As this post publishes, we will most likely be a household that is bouncing with excitement as we watch Miss E as she opens her birthday gifts. Today she turns three.
It is always hard to think about Miss E without comparing her to Mr D at the same stage. I guess that is inevitable, but I am always conscious that she is her own person, she isn’t an add-on to Mr D, and she isn’t in his shadow.
It seems almost impossible that she has been here three whole years. It seems like a moment ago we grew to a family of four. A moment ago we were struggling with the constant crying and screaming, the complete lack of sleep. How is she three so soon?
Over the last three or four months she has really come into her own, and stepped out from behind Mr D and developed a real clear and unique personality. She is wacky. She is very unlike Damian and I. She, as my auntie says, has her own style and she has insisted for some time now that she dresses herself each day. Woe betide if you choose something for her that she doesn’t want. It can often mean that she wears some interesting combinations, but it is very much her style.
She has, so far, stayed clear of the pinkification. Probably in part due to my insistence that just because she is a girl this doesn’t mean she *must* like princesses and pink and dolls. Of course she wears pink, but she is happy to wear jogging bottoms and her Thomas the tank engine t-shirt. We are a Frozen free zone in our house, having managed to avoid the lure of feature films and the such.
That said, she has discovered a love of dresses in the last six months or so. When she was younger I didn’t dress her in dresses. If I am honest it makes me cringe to see young toddlers or crawling babies in dresses – it impedes their development and ability to crawl and climb and explore – it’s interesting to watch the girls at playgroups dressed in over the top and overly fussy dresses. I am glad that I held firm and kept her in comfortable leggings and trousers that allowed her to run, jump and climb; to be free to chase after her brother.
She is strong-willed but sensitive. She adores both her brothers and the closeness to Mr D has been so noticeable these last few weeks as her talks to her about the things she can do when she is three, namely she starts her swimming lessons. He is keen to reassure her and she looks to him for advice. She is also sensitive to Mr H’s needs, and each morning comes into our room to see him. There has, remarkably, been no jealousy that each morning he is there, in bed with us, yet they are not. She happily accepts this is how it is and instead comes straight to see him; to shower him with kisses and cuddles. In return, he reserves the biggest smiles for her.
We asked her what she would like to do for her third birthday. I thought after the excitement of the family party for Mr D some four months ago she would want to do this, but she instead asked if we could go for breakfast. Already her and Mr D have had important conversations and discussions about how to decide what they will both order and how they will share their pancakes and waffles and the things they will play on in the play area.
As I said, it is impossible to not compare her and her older brother. She is much quieter than Mr D and I often wonder if that is because he can be so demanding of my time, or is it that she is more at ease with questioning silently and working things out in her own way. She asks for help when she needs it and seeks comfort and cuddles easily. On the rare occasions it is just her and I it is noticeable how quiet it can be. I adore Mr D, but he really does talk incessantly and it is nice to have to time with Miss E to just ‘be’ with her. I hope she doesn’t feel over shadowed by him.
It would be amiss for me to not mention her hair. Her hair is a wild mass of curls and it is, so often, the thing that people comment on. Some days it is perfect ringlets, other days it seems like those curls are dropping out and other days it is a mass of wild curls. I have never been a particularly girly girl, and the idea of doing things with her hair fills me with dread. The best we get is some hair clips to clip the front bits out her eyes. Thankfully she isn’t too fussy and quite often prefers for it to be left down.
She is learning her alphabet, her letters and sounds. She is confident counting and she loves her Spanish lessons. She is confident, funny and at times indignant. She adores her Lion teddies and she worships her older and younger brothers. She is zany, wacky and the touch of gentle craziness that any household needs.
And today, my baby girl turns three.
Happy Birthday Em.