Tuesday 16 April 2013 by By Jill Sikkens

Being 4 is the toddler equivalent of being 18. It holds the same significance for parents as it does for the child. My son is just about to turn 4. He knows this is a special birthday and indeed for me it feels like an enormous physical and emotional milestone. Just like being 18 - being 4 is all about moving on in the next stage of your life, in growing independence of thought and action. What is utterly terrifying for us as parents is that our children are inevitably making yet another step away from us. All of a sudden I'm wishing for time to just stop and stand very very still.

Sadly, it won't so it was back to the matter in hand - deciding who will be invited to the big birthday party. This year he had a very fixed list in mind, there would be a strict entry requirement to this party of the century....you'd have to be a boy, you'd have to be dressed as a super hero and the only suitable food would need to have sausage as the main ingredient.

With some blatant bribery, tickling and threat of broccoli for tea ...I managed to get son to accept the inclusion of 2 girls whose parents would be very sad if their wee ones were not on 'the list'. How, I wonder will this change at the 18th birthday party planning? I'd best get on and enjoy this one as I have a horrible feeling that come the 18th I will not even make the guest list.

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