1. Dealing with a two year old mid-tantrum is nothing compared to negotiating with a four-year-old that doesn’t agree with the plan. Tantrums eventually end. Negotiations, however, can still be going on three weeks later.
2. Keeping your cool when a two-year-old responds to everything with ‘NO!’ is far easier than keeping your cool when a four-year-old responds to everything with ‘NO” and then adds “POO POO HEAD!”
3. They do not nap. That is all.
4. There is an unwritten rule of being a four-year-old that the very moment of bedtime is the very best moment to sit on the toilet for 20 minutes and do a poo. While commentating loudly through the process.
5. Two year olds like to run away when you need to get them dressed. Four year olds like to do exactly the same – but when you catch them, they flatly refuse to wear your outfit choice and spend the next 20 minutes demanding to dress as Batman instead.
6. You get away with nothing. Thought you could slip that scribbled masterpiece from school into the bin? Think again. They’ll suddenly remember a few days later and fruitlessly search the entire house for evidence.
7. They are no longer trapped in a cot or confined to a sleeping bag, which means they can join you in bed whenever they want to. And they will – especially at 5am.
8. They can’t drive. But they think they can. And they’ll bark instructions from the back seat to ensure you do it properly.
9. Just when you didn’t think life could get more complicated, they make their own plans. From birthday party guest lists, to friends coming for play dates, you’ll be informed of their decisions roughly 3 minutes before they are supposed to take place.
10. The noise. You were so proud when your two-year-old started stringing words together. It couldn’t be more adorable! But two years later, they just won’t stop. In fact, if someone invented a volume switch for children, you’d be the first to invest.