To Be Four

(c) la luz photography 2011

She plays with her brother like they’re puppies, jumping and hiding, then pouncing and rolling. Her toys are his and she’s willing to share almost anything to make him happy. She dresses herself in the morning and prefers to wear all one color – purple, green, blue, pink. When she’s done eating, she asks to be ‘misused.’ She thinks the ‘pider that lives in her bathroom is cute. She has two imaginary friends/sisters both named Jada.

You have to ask her 10 or 15 times to take her shoes off or put them on. You can’t get her to use her fork or stay at the dinner table. She flits about the living room, all greasy-fingered and ferile while the rest of the family eats. She’d like you to think that she can’t hear you or control her body or listen to what you are saying. But when you ask her what she wants for her 4th birthday, she snaps to attention right at your feet. You squat and she looks right into your eyes and says, very clearly, without any hesitation – a doll house, a princess doll and a remote controlled car – like she’s been thinking about this for years.

Then, just like that was a dream, that girl is gone, and she is once again dancing and rubbing her greasy fingers all over the couch because she’s in a different world occupied by Jadas and spiders wearing monochromatic clothes and she can’t possibly hear you telling her to stop.

Happy 4th birthday to my favorite baby girl.

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