Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Birthday, Boodles

My baby, you're five today.  Five!  A whole hand.  Take that in your face. 

Five means kindergarten.  Five means no more toddler bed.  Five means reading and writing.  Five means a fistful of minutes, hours, and days you clutch as you wriggle and leap from my grasp.

This year I watched your babyhood fade and the big girl grow, your legs longer and leaner, your senses keener, your observations more insightful. 

You asked for these footy panda pajamas for Christmas because you know how they make you snuggly and still young, which you will always be.  But each night, like clockwork, you yell from your bed that you're hot, and I yell back the same suggestion:  take your jammies off.  And so you do.  Only to wiggle into them again in the morning after you emerge from your bedroom, half naked and bleary eyed, to give me a hug. 

We claim that you're delightfully easygoing, our go-to gal for going with the flow.  But when you're grumpy, watch out.  You still know how to throw a cringe-worthy tantrum and you're no fun on too little sleep. 

There's a certain self sufficiency to you that catches us off guard.  You put your stuff away.  You know where to find things.  You taught yourself to tie your shoes, to ponytail your hair, to fold your clothes.  And then you ask us to brush your teeth, in case we're wondering if still you need us. 

You kick our fannies at concentration games (how do you DO that?); you are the master of goofy faces; you're a sweet caretaker of children younger than you; you know just how to push your big sister's buttons. 

You love penguins, pizza, sweet stuff, dolls, "flatted" blankets, tunafish, shoes, leggings, your cousins, holding hands, and poring over family photo albums. 

You're a loyalist at heart, dear Bear--forever ours, but already your own.

We love you.  High five!

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