I have been so bad at keeping up with the changes Madeleine has gone through over the past - oh I don't know TWO YEARS. And when I say "bad at it," I mean NOT doing it. There are so many things I have forgotten and know I will forget that I wish I would have documented somewhere. I think the last time I did any sort of official update or storytelling about her here was when she was just really starting to talk. Now she never shuts up and oh the things that kid comes up with! The stories are endless, the sass is unbelievable, the made up absolutely impossible can be unnerving and the pure innocence and sweetness is heart-melting. Every few weeks I take a step back and realize how much she is growing and changing and learning, and in truth, there is something new every day that I hadn't noticed or wasn't there the day before.
I'll be honest, there are days she's not an easy child (but, really, what "child" is?). She is so strong-willed and independent and stubborn and well, kind of spoiled. But she's also so caring and compassionate and sweet and kind and friendly and it blows my mind because I'm not really sure where she gets that. It breaks my heart to think that someday I am going to have to teach her to not be so friendly and fearless and trusting. That part is just not fair.
She's always talking about growing up and getting big and how she's a big girl, but a little big girl. And she's right, she's growing up so fast and getting so big (really, she still wants to be held and carried - she's not so little anymore). She understands and knows things that I never knew a 3-year old would actually get. She's clever and can be witty and funny and it's just obvious there is a little "person" in there - real logic and rationale masked behind a little kid.
We do go the rounds and she asks, "Mommy, are you mad?" and "Mommy, are you mad at me?" And really, how can you stay mad at that? Other times she cries at you and tells you, "Mommy, you made me mad!" or "Mommy, you made me sad/cry." At which point you really want to say, "Oh yeah? Well you deserve it because after what you did and that's how *I* feel!" But instead you tell her you're very sorry, as your heart breaks for upsetting a tiny little kid regardless of what's she'd done to make you mad in the first place. And she calms down and tells you, "Mommy, I want to listen now" and "Mommy, I want to be nice now." And after the scuffle, she's the sweetest, happiest, nicest little girl again. Until the next one...
And I'll keep taking them because all the bad that may come is nothing when compared to the giggles and "huggies" and kisses and squeals and help and happy that this little big girl is.
* The first photo was taken in March 2008, the second in March of this year. Yes, it is the same dress/shirt. See. I told you. She is just growing up too fast.