Why, you ask?
Because I don’t have time to be teary. I have a little baby who wants me to hold her 24/7 and eats every time I stand up to do something.
(This is twisted, I will readily admit. I don’t like it. I really dislike it, in fact.)
My little baby is so little and needy and demanding that I no longer wish Grace to be little again. I’m perfectly okay with her growing up and being independent.
Just so you know, that makes me feel very guilty and ashamed of myself.
I’m not sure if that’s the PPD or if that’s authentic. Sometimes it’s hard to tell.
At any rate, Grace is 4 now, and 4 is really pretty cool.
Four is smart. She writes a bit and reads a bit, and she is really proud of always recognizing the word is. When someone asks her if she can read, she always says, I can read the word is. It always makes me laugh to myself.
Four is sometimes cunning and manipulative. She is very good at saying just the thing that she thinks will get the result she wants, and she knows that Joe and I are weaker when she is between us. She’s not afraid to persist if she thinks the response might change.
Four uses the potty, even over night, and loves wearing underwear. She likes to poop in public restrooms, lingering for what feels like an hour. (Why do I find that so embarrassing?)
Four is more girlie than ever. Babies and dolls and crafty projects and dresses and being pretty and wearing pretend make up. She is 100% a girl, complete with a hot pink bedroom.
Four is warm and cuddly and affectionate. She still likes to be held and carried. She loves to sing lullabies to her baby sister, and she loves to hug and kiss and hold her hand. She still loves to hear me sing. It always surprises me to hear, I love you, Momma, totally out of the blue.
Four wanted a pineapple upside down birthday cake. It was the ugliest birthday cake in the history of birthday cakes, but she loved it. When she saw it, she said, “Oh, Momma. That cake smells so beautiful!”
Four falls asleep in the car just as much as three did, and I still sit and wait for her to wake.
Four is still anxious and afraid, though maybe a wee bit less so than was three. Still afraid of little dogs, she warms quickly to the quiet ones and likes cats and pigs and animals of all shapes and sizes.
Four is sassy and wise and witty, full of one-liners that make everyone stifle laughter. Asked recently how she developed a cavity, she responded, These two (pointing to Joe and me), you know! They don’t keep my teeth clean enough!
Four is so big. She is 43 inches tall and nearly 50 pounds; she wears a size 6X or a 7 and size 12 shoes. PopPop says she’s 4 going on 35, and I agree with him. Look at her posing like a teenager.
But four is still so little. There are so many things she doesn’t understand, can’t understand. War has been on her mind lately. She can’t comprehend how people could be bad to each other. It doesn’t compute, and I’m glad for that.
Four still loves to sing and dance and watch movies. She still loves Mary Poppins and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and princesses, especially the Disney ones.
Four has become a picky eater. She loves pizza and chicken nuggets, despite our auspicious culinary beginnings. In the last couple of weeks, she’s started branching out a wee bit, and I am hopeful that she’ll be open to trying foods again.
Four loves to pretend. I’ll be the baby, and you be the Momma. You be Cubby, and I’ll be Izzy, okay? We’re going to play Chuck E. Cheese, Mom. I’ll be Violet; you be Wiley. It feels like we pretend play every minute of every day.
Four is pretty cool.
Happy Birthday, Grace!
© 2011, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.