Wednesday, February 9, 2011

4 Year Old Club

Today Callie joined the ranks of the exclusive "4 year old club".  There are not even words to describe her excitement..her enthusiasm...her joy in becoming part of this big girl club.  Bundling up and getting out the door this morning was a breeze since we seemed to be riding the wave of euphoria over the rainbow cupcakes that were going to daycare with her today to celebrate with the other little people that she spends her days with...her colleagues I guess.
Callie's first flower delivery.  Happy Birthday love Nana & Papa.

I relinquish in her excitement as I know I am partly responsible for her over the topness. She dances and spins and shouts to all that it is her birthday. 

Through all of the cheers and party streamers and balloons, I am aware of all the changes in my girl...the things that happen when one joins the 4 year old club.  The obvious ones... like her ankles showing out of the pant leg of too short pants and the new Dora light up shoes that her dad bought for her in size 10.  I see her staying in the lines and not mixing play do colors.  I hear her say words like "actually" and "definitely".  And tonight she declared, "I can wash my own hair because I'm a big girl".

I am proud of her growing independence.  I am over the moon that she can wiggle her way into her snow pants and get her own boots on.  She has finally mastered the holding of the sleeve when putting on the coat...and oh this small achievement has all but eliminated the meltdown that would happen when the shirt sleeve got bunched up in the coat sleeve and how could the world go on when the sleeve just isn't right.

But I have to say in between all the excitement of Callie joining the 4 year old club I have these waves of emotions that I'm having difficulty describing.  I'm not sure if its sadness...or is it grief....  The feeling of "when did she grow up"?  It's like the first night we moved her out of her little bassinet and into her big girl crib. This double dip feeling of relief to have our bedroom back yet this deep sadness that she will never be that small again.

So today my emotions are double dipping again.  The joy and excitement of all the new things she is learning and doing everyday dipped in a little grief that she will never be three years old again.  Do other people have double dipped emotions like this?  And I wonder if it will happen to me with every milestone she reaches?

As quickly as this sadness creeps up it is gone again...lost in the enthusiasm of the birthday girl.  Today she wants to celebrate her day.  And for her special birthday supper she wants to go to a restaurant.  In my mind I toss around the pros and cons of going out on a weeknight.  I decide why not... believing that she will likely want to go to the Golden Arches...which she refers to as the hamburger store and it should be relatively painless with a couple of tired girls and tired parents.  But to our surprise, now that she is four, she does not want to go to the Golden Arches...she would prefer fine dining.

Restaurant coloring.

So we juggle the chaos of a real restaurant with Lexi who is also becoming independent and won't sit in a highchair and Callie who is still dancing and spinning and shouting.  I know this is not a relaxing dinner.  I know that we are probably disturbing the table next to us.  But I see the smile on my big girl's face and realize she is oblivious to the chaos.  She just knows it is her day and she is at a big girl restaurant on a weeknight slurping back chocolate milk... proud as a peacock to have joined the 4 year old club.

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