My dearest (almost-4-year-old) daughter,

Last week you told me that pizza “is my grossest.” Last night you told me that “dino chicken is yucky!” This morning you told me that “waffles are too sticky.”

Those sticky waffles.

You cried as I left this morning because you had a cough that made you sad. You cried tonight because your room was scary. You’ll probably cry tomorrow because your stick-on earrings won’t stay on your ears.

You threw a fit at the ballet last weekend because you thought they were going to teach you how to dance, then let you take center stage.  You threw a fit because I wouldn’t let you wear your 4th of July tank top with your neon blue shorts the second week of December in upstate Washington.

You threw a fit because the dog looked at your tomato.

But you also kissed me extra at bedtime, and sometimes you kiss me just because. You asked me to teach you how to “dance on my toes.” You beg to help me every time I’m making something in the kitchen. You insist on putting the band-aids on your brother’s “owies.”

You sing your ABCs and Jesus Loves Me with the sweetest voice and no inhibition. Don’t tell your dentist, but you still suck your thumb when you’re tired and you are holding your “Bobby.” You idolize your “Bubba.” Your love for your daddy rivals mine.

Sweet baby and her Bobby.

You put your baby dolls to bed so sweetly. You ask me to paint your nails and braid your hair. You tell me your secrets.

Honestly, some days I want to pull my hair out with the drama, the crying, the demanding, and the pickiness.

I also know that these days are fleeting.

You’ll grow up. You’ll talk to me less. You’ll dislike me more. Toddler drama will be replaced with teenager drama. Idolizing your daddy and Bubba will be replaced with boy bands and the high school quarterback (Lord, help me). You’ll be too cool for me, and I’ll long for those sweet Saturday morning snuggles, butterfly kisses and “ugga muggas.”

You won’t be so little forever. But I’ll love you the same.

Love,

Your Mom