Tuesday, February 14, 2006

2006, 02/14 - Baby

Four is a really difficult age. Four is Independence. Four is Entitlement. Four is Gimme, Gimme, Gimme.

There are episodes where Munchkin makes a request which must be denied, and her immediate response is to begin bawling or yelling. This only makes the denial more firm. A calm and considerate "Oh, please, Mommy?" would at least get a moment's consideration. The diva hissy fit of "PLEASE, PLEAAAAAASE!! YOU NEVER LET ME DO WHAT I WANT!" wins nothing but a Time-Out, and perhaps loss of a priviledge. It's getting repetitive. Can we move on to age five and be done with this lesson, please?

Of course there are good points to this age as well. Munchkin can do so many things by herself now. She can make her own peanut butter sandwich from start to clean-up. She can help with chores. She can wash herself. She can pick out her own clothes, dress herself, and come out looking completely coordinated. She can dig through her toybox without tossing toys everywhere. She can put things back where they belong. She can help me remember things.

And there are things, simply in her nature, that she has always been able to do, still does, and, most likely, will always be able to do. She has always been able to make me laugh. She has always been able to work a remote control (almost always!). She has always been ticklish. She has always been able to sing. She has always been able to dance. She still experiences the joy of simply being alive.

My four-year-old is still my baby, and she still lets me call her "my baby." She still loves to be held close and rocked. This is what we did tonight at bedtime. I held her in my arms and I rocked her. She leaned against me and smiled.

I sang the song/chant I made up for her when she was less than a week old. No one but us knows this song.

I watched her face in the dark. Same big, sparkling eyes, same eyelashes, same color hair, same eyebrows, same lips as when she was a baby. For a fleeting moment, she was that baby again. She is that baby. With the chunky thighs, chubby cheeks, pudgy fingers, huge cloth diaper. Look how big that baby is now. Her legs have stretched. Her hair is thick and long. Her ears have clogged (ha ha). She wears almost my same size hat--not the tiny, pink, stretchy, cotton caps anymore.

We've grown together.

When she was born, she and I had almost the same length of hair. We've grown our hair out together.

We're both different people now. We are both more mature. The love has not changed. It is full and constant. We make adjustments in ourselves--consciously on my part, less-so on her part--for each other.

I'll never be perfect. And she'll never be Sara Crewe from "A Little Princess." She is Munchkin. She is herself. She is perfectly herself.

I was once her. I was once a baby with chunky thighs, chubby cheeks, pudgy fingers. I had the same big, sparkling eyes and the same shaped eyebrows. Maybe I am perfectly myself, too.

No comments: