Insurance company woes forced me to part ways with the doctors that delivered my girls, and in a cruel twist of fate, my last appointment with them coincided with my youngest’s birthday. These two monumental to me events joined forces and knocked the wind right outta me, and in all honesty, I’m having a hard time catching my breath again. My childbearing days, a chapter I really don’t want to end, have come to a close, and my weren’t-you-just-born-yesterday Lyla Grace turns two today. My heart is grateful, yet heavy.
I’m doing my best to swallow the lump in my throat and focus on celebrating our third child, the curly haired, wide-eyed addition to our brood. The biggest baby at almost 10 pounds, by far our best sleeper, a perfect mix of her brother and sister, and the only one considerate enough to make it easy for me to remember her birth date: 4. 14. 14.
Lyla hides her giggles behind chubby hands, smiling so big it’s a wonder her face doesn’t break. She adores her “brudder” and sissy and yelling the phrase “BOO-YAH!” loudly and in public. The way she squeals with uninhibited joy when she gets yogurt makes us laugh, as does her affinity for money, coins only please. Recently at the grocery store, she tried to pick-pocket an old woman standing in line behind us. When I realized what she was doing, I was too late: her little fist was already deep inside the stranger’s rain coat pocket. The woman was taken aback, understandably so, but Lyla didn’t mind and demanded: “Money, peeze?” Because no one can say no to that face, we left the place a few dollars richer.
She doesn’t miss a thing, which means Pittsburgh has deemed her as “nebby.” Any time she hears the familiar sound of our front door opening, she asks, “Whassdat?” More often than not, she’s hoping it’s her BFF, Pappy. She really is infatuated with my Dad, and I can see why on account of he, too, is allergic to telling her no.
In addition to Pappy, a few of Lyla’s favorite things are: dessert, birdies, doggies, babies, coloring, believing she’s invisible when she covers her eyes, 3 of the 14,802 books we own, and taking things that don’t belong to her. She gives big hugs and Eskimo kisses, and though she’s polite about it, girlfriend is a bit bossy. Maybe it’s a residual side effect of her past therapy, but Lyla is borderline obsessive about certain things, and she doesn’t hesitate to let you know what she wants, which I admire. She’ll only drink water with ice in it, and there are routines she’s not willing (able?!) to break. For instance, if I’m the one putting her to bed, she requires my hair to be pulled back lest it interfere with her head on my shoulder, and I must quietly hum the Sesame Street theme song using only D-sounds. Our whole family now refers to Sesame Street as “Dee Dee.” I happily oblige because HAVE YOU SEEN THAT FACE?!
She’s good about “peeze” and thank you, generous with her affections, and quick to let you know I DO IT! She wants nothing more than to keep up with her big sister, and though she often falls short, she doesn’t seem to mind.
Unless you tick her off.
Her temper rivals that of her Mama’s (shut up), but she’s quick to recover like her Daddy. And boy, does she love her Daddy. Some days, she’ll only let him hold her, and has been known to kick me out of the room by snuggling into Daddy’s chest and pointing to me then the door with a sweet, “Go. Now.” Real subtle, kid.
She’s got epic bed head that I refuse to cut because I’ll surely die if we lose those curls, and despite a rocky medical history, is now thriving and eating like a champ. I love squishing my nose into her soft cheeks, and watching as my husband holds her close and she pats him on the back declaring, “Daddy! Buddy!” She wakes up happy, doesn’t fuss as we drag her to and from her older siblings’ activities, and has recently begun exerting her independence by letting us know, “Uh oh, poops!” and procuring the tools necessary to change her own diaper. I fear the day she is successful.
I don’t think many of us would necessarily use the word “easy” in conjunction with parenting, but this kid? She makes it easy to love. Mostly a mellow gal, our Lyla Grace has definitely lived up to her name: she reminds us to be gentle with ourselves and not sweat the big stuff. I used to think I would feel guilty about her having to ride brother and sister’s coattails, seemingly not having an existence of her own, but she is absolutely carving out her own niche while simultaneously blending in with the household that was here before her. Lyla was meant to be and loved more than she’ll ever know.
Happy birthday, tiny!