She says things now that bring me pause. She says things that make me do a double take because when did my baby become such a big girl?

I’ve been flipping through the Toys R’ Us Toy Book with her trying to help her decide what she will write on her first ever list (!!) to Santa this year. She gets the concept of “wanting” something, pointing to things she likes, sometimes circling them in crayon. One night this weekend before bed we were flipping through again and she asked me “can we buy this?” So we have moved on from wanting to buying. I questioned her further, “what money will we use to buy it?” “Daddy’s money!” I cracked up, but I was oddly proud. She gets the concept, want, buy, money – we’ll work on letting her know that it isn’t JUST Daddy’s money.

Caroline’s a teacher. She sits on her rocking chair, holds a book in her lap and announces “it is time for circle, please come and sit down.” When she decides it is nap time, she places each baby and each stuffed animal face down on a “mat,” covers them with a blanket, rubs their backs. If one of them wakes up early she quietly reminds them “quiet, our friends are still sleeping.” The concept of pretend has been there for quite some time, but she only recently starting vocalizing it as such. “Mommy, let’s pretend…” I love pretend. Her imagination is rich and deep and I enjoy watching her creating this little world around herself.

She calls Connor Pizza Boy and I cannot for the life of me figure this one out. She’ll lean into him and say “Hiiii, pizza boy.” I don’t think there is a reason, but I’ll categorize the nickname as a positive thing – she likes him enough to give him one.

We finally made it to the playground at the school a stone’s throw away yesterday. It was the first time she had been there and she leaped out of her seat and ran like a crazed hopped up on sugar maniac towards the slide. The Caroline I once knew would have been skittish, she would have approached it slowly, she would have been totally thrown that there was another little boy there. She wanted to know his name, she wanted him to play with her, to chase her. She waited for him at the top of the slide so they could go down together, side by side, this total stranger and my girl. She had so much fun and when the sun started to go down and it was time to leave she asked to push the stroller instead of riding in it. I looked down at her with her goofy grin, the smattering of teeny freckles across her nose, the flushed cheeks of my big girl. My heart relaxed when she asked to hop into the stroller. She’s still my baby girl, if just for a while more.


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