Grace’s birthday makes me heartsick. It forces me to admit that she’s growing up.
I can’t even read the post I wrote last year, about her second birthday, without melting into a puddle of tears, breathless and nauseous.
Do all mothers feel this way?
Don’t tell me if the answer is no. I can’t handle the truth.
The “terrible twos” missed us. For almost all of the past year, Grace was sweet and charming. We scarcely had a terrible moment in the first 10 months of this year.
The last two months, no so much. Wonderful as two was for us, almost three has been trying.
Grace is very shy and very tentative. I worry that she’s as anxious as I am.
I hope that someday, she’ll be audacious and assertive, and we’ll look back on these shy times and laugh. We’re not there yet.
Grace still wears diapers. Now and then, she’s very interested in being potty trained, but most of the time, she doesn’t care. At all.
Like today, when she spied a pack of princess panties at the store. She asked me to buy them for her. I said I’d be happy to buy them, but she’d have to be willing to use the potty to wear them. Her response? Oh. I don’t want them then.
Okay then. Everyone learns to use the potty sooner or later, so I’m going to pretend that I’m not worried about it.
I’m so very proud of the person Grace is. She’s caring and thoughtful, pensive and full of questions. She carefully considers the world, and she is highly inquisitive. She doesn’t forget anything, even if she claims What is ______? I don’t remember.
Grace is clever and smart and sweet and giggly. She loves to sing and dance, and she knows the words to most of the songs on my iPhone. Her current favorites are Rocco the Rhyming Rhino and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (which she calls Super-docious).
She likes art projects and learning. She adores animals. She could read books for hours, and she’s already showing an inclination toward music.
She knows the ABCs, and she can identify all of the letters. She counts to 20, and she knows some words in Spanish and French.
Despite my urging to the contrary (and a steady supply of gender-neutral toys), Grace is stereotypically girlie. She tolerates the trains and trucks I buy for her, but she really loves playing house, using her kitchen, and mothering her baby dolls. She plays dress up, applies pretend make up, wants to take ballet lessons, and is infatuated with princesses.
Her favorite colors are pink and purple.
Grace loves to laugh. She proclaims things to be silly, and she likes making jokes. She has developed quite the sense of humor, being intentionally tricky for a laugh.
Grace loves dresses. If I ask what she would like to wear in the morning, she always says, A dress! She’s been stuck between a size 5T and a size 5 in girls’ for most of the last year (and a 10 1/2 wide in shoes). I’m okay with that; her clothes and shoes are wearing out instead of being tossed aside after half a season of wear.
Her baby rolls are all gone; her little belly only sticks out when she’s had too much to eat. The clothes that were snug around her middle last year fit nicely now.
She has her moments, as we all do, but Grace is exceedingly helpful and considerate. Today, she cleaned up a display at a store and re-hung all of products on their hooks. She hadn’t made the mess, but she took pleasure in helping the clerk fix it. I was proud of her.
Sometimes, her empathy surprised me. Grace concerned about how I feel, whether I’m tired or need to lie down, or if the baby in my tummy is making me feel sick. She tries to mother me, and I can see already that she’ll try to mother the new baby, too.
Speaking of the new baby, Grace is convinced that it’s going to come on Christmas Day.
Baby Jesus was born on Christmas, and He was very special. Our baby is going to be very special, too, just like Baby Jesus!
Every time I put Grace to bed, I ask her the same thing,
Of all of the little girls in the whole world, how do you think Daddy and I got the very best one?
And I mean it. I got the very best one.
Happy Birthday, Pumpkin!
© 2010 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.