You looked over at me and with every fiber in your being, you insisted you were going to be 5. In your mind, you have been 4 for the past year. Well, I distinctly remember birthing you and yes, darling, you are turning 4 this year, not 5.
You are 35 pounds of mighty, happy energy. Your light brown, curly tendrils fall well below your bottom. You have long, graceful arms, ridiculously strong, lithe legs, and a 6-pack that will make any body builder envious. Your cheeks are the perfect shade of rose. Those beautiful brown eyes, so full of curiosity and compassion. You tell me every day how you are growing, then stand next to me to demonstrate how tall you've become. As of this very moment, you are about an inch above my hip, or slightly higher than 38 inches high. That gorgeous smile of yours lights a room!
Quite the daring soul who likes to explore, we often have fits of willpower when you push your boundaries. You firmly stand your ground. It simultaneously infuriates and makes me beam with pride. You are everything I prayed you would be and more.
You come up with your own phrases and mannerisms. "Mommy, I'm signing to you." as you flash the I love you sign. "Everyday I never..." is what precludes your objection when I don't allow you an extra serving of sugar, or anything for that matter. "Oh, never mind, sorry." Mari, you don't have to say I'm sorry for everything. Which you will reply your statement again. "Mommy, only comb my hair soft and gently. I don't want you to pull my hair, it hurts. Ok?" We have this conversation every time I have to brush your hair. I can distract you by watching a movie. Nowadays, you allow me to style your hair more and more. "Awww...that's so cuuute!" Any time your sister does something, you will say it is cute. This also goes for nice clothes you appreciate and good food...sometimes when things aren't necessarily cute.
The other day, we were over at our friend's house and you questioned where their dog was. It had been a while since we were over, so I was surprised you remembered. During that time, their beloved friend had passed. I just shook my head and tried to explain to you that she had died. You looked at me, processing the statement I'd just made, until you finally came up with your own conclusion. "You mean she was squashed like a bug and then went up to Jesus with Bisabuelo? And now Guapo doesn't have his best friend because she's in heaven, but everyday he can pray and talk to her because she's dead?" "Yes, Sugarbean,something like that. Only she wasn't squashed like a bug. She was just old." "Well, ok. But do they miss her? Is Guapo sad?" "Yes, darlin' they miss her and he is sad, I'm sure." "Well, we need to give Guapo a hug and some cake, but not too much cake because that will hurt his pansa." I just nodded and smiled. Off you went about your day. You are compassionate.
In dance class, there's a gal who is a bully. Like any other 4 year old, she will go off and do whatever on her own. The difference with her is that when she is bored, she will shove whoever she is near. She also likes to instigate. For you, this means she will either shove you or try to stand on your number instead of her own. This has made you not like dance class, even though you LOVE dancing. You have expressed this to me. You have asked to not go to dance class any more because of this. When that little girl went up to you to push you, she revved back and pushed as hard as she could. You stood there, not budging, holding your ground. You had tears in your eyes, but you refused to let her defeat you. You also refused to inflict pain on her, which I'm sure you would have preferred to do. I opened the door to give that girl a stern stare down (and rest assured, I plan to use my strongest and most effective words with her mother next week) and tried to reassure you. You did your best to focus on the remainder of dance class. You are tenacious.
Your belly laughs are every bit as infectious as they were the first time I heard them. We have counted at least 5 different types of laughs, each with their own level. At times, they can be out of control, but so easily to get caught up with. They can turn my mood from sour to whimsical just like that. It's tough to be an adult some times. You remind us to not take things so seriously. You are funny.
It has been said that your average 4 year old asks 500 questions a day. You, Sugarbean, are far from average. I don't have a counter, but from the moment you wake up to the moment you finally go to sleep, you are talking and asking questions. Why this? Why that? What does this mean? What does this do? How does that work? Where is this? How do you feel? Who is that? When will we do this? It's exhausting and awesome. Sometimes you ask the same questions over and over. Most times, what sounds like the same question is you repeating back the answer. You will later bring it up again, with the answer. In this way, you like to teach your sister and anyone else who will listen. You are very smart.
Speaking of your sister, almost every motion and action you make is with her in mind. If you get a sticker, you want one for her. If you get a treat, you will happily take a 2nd one for her (and eat it because she isn't big enough yet). If you have a special date, you want to make sure Tesla can join. You are a remarkable big sister!
Happy birthday, my sweet girl! Cheers to many, many more years of celebrations (and adventures!) and the goodness you bring. I love you!
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