We took out and inflated my long-forgotten exercise ball this weekend, not so I could use it (which, honestly, I should), but because it was recommended last week that we have Millie use it to work on improving her balance.
Of course, Ray inflated it after Millie went to bed and Lola immediately claimed it as her own new toy. She loves doing somersaults and jumping on it. This kept her busy for about twenty minutes.
At one point, she spun around, caught my eye and just grinned.
It was one of those moments during which I became aware - yet again - that even though I see her every day, I don't notice her growing up, growing older day by day.
She looked so much older. When did that happen?
The other day she was in a quiet, contemplative mood in the car after day care. I let her have some time to decompress but she still was just not her usual vibrant, over-the-top self.
I finally asked her, "Lola, are you OK?"
She tilted her head upward, and made eye contact with me through the rear-view mirror.
"Mommy," she said, not unhappily. "I'm just a complicated girl."
She isn't even yet 4.
She continues to be our little fireball. Barreling through life one moment a time. Everything she does, from laughing to loving to playing, is done at 135 percent. A fun giggle becomes a high-pitched shriek. A stubbed toe a complete meltdown. A walk down a path an all-out foot race.
We've been playing more board games, never letting her win, never letting her cheat. The first few times were tough, if she didn't win, she'd pout or cry and say, "But I wanted to win," but, usually, now, with a few prompts and explanations, she gets over it and asks for a rematch. The other day, I beat her at Candyland. She smiled so warmly at me, "Good job, Mommy!" she said earnestly. "That was a good game."
She gets older every day.
Still, she has more than a couple of idiosyncrasies. She hates to have water on her face and has a breakdown when I wash her hair in the tub. So, for the sake of peace and household happiness (not to mention clean hair), I've taken to washing her mane in the sink.
While I was digging around the storage area for the exercise ball, I also uncovered a piece of my long-ago past. Girl Scouting.
Lola always wants to wear my clothes so she had quite a bit of fun in that for a while. Of course, she wanted to know what all the patches meant, and while I could remember a couple, most of them were a mystery. Still, she was pretty excited about it all.
Nearly a year into sisterhood, she loves being a big sister, playing with Amelia, showing her around the world. She is protective of Millie, always reminding me when she thinks Millie needs a bottle or a hug. She loves to make her laugh, to make her smile. She even tolerates it when Millie grabs hold of her hair and yanks.
Lola is definitely our spitfire, and while I can't say we aren't tested on a daily (some days, hourly) basis, she is still our little angel.
Most days anyway.
- Bethany :)