Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Four years; Four months (okay, five months, but that doesn't have the same symmetry)

She calls herself a "goose ball", this free-spirit of a girl who finds a clearing in the woods and sings Lady Gaga for her parents and sister and all the wild life that has now been scared away. She loves to sing and dance and play dress up, her room looking more and more like a tornado has hit as she puts on and then discards every combination of every outfit she owns.

At four and a half years old, she has suddenly become a climber, perching on the edge of arm rests and bumbo seats, flinging herself off of tables and couches, willfully oblivious to our continued demands that she stay. off. the. furniture.

She is articulate, except when pretending to be a baby. Dear god when will she stop this infuriating game? (When she senses that I'm no longer bothered by it probably. So maybe never.) She could be mistaken for being developmentally disabled. Everything is a one word answer or demand, in a drawling whine of a voice. She staggers around, her arms flapping in front of her. "Bay-bee!'

She is creative and energetic and a joy to be around, unless she is tired or needs to eat. Then she is a beast who has escaped from the hell mouth. Refusing to eat. Refusing to sleep. Bereft of logic or rational thinking. Capable of throwing a screaming fit (especially if you have dared to tell her "NO") or a slow whining death (if you want her to do anything) until she is tricked into eating a granola bar or some fruit chews.

She draws the most incredible pictures and tells the most complicated stories to go with them. I am constantly in awe of her imagination and her ability to express herself.

She is generous and empathetic. She adores her sister, her cousins, her dad, me. She is excited by language and identifying words. She asks intelligent questions and wants to discuss complicated ideas.

She is our goose-ball.

This one is a delight to be around.

She wants to be in on the action, not content to be lying on the play mat, she needs to be up at the table, high in the baby hawk, part of whatever is going on.

She used to lean slowly towards what she wanted, now she has started to reach for it, with sudden, staccato flaps of her arms. She gets a hand in her mouth, the tail of a cat (if she's lucky), the dangling string from a hooded sweatshirt.

She will smile at almost anyone, especially if she's perched in my arms. She laughs hysterically and with abandon. She sleeps. Yes. She sleeps.

When I'm holding her she reaches her hand to the back of my neck: a hug, a caress. I press my lips against her temple, my voice into her ear: "I love you too."

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