Last week, my baby girl turned four. This blows my mind in so many ways, I cannot even describe it. My baby. Is four. YEARS old. My heart is dropping into the pit of my stomach. I don't think I'm ready for this.
But of course the last four years have been gradually getting me ready for this. Day by day, Mathilda is less baby and more kid. She wants to do everything herself, except if she doesn't want to do it. Then she is suddenly the baby again. "I just a little kid," said with a quizzical look, as if I am nuts for even suggesting she should put her dirty dishes in the sink or put her clean pajamas away in her dresser.
Mathilda's most prominent nickname is Skunk. Because she is a skunk. She likes to keep us on her toes, this one. Translation: my youngest child is moody, persnickety, sometimes surly, and more than a little on the sassy side. She is also as sweet, cuddly, loving, and adorable as they come.
It's only fitting that this week I am thankful for Mathilda. Probably should have been last week's post, but I do what I can.
Vivacious, hot-tempered, and passionate, Mathilda is everything a proper ginger should be. She thinks hard and feels strongly, leading to deep questions, frequent nightmares, and not uncommon emotional outbursts. She worries and gets anxious and has a slight (ahem...) touch of OCD. This gorgeous little moppet has tested my patience and my parenting skills to their very limits. Her strong personality urges me to be a better, calmer mommy. I'm still learning.
Mathilda loves to talk. And talk and talk and talk and talk. The more I try to talk, the louder she talks, in what I can only assume is a valiant effort to dominate all conversation. Those youngests, they have to fight to be heard. I don't blame her, the big kids are pretty loud and she has a lot of competition.
Yes, Mathilda has a lot to say. And talking with her is a great joy and highlight of my day. She is so funny, her sense of humor is contagious. As crazy as she makes me at times, she makes me laugh every single day.
With all the singing that my little skunk does, she seems to be creating the soundtrack of her life. Why talk if you can sing? And when music is playing, she loves to be dancing. I sometimes think it's like as soon as she hears music, an invisible force is lifting her up and thrusting her onto whatever makeshift dance floor she can find.
What does Mathilda love? Purple and ballet and treats, most any kind will do. Preschool, Netflix, swings, drawing, and skirts. Her red patent leather Minnie Mouse shoes, headbands, Dora, hats, and hotels. What she loves, she LOVES. Making her happy is so much fun because her reactions are big and sincere, and her dimples are super cute too.
What do I love about Mathilda? The way she scurries into the kitchen clutching her step-stool and offering to help with whatever cooking I am doing. That she sings to herself and becomes slightly self-conscious when she realizes we can hear her. Her little hands, holding onto mine, silently imploring me to keep her safe. How she gets so excited when she sees anything purple. That she sometimes climbs in bed with me and snuggles up to me just right. The curls at the ends of her hair, which I know will disappear when she gets her first hair cut. Every inch of her perfect four-year old body, from her long red hair to her little bitty piggies.
Being the youngest, Mathilda gets me to herself a lot. She is my errand running buddy, generally content to go where I go. I cherish our time together, quietly cuddling while the big kids are in school, leisurely browsing through Target, stopping for snacks at Starbucks or Tim Horton's.
Getting big happens so fast, too fast. I understand why Mathilda woke up crying on her birthday, telling us she didn't want it to be her birthday, she didn't want to be four. She gets it, somehow. That now that three is over, it's done for good. Three was fun. And soon she will see that four will be even better.
|My big girl.|