Friday marked the four-year anniversary of the very last day I’ll ever be pregnant in my whole entire life because Saturday was Avery’s, my last baby’s, birthday. This is how you make someone else’s special day all about you. Never again will I ever look like this:
Although, on second look, my hair looks really cute here, right? The stomach, however, looks sore. That’s because it was. Skin is weird because I don’t think even Lycra will stretch that far. And that face looks poufy and tired and that’s because my fetus made me eat all of the things, especially ice cream, so it was mostly water weight. Ice cream is like water, right? And eating all the things was tiring.
Enough about me. My baby is four. My BAYbe. I asked her if I was still allowed to call her baby now that she was officially a Big Girl. She said I could, which is a good thing because I wasn’t really asking. She’ll always be my baby until she’s old and I’m even older and she’s changing my diapers and she has her own grown up babies. Just the same as Eirinn will always be my sweetie, even when she’s being a jerk.
This is a big year for her. She starts school in September, all day, every day. It’s not called JK and SK anymore, but ELKP – Early Learning Kindergarten Program, which is one, two-year kindergarten program. It’s pretty much exactly the same only completely confusing and totally different. She’s pretty tiny for her age, but she’s got the spunky attitude of six four-year-olds rolled into one, so she’ll do just fine. She might have to look up to her classmates, but they’ll be handing over their lunch money to her in no time. I know this, but comparing pictures of Eirinn on her first day of school and Avery now, I can’t believe the size difference and the appearance of maturity Eirinn had that Avery hasn’t grown yet. Look up “wee little firecracker” in the dictionary and you’ll see her smirking mug staring right back at you.
She’s going to make her first like-aged friends, attend her first non-relation’s birthday party, and she will be entrusted to the daily care of someone who isn’t her parent or grandparent for the first time in her life. This year, she’ll fly in a plane to Mexico, she’ll visit Disney World for the second time, and she’ll be a flower girl. A lot of firsts this year, the most action packed year since her first, which means a lot of lasts for me. She’s the last of my children I’ll see through these firsts – the last first day of school, the last first fight with a friend, the last first report card. It’s all kinds of bittersweet, but isn’t that what parenting is, at every turn?
I love this kid’s face off. She’s insane and frustratingly stubborn and wild and nearly always disobedient, but she’s also incredibly sweet and hilarious and loving. She’ll bring you to your knees in tears one moment and have you squeezing her with love and laughter the next. She’s emotionally manipulative, is how it sounds, but that’s just how she is. She is my baby, through and through. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, too.