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Dear Kaylee, at 49 months

Dear Kaylee,

You are such a Mama’s girl right now. In some ways it’s very flattering, and I love it when you put your hand on my cheek and say, “Mommy, you’re my best friend.” On the other hand, I do wish you’d let me use the bathroom alone and that you’d let your dad hold you once in a while. Yesterday there was a meltdown because you wanted to give me the Father’s Day present you made at school, and were devastated when I suggested you give it to Daddy instead. This morning you cried because I had to leave you at Gram and Papa’s so I could go to work – this despite yelling, “Can we go to Gram and Papa’s now?” at me all morning.

That’s not to say you aren’t occasionally a Daddy’s girl, too. You have your moments when he’s the only parent you want to hang out with – often involving Lord of the Rings chess – but generally speaking you’re all about me. Again, it’s nice sometimes. But kiddo, I need you to figure out how to exist in the world when I’m in another room or in another building on the other side of town. The thing is, I know you’re perfectly capable of being a shiny, happy little social butterfly when I’m not around. When I picked you up from school yesterday, you ran to give me a hug, but then started yelling, “I have to go!” to your friends on the playground before running back to hug them. This terror you seem to feel at being left to your own devices is so unnecessary, and I wish I could get you to see that. But it took me three decades to get over a fraction of that terror, so I don’t know how to do that for you.

Despite these frustrations, you are a fun, smart, inquisitive little girl who wants what she wants, and wants it now. Every time we ride in the car, we must play the “Tangled” soundtrack on the stereo, and I have to sing the Flynn Rider parts while you sing the Rapunzel parts. (Robbie is sometimes Mother Gothel and sometimes a bad guy. Daddy is usually a horse.) After dinner, you must have ice cream. When I put you in the car to go somewhere, I must not go back into the house for any reason, because you don’t want to be left alone in the car. That has everything to do with this incident, plus another one in which the light on the garage door opener turned itself off while you were strapped in the seat and I ran back inside to get my purse. You don’t forget anything. Two years later, and you’re still afraid the car’s going to roll away with you in it.

You’re so smart and wonderful and funny that I can’t really put your awesomeness into words. You make me laugh all the time, you make silly faces just for me, and you have this one cute facial expression that you always use when you’ve just made a joke. Some days I can’t believe you’re old enough to think the complex thoughts that you share with me, and other days I can’t believe you’ve only been in my life for four years. What did I do with my time before I was singing songs to you and cuddling you when you’re scared?

I really don’t remember.



Reader Comments (2)

She is a wonderful and smart girl. You and Rob are such good parents.

June 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPapa

Sorry for the LATE comment on this...but I truly cannot believe what a big girl she has become. So beautiful! Enjoy your best friend — she's one BFF that's truly forever!

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