Thursday, February 26, 2009
Today is the last day of my life that I will be the mom of a two-year-old. Our sweet Paige turns 3 tomorrow and I've been sentimental all day about the fact that our baby is moving out of toddlerhood and into the pre-school era.
Tonight she crawled into her tiny toddler sleigh bed and we performed our nightly bedtime ritual. Paige refusing to pray, even though she loves to pray any other time of day. Me trying to bribe her to pray by withholding the nukie that she's too old to have. Me giving in on the praying, but holding nukie ransom in exchange for kisses. Same order every night: Lips. Eskimo. Cheeks - at least one on each cheek. Hugs. And my favorite, Pat-Pat.
When Paige was a baby and needed comfort, she'd throw her arms around my neck and pat my back while I patted hers and shushed away her tears. Pat-Pat is my favorite part of bedtime.
Then more snuggles, cover-situating, a few more stolen kisses, some gentle swipes of the hair, a "Jesus bless you," and time to exit. In the morning, she'll trudge down the stairs, hair messy, sleepy eyes, sucking on that forbidden nukie, green blankie dragging behind her, and she'll be three.
Curt has been down in the garage for the last hour putting together the pink, retro kitchen we scored on Ebay for her birthday. Her very loved, very old and very broken Little Tikes (did you know it IS possible to break Little Tikes?) kitchen will be relegated to the outside fort and she'll have a fun brand-new kitchen to play in. A bonus for the youngest of 4 in a world of hand-me-downs.
She can count to 20, always skipping 14 and 15, but can't seem to figure out how old she'll be tomorrow. She guesses, "One?" Holds up five fingers, guesses, "Five?" Finally she guesses "free?" Oh yes. Free.
Free to take three hour naps and still go to bed at 7:30. Free to giggle. Boisterously and flail around on the floor trying to escape the tickle monster who happens to be your four-year-old sister. Free to maximize being the baby of the family and soak in all the doting that her big brother and sisters give her. Free to sing "My God is so BIG, so strong and so mighty, there's nothing my God can not do for you and you and you and you." Free to sing off-key and off-beat "Jesus Messiah. Name above all names. Blessed Endeemer. Enanuel." Free to wear a ballerina costume with My Little Pony undies poking out the sides. Free to fly in Daddy's arms and soar over the living room like Super Man. Free to cry when life hurts. Free to unabashedly wail, "UPPY! I want you to uppy me." Free to seek comfort in Mommy's arms. Free to sit on the sidewalk and pitch a fit if things don't go the way she wants. Free to grow taller. Chubbier. Free to never eat her veggies or a dessert-earning portion of dinner yet still worm her way into being included in the dessert that her older siblings legitimately earned. Free to embrace love. Free to love Jesus as much as her 3-year-old mind can grasp.
Yep. Our little Paige is most definitely "free."