My big girl

Anya keeps telling me she’s a big girl. Usually the context is something she wants to do without help that I don’t want her to do without help, like making me a cup of tea — real, almost-boiling tea, not tea-party tea — or changing her brother’s poopy diaper. (Seriously…where did I get this kid? She is sweet beyond words. But also, ay yi yi. If she’s this independent now, her teen years will be the death of me.)

She has little-baby moments. Where she wants to be picked up and cuddled and coddled and taken care of. No problem. I can do that. It’s hard to believe that as recently as this past February, she looked and acted like — and was — a toddler. My baby girl. Round cheeks and pudgy belly and cuddles. And now…now she is a child. A preschooler. All long legs and maturity and helpfulness.

She holds conversations. She introduces herself and her entire family to parents in stores. She never fails to ask how you’re doing, and will inquire about illnesses and injuries if she knows you’ve had them. She compliments your clothes and asks where you got them. She wants to know everyone’s name. (If no name is provided, she dubs he/she/it Chocolate Candy Cane. No, I don’t know why.) Her enunciation is getting better; strangers can understand much of what she says now, with little translation from me.

My baby girl is still in there. She still tantrums. Still pouts when she doesn’t get her way. She wants my lap and her Mimi’s lap  all to herself. Still needs to rub my earlobe as she falls asleep. There are growing pains, and new-sibling pains; she liked being the doted-upon baby, and sometimes resents the interloper (though he is “cute-cute”) and the expectation that she be more mature now. She lashes out, acts up, goes “purple Minion.” But she also rubs my back when I am tired. Talks soothingly to me when I start to lose it. Sings to her brother when he’s teething, and makes him laugh when he’s cranky. Helps me clean house on Saturday morning.

My big girl.

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