Lately you’ve been asking if you’re 4 yet, and now I can tide you over by saying you’re halfway there! Tomorrow’s 3 ½ birthday plans include going to the beach if the weather holds out, and giving you your first “big girl” bike after daddy puts it together. You rode it so proudly when we tested it out at Toys R Us the other day, sitting tall and rounding the aisles on the store model’s wobbly training wheels. “Look, mommy…look, daddy…I’m doing it!” you said.
You are growing into such a poised and assured little girl, understanding the world a little more each day. Recently I took you for your first pedicure and you sat in the chair with your back perfectly straight, body perfectly still, as you took everything in. You didn’t say a word the whole time but you kept glancing back and forth between my feet and yours as they were being pampered, big brown eyes glowing with wonder, a subtle smile on your lips.
You are understated for the most part, but sometimes you have moments of pure theatricality that come out of nowhere and make us do a double take. Picture yourself standing in front of your musical princess castle in your room, belting out a soulful rendition of Princess Tiana’s “Almost There,” with a hip jutted out and a hand towards the heavens like a mini gospel singer.
You love to sing, and I know I’m biased as your mommy, but I think you’re a natural. Sometimes you switch up the melody of popular songs to create pleasing variations, and when I ask you where that came from you say, “I’m just doing it in my own voice.” Your favorites are Disney princess songs, but you also like to sit at your small piano and work on “originals,” closing your eyes and feeling the music.
While you’re looking and acting more like a big girl every day, certain little moments remind me that you still possess shades of “baby”—like when you refuse to sleep in your own bed or give up your nightly milk. Or when you cling to my leg at parties and turn mute in front of strangers. Or when we enrolled you in soccer and you preferred to sit on my lap sipping juice instead of kicking the ball down the field, drill style. (Let’s never speak of it again and just stick with swimming and gymnastics, shall we?)
My favorite moments with you are the little ones. “Get in your spot, mommy,” you say, “and I’ll get in my spot.” We sit side by side on my bed, and look for games and YouTube videos on my laptop. You put your head on my shoulder and I notice that your hair feels kind of like YOU – half smooth and polished, half rough and wild. “I love you, mommy,” you say. “I love you, too, best friend,” I say. And I mean it.