She’s the littlest big kid I’ve ever seen.
She’s like one of those super concentrated detergent packages, a big punch of personality in a tiny body. She’s in the 10th percentile for both height and weight, and I often find myself calling her things like “Peanut,” “Little Britches,” “Itty Bitty Etta Baby,” and “the Tiny One.” And yet, despite her small stature, there’s no denying that there’s very little “baby” left in this toddler. She’s on the go go go, climbing furniture yet lacking the confidence to let go and walk without holding onto something. In fact, this is a pattern with her, fierce independence paired with strong attachment, which is really how attachment is supposed to work, as I understand it, with a strong attachment giving her the trust to strike out on her own. She likes to play near but not with us, but returns frequently for a hug or to lay her head down on me and have me stroke her hair. She loves trying new things as long as we’re nearby, and she loved a recent trip to the splash park, laughing with almost maniacal glee as her daddy walked with her through sprays of water that kind of freaked her sister out.
She’s also a total ham. She’s mastered the wave and the blown kiss, and she pairs both with an adorably squeaked “heyyyyyy” or “haiiiiiii” or “byyyyyye,” for maximum effect. Recently we were at a party standing with a group of people. I asked Etta if she wanted to go outside, and she waved to the group and said “byyyyyye!” They all “awwwwed.”
This big personality means very big feelings too. When she is happy, she is very very happy, and when she is sad, she is very very sad. Often, her sadness is related to my thwarting of her plans for mischief and mayhem: why won’t I let her sit on the end tables? Why won’t I let her fling herself off the couch? Why won’t I let her chew on iPhones and remotes? Why won’t I let her turn the Xbox on and of and on and off and on and off? Because I’m the worst.
My tiny tot often has disheveled hair, dirty knees, grubby hands, and a mischievous gleam in her eye. I’m so glad she’s mine.