Sweet child of mine

Last year, my girl, you were three. Now, today, with one brief blink of the eye, you are four. I know I sound like a nutcake broken record, but it's gone so fast.

You were just born, for the love of pete, and I just can't fathom that four damn years has gone by since we met face to face.

I feel like you've always been here, always been in my life, sticking your hand in my plate, leaving floaties in my drink, watching me pee, snuggling up to me, slipping your hand in mine.

Since your last birthday, you have done so many things. So many, in fact, that I probably forgot some of them, and that's a sad shame.

You lost two blankies.
You went to the State Fair for the first time.
You learned what it felt like to lose a pet, to grieve, and to heal.
You roller-skated for the first time.

You went to a baseball game & fell in love with the players. You absolutely adore Josh Hamilton, and literally cry for him. You've even asked us to drive by his house several times, & I think it was probably a bad idea that your Daddy told you he lives less than a mile from us, and it wouldn't surprise me to get a phone call from the police someday, telling me you skipped out of preschool, walked across the road, & was found looking in his windows.

Your great-grandmother passed away, & you wanted to see her in the casket, which I allowed (PARENT FAIL? I don't know-I guess I'll ask you in 12 or so years).

You gave us all complete & utter terror attacks when we thought we lost you.

You completed your Daddy's sentence when he said "Mother F" (I will not forget the sound of your little voice telling him matter-of-factly, "It's FUCKER, Daddy. Mother FUCKER").

You started campaigning for a Nintendo DS, a baby brother, & most recently, the chance to have your pacifier back.
You started dressing yourself, and having strong opinions about what you want to wear every day.

You rolled with the punches, and moved a to a temporary house when our house flooded.

You went to the deer lease with your father, several times, looking for deer, cows, turkeys, and anything else you could scare off with your happy laughter. You enjoyed riding around in the Kubota RTV w/ him, which I affectionately call 'The Bubble'.

You learned how to whistle.
You learned the words to so many songs, including Pink's "So What" , Outkast's "Back of the Bus", and All American Rejects' "Hope it gives you hell". Tonight I heard you in your room after I put you to bed, singing "If you're happy and you know it". You have such a sweet little voice.

You are so smart, my baby. You can spell and write your name, and you are recognizing letters all over the place:on street signs, in the grocery aisles, in books, on TV. You love to learn, and spend time every day, on your own, doing pages in workbooks, asking me sweetly "Tell me what I do on this page, mommy".
When I put you to bed, we read a book (or two, or ten) and you insist on reading it to me after I read it. You asked to be rocked, and we sit on the floor in front of your bed, where I pull you into my lap and rock you gently, while breathing in the scent of your hair. You climb into bed willingly, asking for every damn receiving blanket to be layered over you, and placing your Old Man Dog, Daisy, and 17,569 other small stuffed animals JUST SO at the foot of your bed.
You know how to manipulate, and push buttons, and annoy. You know how to get what you want. But just when I am being pushed to the edge of insanity with your whining, bossing, nagging, complaining, I-will-not-shut-up-until-you-give-me-what-I-want-damn-it....you soften the blow with a sweet smile, a soft kiss, and bright eyes. You tell me I am a good mommy just when I need to hear it most. You kiss me at the best times. You say "I love you" so often.

You are so silly. You love to laugh. You love to stuff your face full of grapes, steal my last chip, blow the wrappers off your straw at us, make silly faces and noises, & you NEVER sit still for pictures.
You are such a joy, even in the midst of the frustration. You are so much fun, playing hide-n-seek in the house with us, or duck-duck-goose. Your laugh is contagious when I tickle you until you lose your breath. You love to fart, shake your booty, and play with Daisy. In fact, you love all dogs.
You are my sweet girl, and it saddens me that the time is flying, that you are FOUR, that you are getting so damn long and smart and independent and feisty and fierce and.....I love all these things about you, but I just want it all to slow down. I just want to feel your little hand in mine, and hear you sing "I wanna hold your hand" when you do it.

Happy birthday, my sweet girl.


Unknown said...

What a great post! I remember 4 (my daughter just turned 9), four is really fun! Your daughter looks like a great kid to be around. That for me, although time does fly and you just learn to enjoy it all, is the best part of my daughter. I love being with her because of her personality. Looks like you are blessed, too. I love the Mother F part!
Happy Birthday!!!

Badass Geek said...

God, what a cute kid. Happy birthday, kiddo.

Anonymous said...

Awesome post DL! This year, just like last year, holds a lot of new changes and significant maturity in the way she talks & thinks. It's fascinating to watch and yet heartbreaking at the same time. Enjoy this coming year...for me & my daughter, 4 was an amazing year!

Anonymous said...

Awww. She sounds totally awesome, and a lot like my little guy with the singing and the farting and the blowing of straws.

But also with hugging and loving and telling you that you are a good mommy. Can it ever get better than that, really??

She is beautiful. Just like you!

TUWABVB said...

I'm not even saying this because I'm somewhat biased...but she is one of the cutest kids I have ever seen. Her smile melts my heart!And she's like a little min-me of you. From what I can tell, not just in looks, but in personality as well. :)

262mom said...

Happy Birthday Sweet Cheeks!

MzEll said...

Happy Birthday, Little One...

Biddy said...

Happy Birthday, little one!!

also? baaaaaaaaaahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaa i think i busted a stitch when i read "I will not forget the sound of your little voice telling him matter-of-factly, "It's FUCKER, Daddy. Mother FUCKER"

Dee said...

Aw, such a sweet post. My son turned 4 last month and I still haven't managed to write the post I wanted about it. You have one sweet little girl!

La Petite Chic said...

She is so precious! Happy birthday to your sweet little girl!

Chibi said...

Oh mah holy hell! I'm with Biddy: your girl is hilARious! ROFL

Happy birthday to a beautiful little girl! :)

the girl with the pink teacup said...

Danielle-lee, you have such a special gift for writing about your baby girl so that anyone can instantly appreciate how truly wonderful she is. She is absolutely precious - not to mention a total mini-you! - and I really hope you both enjoy the precious moments ahead for you in the wonderful world of four years old. Happy Birthday, little one!

Auntie Em said...

Sounds like you aren't missing much, so keep watching and watch and be amazed!

Anonymous said...

Aw how sweet!

Holly said...

I love how she is a mini-you! I hope she had a wonderful birthday! Out of the Terrible Threes! Or...maybe that was just my kids.

Kristie said...

Happy birthday, Grace! xoxo

Sarah said...

This is so sweet...I can't wait until she can read it