I cannot believe you are four years old today! The time has passed so quickly. You are such an incredibly joy and every day I feel such gratitude for the gift that you are.
You are the child of my soul. Sometimes it feels like you are years wiser than your young age and your sensitivity to those around you is impressive. You are definitely a night owl and even though I deny it and complain when you keep me up at night with your constant chatter, I secretly love it. We share this in common and often stay up together well after everyone else has gone to sleep. Sometimes we make up stories and our current series features "Queen Meridian" (our oldest cat) and all of her helpful antics around the house.
Your heart is so great and each time I think you cannot get any sweeter you surprise me. You are fiercely loyal and protective of your siblings and I hope someday they realize how much your love has helped them heal. You have loved them unconditionally from day one and even though you now get into tiffs with them you still are their greatest fan. If Pollito gets in trouble you jump to his defense. You will even go and sit with him in time-out and reassure him that he is ok. You do this even when the reason he is in trouble is for hitting/being mean to you. When Corazon gets upset or angry you work your hardest to make her laugh. Your current strategy is to sing Beyonce's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)." Every night you crawl into my lap and tell me how much you love us. It usually starts with "I'm gonna love you forever and ever and ever and ever." The we trade "I love you mores" and you run through the litany of your favorites-strawberries, peanut butter, cheese, ritz crackers, mac&cheese, blueberries, popsicles, ice cream, etc.. Then we culminate with "I love you more than rice and beans AND EVERYTHING!" You say "I love you" at least a dozen times each day to me and Mama and I pray that this never changes.
You are a quirky kid and come up with some funny ideas. You call Corazon "Twin" these days and recently someone asked you why. You explained that one day she dressed like you and you told her she looked like your twin. So you decided to call her twin. You both do it now and sometimes in public one of you will exclaim "Twin!" and the other responds "Twin!" leave everyone around wondering what is going on between you. You have a special bond with Corazon and want to do everything she does. You are so lucky that she will drop everything to play with you. I hope someday you realize how lucky you are to have your 11 year old sister truly enjoy spending time with you. She indulges you and caters to you and loves you more than either of you realize.
Your current favorite song is Lady Gaga's "Telephone" and as tired as I am of hearing it I will put in on in the car the minute you ask because hearing you sing ALL the words always brings a smile to my face. Your bedtime teeth-brushing routine is would make any dentist proud and makes us wonder about your future profession. You currently own 7 toothbrushes and you use all of them (not every night.) We must sound ridiculous when we try to talk you OUT of brushing your teeth on the nights we forget and you remember after we have tucked you in. We have even bribed you into not brushing your teeth a few times and I hope you don't hold that against us in the future. You are all about whales and Scooby Doo these days. You and your siblings make up Scooby and "the gang" mysteries and have gotten several of the neighborhood preschoolers coming over here daily to play "Scooby" with you. Mama's desk is littered with "clues" that you have collected throughout your day. Each time you find a "clue" you get so excited and your face lights up. Speaking of collections, you are still into collecting "special" rocks, sticks, leaves, and other garden treasures. We have a shoebox that is about to reach capacity and even though I sneak some out and put them back I swear you find the same exact ones and return them. You also like to bring me flowers. When you and Mama go for a walk or do the grocery run I usually end up on the receive end of a beautiful bouquet or the sweetest single flower you have managed to find even when nothing seems to be blooming around here. Don't tell anyone but I have pressed quite a few of these small blossoms in my monthly planner and they make me smile each time I come across one.
This year you took dance classes--ballet and tap--for the first time. I will have to admit that we chuckle at your lack of grace we are greatly impressed by the seriousness and commitment with which you tackle every class. You LOVE dance class and have begged to take another one this Fall. You tell anyone who asks that you will be taking hip hop too because you want to do everything Pollito does. You have also taken a tremendous interest in school and reading. You can count to 29 easily and you know all your letters and recognize most of them in print. You will even make the letter sounds for many of them when you read your books. It sometimes frustrates you that you cannot read yet but you use that to your advantage whenever you want us to read you a book. When you ask us to read you a story and we encourage you to read to yourself you make us feel guilty by saying "but I can't read!" then you turn each page and say "blah, blah, blah.... SEE! I can't read." It works almost every time and guilts us into reading to you. You are a smart one!
You are truly struggling with becoming a "big kid." You have wanted this for a long time and lamented the fact that you are "too little" and "can't do anything." However you aren't ready to be a big kid and lately you have started talking in what you call a "baby voice" so that we "don't forget I'm your baby." We could never forget. Nonetheless we cannot convince you of that. Mama and I laugh because you never had a "baby voice." In fact, when you are in classes or groups where adults use that "sing-song" voice that many people use when talking to kids your age you ask why they "speak funny"? You don't understand why they won't speak "regular" and why they are talking to you like a "baby." You have taken to telling us that you don't ever want to get big and that you want to "stay little for a long, long, long time." Even so, you are growing up and you are wise beyond your years.
I could go on and on about who you are and who you are becoming but I will pause here to say that you are a happy, healthy, caring, joyous, thoughtful, and loving little girl who makes me feel like the luckiest mom in the world. Happy Birthday sweet child. Thank you for being you.