” Emphasis on the am.
She says it like a statement, like it’s something that should be at the forefront of our minds at all times.
She wears it like a badge. To her it is as though the day she marked her fourth year on this earth some unwritten milestone was achieved that allows you into previously forbidden gateways.
We are at the supermarket and I say: “Mia, would you like to sit in the trolley?”
She looks at me with a half smile, some would call it wry but, you know, she’s only 4, and she cocks her little head on one side and says all exasperated: “Mummy, I am 4 you know.”
She says it like she’s showing me infinite tolerance.
I try to strap her seat belt on for her in the car.
She slaps my hand down as if I’ve done something really naughty and declares: “Mummy! I’m 4!”
I say: “Mia, you are being such a lovely and grown up girl.”
She says: “I am 4 mummy.” I add no exclamation to the end of that sentence as she says it without raising her voice, without irony (I would not put it past her) and like she’s explaining the most basic of facts to me.
She has said it so many times since her birthday now it’s become funny and adorable and endearing.
She has said it so many times she has even started to shorten it to simply ‘I’m 4’ whenever the mood takes her.
So this morning, we are sat having breakfast and I say: “Mia, why on earth are you wearing your new boots with your pyjamas?”
She rolls her eyes like I’m totally missing the point and declares in a little sing songy note (while shaking her head): “4”.
And for all the world it sounds to me like a teenage: “Durr”.