A 4-year-old’s 2020 year in review.

Ned Brown, Chief Creative Officer, interviews his 4-year-old for her perspective on 2020

I thought, given this year, I’d turn to one of the places where I often find the most perspective: my 4-year-old daughter. To give you a little background, Finley is this wonderful mixture of sweet thoughtfulness and wild stunt-girl. She wears princess dresses and crowns while climbing chain-link fences as high as she can. She’s equal parts delicate flower and grimy dirt. I think it’s this duality that allows her to see the world so uniquely. Like all children, she sees the world through the eyes of innocence and openness.

I sat down with her and asked her some questions. This was our interview:


Me: What was one thing that was different about this year?

Finley: The bad bug came. But then we got to stay home and play and watch movies!

Adult Takeaway: With every low, there is a high.


Me: What’s the hardest thing about the bug being here?

Finley: I can only give elbow bumps. I can’t give real high-fives. I miss the smack!

Adult Takeaway: I think we all underestimated the importance of strong human connections.


Me: How do you feel about always having to wash your hands because of the bug?

Finley: When it’s cozy water, I love it! But not when it’s cold.

Adult Takeaway: A little warmth can bring joy to any chore.


Me: What’s it like being on the computer screen with your classmates and your teacher?

Finley: Tiring, because I’m always facing the same way.

Adult Takeaway: Zoom fatigue is real. Even for 4-year-olds.


Me: If you could see your friends right now, what would you say to them?

Finley: I’d say: “Happy birthday, friends,” since I missed all their birthdays.

Adult Takeaway: Thoughtfulness has no expiration date.


Me: If you could do something to help people who’ve had a hard year, what would it be?

Finley: I’d tell them jokes. Like: Why did the skunk cross the road? Because he tooted.

Adult Takeaway: Sometimes the best thing we can do is offer a smile (and, wait, skunks toot?!).


Me: It’s starting to get really cold and dark out. What do you think of winter coming?

Finley: Can’t wait!! We’ll make lots of snowballs and throw them and then make snowmen and do snow jumping jacks [this is how she says “snow angels”]!

Adult Takeaway: I should stop fixating on the crappy parts of winter.


Me: What is something that was a surprise this year?

Finley: [Laughing] Skiing backward.

Adult Takeaway: The best surprise is often the thing you never intended.


Me: And, finally, what has been the best thing this year?

Finley: Halloween!! And the candy I keep getting to eat every day.

Adult Takeaway: Make the most of the sweet moments and stretch them out as long as humanly possible.

About the Author

Ned Brown is chief creative officer and part of the Executive Leadership Team at Bader Rutter. He joined BR in early 2018. In that time, he has bolstered a strong foundation of creative talent already in the agency with over 30 new creative hires from all over the country and world. In his life before Bader Rutter, Ned spent 20-plus years helping shape brands like Porsche, adidas, Audi and Apple. His work has been awarded in the Effie Awards, Cannes Film Festival, The One Show, Ogilvy, Shorty Awardss, Awwwards, AICP, CA, Clios Awards and even a few film festivals. He lives with his wife and daughter in a 140-year-old house in Milwaukee, which is slightly drafty in the dead of winter.