Can you believe I've been a parent for 5 years? Seriously. I think that makes me a real adult. They'll let pretty much anyone take a baby home from the hospital, but if you've kept someone alive for 5 whole years, that's a Big Deal.
Anyway, this little five year old is really lovely and wonderful and I'm happy I get to be her mom. Here are some of my favorite things about her lately.
And they're always assigning everyone else roles to play in their little games. They like to pretend I am other kids' moms. And they pretend to be those kids. I guess it always seems like more fun at someone else's house. Henry usually gets the non-speaking roles, like the baby or the dragon or Sven the reindeer. I think we may have some future actresses or casting directors on our hands.
2. She loves reading. All the time. We've been reading How To Train Your Dragon and Little Women at bedtime, interspersed between picture books so Olivia doesn't get too lost with the all the chapter books. It's so fun that she is really growing so much into a little girl that is eager to learn about the world. She also loves books about the human body and always want to know how things work.
3. She is always coming up to me with great ideas. Like, "Hey mom! I have a great idea! Let's have a MOVIE NIGHT!!" all excited like it's the best idea ever. Once a week we have a tradition of having a pizza movie night as a family and it's a pretty fun tradition, especially getting to share all our old favorite movies with the kids.
4. Sometimes she can be very helpful. And then she pairs it with her attempts at using new language she's heard from other people. I'll ask her to put something away and she says, "Of course, my pleasure, mom." Or "Yes, I'm welcome to." And once she told me that when Olivia and I left her in the pew at church to go to the bathroom that we were gone so long that she start to get "really worried and troubled" about us. Ha!
6. She loves to sing and listen to music. She is very musical like her dad, which is very fun. Steve is always introducing them to new bands and currently she is pretty sad that she can't go to the Magic Man concert in November. She is always singing the lyrics to songs I didn't know she knew. And they're always so adult seeming. I can't help but laugh when I hear her belting out, "I am a rambling man. I ain't ever gonna change. I've gotta gypsy soul to blame and I was born for leaving." And when she and Olivia sing to Magic Man their little lips make perfect Os as they sing all the "whoa oh ohs".
7. She super loves her sister. When I asked her what her favorite part of being four was she said, "Playing with my sister." Which pretty much sums up the whole of her year. They just played together. And it was very wonderful. I hope they look back and think they got the most out of their childhood because they just got to play together all the time.
8. She has "Peter Pan syndrome." She doesn't want to grow up. I can never tell her to eat her veggies so she'll get big and strong because she'll freak out and say she doesn't want to grow up! So perhaps I've told her that the only things that make her grow up are candy and cake. For some reason she still eats them, though. Anyway. I kind of love that she doesn't want to grow up. I mean, it must mean that she thinks childhood is pretty great if she's not in a huge rush to get big. And I'll take that as a compliment.
9. I love how she still slips her hand into mine when we are walking, and still likes to snuggle close when we are talking. When I lay in her bed with her she'll reach up and stroke my cheek and sometimes play with my hair like I play with hers. Having two younger siblings competing for attention means she doesn't get as much as she would like. But when she has mine she really glows and comes alive. And sometimes she'll say some pretty crazy things just to get us to listen to her above all the chatter around this house. It's funny to see what she comes up with. And then she'll get on the most random spirals of weirdness trying to keep the spotlight.
Some of her funniest quotes from this year:
E: You're in my heart, mama.
M: And you're in my heart.
E: Hearts are like Os. Like Cheerios. I ate them at school with milk.
O: Where's my Cinderella?
E: You have to open your eyeballs in my backpack.
*Olivia finds Cinderella eventually.*
E: See. I told you you just had to open your eyeballs.
E: Can we snuggle and talk? I want to talk about Jesus. God gave us everything. He gave us our house and our garden. And God gave you [mom] children. And God gave Auntie Mal to her mom.
M: What did God give you?
E: God gave me my sparkly dress and my light-up glass slippers. I love Him that He gave me those things. He is so sweet.
M: Why don't you go in your room and go to the ball?
E: No! First I need to walk and fall in love. Then I can go to the ball and dance.
M: You can have a cookie after your sandwich/
E: I want two cookies.
M: Just one.
E: But I want to be like daddy!
M: I think it's going to rain today.
E: No it's not. It only rains at night when the laughter comes.
M: You make my life good.
E: I make everybody's life good. Except some people don't have lifes. Like bad guys don't have lifes.
E: Daddy, did you take a shower?
D: No, but I brushed my teeth.
E: Well, because you look kind of dirty and gross.
E: Are there any dandelions in the backyard? I need to make a wish.
E: (to mom) Your eyes are brown like goats. But not little goats. Dead goats.
M: Henry! Don't knock over my laundry.
H: *speaks gibberish like he is explaining something*
E: He says a bug came in the house and knocked over the laundry.
E: My leg hurts. It needs more reading to feel better.
D: It probably needs to rest and get some sleep in your bed.
E: No, it's not that kind of owie. It's the kind that needs more reading to feel better.
Today you are five and I can't believe it. Although you did tell me you wanted to stay four. I guess four must have been pretty good for you.
I love you so much. I remember the day you came into the world so clearly. Everything was so new and intense for me as a mother. I hardly knew what I was doing, but you've always been such a sweet girl to hang in there with me. I think I am learning just as much from you as you are learning from me, and I am always grateful for your patience, your calm in this storm.
I love the way you care for and love your brother and sister. Thinking about it now makes me want to cry happy tears. All I ever wanted was children who love each other. I know they get on your nerves sometimes, but you are so quick to forgive them. You are so kind and considerate of their needs and you help me to know when they want something. And the way you and Liv stay up all night talking. I know sometimes I get mad because you should really get some sleep, but secretly I love it that you just can't get enough of each other, even after a full day of playing together. I know how wonderful it is to stay up all night talking to your best friend. And I'm glad you know, too.
You never cease to amaze me with all the things you know. Your big words and ideas are always a little surprising. I think sometimes I assume you're still my little baby, but then you show me how you are growing into such a wonderful person. And I enjoy getting to know you as you change and bloom.
There are days that are really hard, because, frankly, I still don't know what I'm doing. I hope you always know that, no matter what, I cherish you and want the best for you, even if I don't know what that is or how to give it to you. I think that's the hardest thing for every parent - and every child, too. I'm so glad you're my teammate in this whole thing. You're a very gracious first kid to go through all the trial and error and help us perfect our routine for your sister and brother.
I love you more than words can tell. I am so thankful for all the ways you have made my life brighter and better these past five years. And I am looking forward to so many more.
You're in my heart forever.
P.S. Here's a photo of them from the other day when they were pretending to be Anna and Elsa. This is coronation day and you can see they are fully outfitted for the occasion, "glumps" and all. Olivia is taking her new role as Queen of Arendelle very seriously. See how regal they look? They crack me up.