Four

Dear M,

Four years ago today you made me a mama and Mark a daddy and taught us how to be a family.  And now you are so very excited to be 4 – a big girl by all measures. It amazes me every day that you are ours, that we get to spend our time with you and that you will always be our baby.

5 hours old

You’ve never been timid about life.  Shy, sometimes, but once you decide to do something you go at it full force.  This is why you are covered with scrapes, bumps and bruises all the time.  You know exactly what you want to do and how you want to do it.  When we are somewhere new you are content to just chill out and observe for a bit.  You need to get the lay of the land.  But as soon as you feel comfortable it’s off to the races with no turning back.

Age 1, at The Toledo Museum of Art in our old neighborhood

You are a very adaptable child, and can usually go with the flow.  You find games and tricks in every little activity.  Now that you can recognize some words you love showing off your “reading” skills.  You excitedly point out letters and numbers and make associations that blow my mind.  A constant craving for new books means we go to the library every weekend for a new stack to devour all week long. You dance with abandon, love to wiggle and shake and could play dress-up all day long.  You love pretend – be it with your dollhouse or your dump trucks in the sandbox, there is always some sort of involved story unfolding in your mind.

Age 2, helping with your party prep

M, you love to help.  With MAD’s arrival you have taken on your role as big sister with great pride.  You dance and sing for him to make him smile.  You soothe him with gentle pats and belly rubs when he’s crying.  You love laying on the floor to hug and play with him.  You fetch diapers and burp cloths and bring him toys.  He’s the first one you want to see when you wake up and when you get home from school you run to give him kisses.  You’ve struggled a little with having to share daddy and I with him, but overall you are a fantastic big sister and seem to take great pride in your new status.

Your personality has really blossomed this last year, you know exactly who you are and have no desire to be anything but M.  When you are playing dress-up or pretend we ask you if you are Cinderella or Belle and you stand tall, puff out your chest and say “No! I’m a M Princess!”. Of course you want to be a princess for Halloween this year but you didn’t want a Ariel or Snow White dress – you simply requested pretty princess dress.

Age 3 – ready for preschool

At school you’ve mastered the monkey bars – down and back! – even though you’re not tall enough to reach them and need a boost.  You’ve long given up your tricycle in favor of a bike with training wheels.  You love to show off your skipping skills and the swing in the backyard has helped you learn to pump with both your feet. You still love the water and are strong enough to swim the width of the pool underwater.  You love doing belly flops and cannon balls, climbing out and jumping back in for as long as we can stand it.  You are in constant motion and are so fearless that even your teachers now point out a new scrape or bruise and say “She was just being M!”.

You are constantly talking, retelling some event of the day or coming up with an amazing story.  You’re so animated – using your whole body to relay your message.  You absorb everything and remember it forever.  Your dad and I are always looking at each other, eyebrows raised, over some memory you tell – how can you possibly remember that?  A new habit is asking a question and if you’re not satisfied with the answer you will argue that it’s wrong.  Oy – the teenage years are going to be fun!  You want to be a “science girl”, a “worker man” and a mommy when you grow up.  I think you can do anything.

Four!
Obviously your favorite color is pink

I can’t wait to see what the next year brings.

Love,

Mama


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