On my way to get Caroline yesterday afternoon my Sirius chirped at me that one of the songs I had stored into the memory was playing, so I hopped over to find out what it was. Dirty Water by the Standells. I sang along (OF COURSE!) and as I got closer to daycare I decided to rewind the tune, pause it, leave it running and play it for my daughter post pick-up. I wasn’t sure if it would go over at all, but when it ended a little voice from the backseat said “again.” We’ve got her hooked! Yes, baby the Charles River is not for swimming, but we certainly do love Boston.

After another Dirty Water go around I moved over to the “Holly” station that I discovered earlier this week. There are already at least two stations on Sirius with round the clock holiday music and nothing could make me happier. I asked her as I switched the channel if she wanted to listen to Christmas music and suddenly she went on a multi sentence rave about SANTA.

“Caroline wants to see him! I want to sit on his lap. I write him a letter. Doggie (meaning she will draw him a doggie). He will love it.”

He will love it.

So I pressed on. “What are you going to ask for in your letter?” “Presents.” “What kind of presents?” “baby”

We’re not sure if she wants her real live baby brother to arrive packaged neatly under the tree on Christmas morning or if she just wants a new baby doll, but either way it isn’t happening. We have a whole master plan that involves the Bitty Baby for her birthday, which will nearly coincide with the arrival of her baby brother. So perhaps Santa needs to just bring along plenty of baby doll accessories for her to continue caring so lovingly for the babies she already has? I am feeling conflicted about this, but I know that the best decision is to have her special new baby arrive when the real one does.

I was overwhelmed with love for my daughter last night. As challenging as she can be at times, as headstrong and fiery as her moods may sway, she is so amazing. I am still the preferred parent which still really stinks for Steve and more often these days for me as I simply cannot always do the things she wants me to do. Simple things like carrying her down the stairs or dressing her after a tub. I’ve been thinking about my preferred status a lot lately and while we continue to address it and find ways to get around the mommycentricness of it all, I often wonder how it came to be this way. How has she become so closely bonded to me?

Last night at bedtime I volunteered to do the putting to bed business, mostly because the new room is still so new and creating a stress free bedtime experience seems paramount to switching off duties right now. I sang her Twinkle and she asked me to repeat a story I made up the other night to help get her sleepy. A story she asks for by name; “princess caroline.” A story that she goads me into repeating at least once leading Steve to call me a sucker. A story about her big girl room with a big girl bed and a big girl chair and pretty curtains and a pretty nightlight. After tucking her in and hearing NOTHING over the monitor for nearly an hour, she was suddenly chattering away to George. So at 9pm I went back upstairs and snuggled her in. It’s a slippery slope, but I lay down with her for a few minutes, stroked her curls, sang to her again. She asked for “belly” and put her hand gently on my stomach, interlacing her fingers into mine with her other hand, looking deep into my eyes and soul, not breaking my gaze. Her brother kicked her hand with GUSTO and I smiled at their through the skin connection. I wondered then, how did this happen? How does this child love me as much as I love her? How does she know how to make my heart soar and break it all at once? I know it won’t always be like this, but that tiny moment, those few minutes we spent there are minutes I know I will reference years in the future in a mental reel of most precious moments. Interlacing fingers. Connected gaze. Sweet solitude. Little girl and Mommy.


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