My little baby is not so little. Sometimes I look at you and your body is long and lean and I can't believe you're my Keely. You look so little kid-like and not how my mind sees you. I still see my baby. I get teary when I have to buy you a size 5 dress! A 5! How can that fit my little girl? You talk so grown-up. You want to do everything we do-make dinner (your chair is always at the counter), wash dishes, sew toys, reach stuff on high shelves, use my scissors-the list goes on. You always say, "…but I am a big now! I can do it." So we give you choppers to help cut-up vegetables, clean water to wash the dishes and lift you up so you can reach the high-spots. I'm keeping the scissors away for a bit longer though.
You've always loved to write and draw and this year you've really flourished. I dare say you are obsessed with writing. You give me no less than 20 pictures a day. You are always sitting at your desk sounding out letters and asking things like, "Is it a B or D in lady?" When anyone doesn't feel well (including the animals) you immediately run to your paper to draw them a happy picture that says, "I love you." and you draw things you think they will like. If anyone comes to our house, they always leave here with your artwork.
(Caribou growing a garden.)
Lately, you carry a tote bag when we go out. In this bag is paper and crayon-among a million other odd things. You like to write lists of what we are buying BUT you won't do it until we get to the store. So, you find a shelf of some kind and whip out your pad and start sounding out letters. We absolutely HAVE to stop and stand there and wait for you to finish your list. It takes a long time to write "Thred" (thread) and "tap" (tape). There is no use trying to talk you out of these tasks or to hurry you. We just have to stop every few minutes and let you add another thing to your list. Oh, the patience we try to have. You are so proud of yourself when your list is complete.
At nap time we go and lay on your bed. First, we read a few books. Then, I lay there fake sleeping while you play with you soft toys. You lean over to whisper things to me like, "I'm all done sleeping now. Really. I'm done." "Alright mommy, that's it. Four more minutes and then I'm getting up." After about 40 minutes, I give up on the rest and it's over. You actually go to sleep maybe once or twice a week. You still will stay up until after 10 pm though. Where do you get the energy love? You've mentioned sleeping in your room at night a few times, but if we start to do that you quickly change your mind and your soon snuggled up with us. We have no desire to force you out. Soon we'll be four in the bed I guess, six including the animals.
I wish I could rig the camera to take a shot of us all sleeping. No luck yet.
You've had one little friend in our neighborhood over the past couple years. I only recently really started making an effort for you two to get together. I had to force my anti-social self to go hang out with her mom while you got to play. I tried to do it at least once a week. You always played so sweet and nice together. You drew her pictures and left them in her mailbox. Wrote her messages and gave her hugs. You even shared your things nicely, but then this summer they moved. They left for a different city and soon are going to another state. I don't think you fully understand that she's really gone now. You keep asking when are we going to a new house too. I feel so bad that you've lost your one buddy. This is a big down side to living in a mostly military neighborhood. I hope we find you a new friend soon.
Food is still not your favorite. Meal times are usually quite a struggle. I try to get good stuff in you at non-meal times and that seems to suit you better. Ice cream and chocolate however, you will gladly eat any time. Dare we give you a sip of soda and you salivate for more and more. You proudly and often say, "Yeeeeah, I don't really like good food, only junk." super. You still have a cup of milk after lunch and dinner and want me to sit and cuddle with you while you drink it. A sweet hang-on of our baby days together.
You love your books. Clifford books are the best for some reason. You have them memorized and you lay on your bed a few times a day and read them out loud. I love to listen to you. You are such a good reader.
I am so proud to be your mommy Keely. Your creativity, silliness, sweetness, determination and intelligence amaze me daily. You'll always be my baby girl. Happy fourth birthday Bender.
September 10, 2007