I feel like I spend the majority of my life waiting on a four-year-old.
Waiting for her to brush her teeth. Or put on shoes. Or some panties.
Seriously, our family is consistently 5-10 minutes late to every scheduled engagement because Lulu couldn't find her jacket or needed some more milk or refused to partake in personal hygiene. Or had to go to the bathroom. I swear I spend a strong 40% of my life escorting a nearly five year old to the potty praying no one is in the next stall to hear all of her questions.
I guess this is payback. Lulu has spent most of her life being carted to Caroline's activities. Waiting. And waiting. Just waiting on sissy. Waiting for her turn. Waiting for dinner. Waiting for a snack. Waiting to leave. Waiting to prove that she is a Big Girl too. So much of Lulu's life is at the heels of Caroline. Not necessarily in the shadows but just waiting. To be a big kid. And I'm stuck between wanting her desperately to hurry the hell up and be mildly self sufficient and for her to be my baby. In need of rocking. And naps. She needs naps.
For Christmas she asked for a Big Girl Baby doll and a Big Girl Bike. On more than one occasion she told me she needed these items because she was a Big Girl. Like she was trying to remind me that she is growing up. And is capable of more than we want to give her credit for. And then, we are late for church. And she's there, standing at the top of the stairs, naked, having a two-year-old temper tantrum about her inability to properly brush her hair or tie her shoes.
Oh. Lulu. From the moment she was placed in my arms I knew the world had been rocked off its center just a little bit. I had prayed, fervently, for her safe arrival and made Mom promises of protection. I can still hear her crying as I came to after surgery, hysterical wails as my husband tried to calm her. He placed her in my arms and she stopped. Immediately. Because from the beginning, she was my girl (despite his best effort to be her favorite). She likes to hear the story of how she first met Mimi, we tell her she was a baby in her arms and she held her head up and said, "Hello world, I'm here!" ... and in essence, she did.
That sweet, obstinate, strong-willed, beautiful disaster that is often mistaken for a hot mess dances in front of the flickering fire - a million dreams are keeping me awake - and I know that they are. There are so many dreams for her to dream.
But until they are realized, we must wait.