To my darling Peanut,
tomorrow is your fourth birthday party.
You're beside yourself with excitement. You spent the last hour before your nap running up and down the stairs, launching from the banisters the parachute men your Daddy bought you, and squealing "Whoo! Best Day Ever!"
We're having a pony party for you tomorrow. There's horses on your cake, and even though we couldn't find you a horse piñata you're still pretty damn excited about the stegosaurus one instead. And (shhh!) we're taking you to the stables for a surprise pony ride tomorrow morning too. I cannot wait to see your face.
If anyone asks you what you like, you take a deep breath and tell them "pink and purple and princesses and ponies and sparkles and unicorns!"
But that's not why I'm writing to you today.
Today I want to tell you, not what you like, but what you are like. A snap shot of you at three and 364 days.
Where to begin? You're brave. Incredibly so. When you needed injections, you knew it was going to hurt. You were worried. And it did hurt, I could tell. But you held my hand, took a deep breath, and didn't cry at all. The nurse was astounded, but I wasn't surprised. You're the kid who gets straight back on her scooter after a bad crash, the one who falls off the bed head four times in a row because you are absolutely certain you can master climbing over the end rail, and won't quit until you've done it, damn the pain! (Did I mention you were quite tenacious?)
You're a natural performer and you love to sing and dance for your family. However, I mostly think you enjoy do it by and for yourself. I often catch you around a corner somewhere, eyes shut, swaying and singing along to a tune only you can hear. (Thankfully, although I can't hear the music, I can hear your lyrics, and they are pure comedy gold. My personal favourite thus far was an epic love song to your dolly with the golden hair. You would give any tragic ballardist a run for their money.)
You adore your baby sister. You make her bed every day, even though I've asked you not to regularly - it's her job! But you persist, because you have an incredible service streak that runs right through you. Your the kid who does the dishes without me asking. You're the girl who runs to find my shoes, because you've overheard that I'm heading outside and deduct I might need them. You ask to help with every household chore, and can dust and hang laundry and clean a bathroom and sweep perfectly, just because you like to be of assistance.
You like wearing dresses, and painting, snuggling the dogs. You like scooting and drawing and playing school. You think cake is an icing delivery system. You hate pizza, but will devour a calzone in a flash. You'll eat the cherry tomatoes, but won't touch the big ones. You like milk, the more chocolatey the better. You only have bananas in a smoothie. You're convinced you're the fastest runner in the world and get cross when anyone beats you.
You're my first born, the apple of my eye, the skin to my banana, the crust of my pie.
I love you, baby girl. Happy birthday!