Four-Year-Old Problems

My four-year-old daughter is sensitive. She is much more aware of her surroundings than her older brother is, and things upset her more easily. She’ll hear the first few lines of a song on the radio and say, “That boy is sad.” or she’ll look at my face and ask, “Are you mad?” If she can tell a group of grown-ups are laughing at her, and not with her, she’ll hide. And cry. If she is scolded too quickly or sternly, she’ll hide. And cry.

I know that in the future, her tears will be over things bigger than being asked not to share a bubble blower that another child had her mouth on, and will be over things like friendships and failures. She will be disappointed when her friends are assholes, and I will need to not say things like, “What did you expect? Her mom’s kind of a bitch, too. Shake it off.” I have a good amount of empathy, so generally I don’t think the worries and concerns of others are ridiculous, but right now, my girl is freaking out over things like not getting enough ice in her water or being found too quickly in hide-and-seek. Here are a few other things she’s been upset about this week.

What I’m saying is this: I’m having a hard time drumming up sympathy for most of this stuff. Except the itchy back. That shit sucks.

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