Hello sweet girl, and Happy 54 Months! I just love this picture of you – my darling in pink tulle with goggles. My Princess Nerd.
I use nerd as a term of endearment because I’m so very glad you love to learn. The Princess Nerd picture was taken earlier this month when we blew up a volcano in the backyard. Here you are again in goggle gear working with Daddy to dig dinosaur bones out of a paleontology kit. I love it!
You’re even my little playground nerd, a point you proved last month when you approached another little girl at our neighborhood park to ask if she wanted to play. “I know! Let’s play MAMMALS!” you gushed. “I’m a cimolestes!”
And you scampered off making noises like a
prehistoric mouse creature – a creature that the other little girl would
have no reason to know unless she is an avid Dinosaur Train watcher
like you. She didn’t stick around.
Fortunately, your current crop of friends seems to have a nerd-ish streak too, which is a great thing. You nerds will have to unite as you move deeper into your grade-school years.
Last month we enjoyed a wonderful Christmas. Your Santa Claus request this year was a stuffed
dragon with a baby dragon in a nest. Your love of the Puff the Magic
Dragon book prompted this, and here you are writing an early thank-you
note to Santa (and Rudolph) on Christmas Eve.
We spent the month visiting with lots of family and friends and making some new traditions, like the ferry ride we took with Will and Sam to visit the Gingerbread Village at the Westin.
We got hot chocolate while we were there, and you and Will shared a table together. “We’re on a date,” you announced. Your first date! But as evidenced by this photo on our return ferry ride, you haven’t yet learned the subtle art of playing hard-to-get.
I don’t know if it’s an outcropping of your love of dinosaurs and dragons, but you have proven again this month that you have an affinity for reptiles. You – the girl who made me turn off the Beauty and the Beast movie because she was scared of an ANGRY PIPE ORGAN – love to hold snakes.
We were invited to a petting zoo party last month where you eagerly volunteered to hold a python. Strangers came up to take a picture of “that little girl with the snake!” and you smiled as he coiled around your arms. One of those pictures ended up in our local paper – how cool!
I don’t hate snakes, but I do have a healthy fear of them. As I was petting the python, he started to slither onto my arm. I didn’t want to alarm you by freaking out, but my anxiety increased when he began wrapping around my arm and I could feel the strength of his squeeze. You, however, could have shown just a little more concern for my well-being. Instead, you turned to the person next to you and calmly stated, “That snake is squeezing my mom. I think he wants to eat her.”
While you do love to hold living animals of any kind, nothing matches your devotion to your stuffed animals. You don’t have one particular favorite, they’re all your favorites. You have heaps and piles of them, but you know all their names and what they like to eat and which other stuffed animal they like to play with, and so on.
You have so many stuffed animals that you couldn’t possibly need another one, but you’re a plush pushover. And I have to blame myself because I think you got it from me.
I was a sucker for a stuffed animal growing up. If I ever had any money of my own to spend and found myself in a toy store, there was a good bet I was going home with a stuffed animal. More than likely, it would be a Pound Puppy. They were stuffed dogs with cute faces, but that’s not what made the sale. The packaging included information about the helpless, abandoned dog, and tales of how lonesome he/she was and how much he/she really wanted to go home with me.
You seem to have this same sense of duty to rescue stuffed animals. We were at a store last week when you happened upon a two-foot high stuffed giraffe. For some reason, he stole your heart and you had to have him. We’ve been dealing with moments like these by explaining that when you have enough money in your piggy bank, you can get it. Many days you say OK and keep walking, but this giraffe was different.
You sat down with it, lovingly stroked its fur, and got nose-to-nose with it. “Its going to be okay,” you whispered. “Don’t be afraid. I know it’s hard to wait, but I’ll come back for you. I promise. Everything is going to be okay.”
That’s the sound of my heart (and resolve) breaking.
When we left the store without him you were in tears. You didn’t throw a tantrum, but were devastated to have left the giraffe behind. I remembered the feeling.
I knew you didn’t have enough money saved, but that night when you were sleeping I stuck the extra bills into the piggy bank. When you counted your money the following day, it was a glorious moment.
Here you are, back at the store, with all your dollars and quarters weighing heavily in your purse.
And here you are in line with your beloved giraffe, who has barely left your side since.
I’m a sucker for you, do you know that? Always have been and always will be. I love you so much my sweet girl.