May 4 12

Isabella is the baby. She is six and three quarters, sure, but in many ways she is still very much my baby and in some ways is so stereotypical of how you’d expect the youngest child to be. I often see my mom interacting with my baby brother (at almost 27, he’s hardly a baby but yet, he’ll always be the baby) and I see it so clearly—this distinct combination of dependence coupled right alongside independence due to a sort-of survival-of-the-fittest factor, if that makes sense.

She is the kid who still cries every Sunday night when the babysitter shows up, even though she knows that this happens every single week and she is fully aware that we are not abandoning her. She asked a friend to teach her how to tie her shoes because, well, we forgot that shoe-tying is one of those skills we needed to teach her. She and I have a ten-minute long cuddle before I help dress her every morning while her brother and sister are self-sufficiently getting themselves ready for school. She laughs off bumps and bruises—she falls down, she gets back up, dusts off her tutu and keeps going. She is the kid who willed a tooth out of her head—one that was not ready to come out—just so she could have a tooth fairy like her siblings.

Dependence and independence. At the same time.

She’s such a little girl, still. She plays with baby dolls and barbies and likes to sit and do arts and crafts and snuggle. She still thinks light-up shoes are awesome. She loves the park. Fart jokes are always funny. She always has holes in her socks and she’s always covered head-to-toe in something messy. He hair is always unbrushed. She still would prefer a twoonie to a $5 bill, because the twoonie is more special-looking. She is terrified of ants.

But then, sometimes, I look at her, and I see her arms and legs getting longer and leaner—there’s not an ounce of baby fat left anywhere on her, not even on her cheeks. I see how her taste in television has matured from cartoons to iCarly. She rides a two-wheeler with no fear and complete gusto. She swims in the deep end of the pool. She skipped over two levels in figure skating. She adds and subtracts. She reads chapter books. She knows every word to every song on the radio right now.


And how do I make it stop?

  1. my friend, you cannot make it stop. We’re doing 18 today. she’s so gorgeous, by the way.

    Comment by mara on May 4, 2012
  2. She is adorable!. My oldest is 5, and I am watching the baby in him disappear. I just want to slow down time. Its funny though in a lot of ways my 3 year old is far more independent than his big brother.

    Comment by Corey Feldman on May 4, 2012
  3. Ugh I can’t take it. I remember when she HAD NO HAIR.

    Comment by Heather on May 4, 2012
  4. Ugh, why do kids have to get all big and grown up on us. She is such a doll.

    Comment by Jen on May 4, 2012
  5. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these pictures!

    That first one is pure Bella!

    Comment by Kristabella on May 4, 2012
  6. I know. That’s why I love it so much. Captures her ENTIRE personality.

    Comment by alimartell on May 4, 2012
  7. My youngest is turning 4 in a few weeks… so sad 🙁

    The official end of actual babies for me. I’ve got to start prodding other people to have some so that I can still get a hit of that awesome baby smell every once in a while.

    That sounded weird.

    Comment by Jessica on May 4, 2012
  8. Mine turned 5 a couple of months ago, she’s an only child and her personality is indescrible and yet, she’s so like me it’s frightening at times. Reading this made me tear up, as Miss M barely watches cartoons and has a sick obsession with Victorious…we’re talking almost cried from excitement because the toys are in Happy Meals (yes, bad momma, whatever). Everytime you post about Isabella, I’m reminded of Miss M. Thank you for reminding me why I love her today, or rather why I like her…they’re amazing these girls.

    Comment by Spring Blankenshhip on May 4, 2012
  9. She’s so beautiful. And is obviously a little white swan and a little black swan wrapped neatly in a pretty package with a polka dotted bow.

    Comment by Jana A (@jana0926) on May 4, 2012
  10. I always loved The Circle Game, but I never really knew (“in my bones” knew)what it was about until now, as I watch my 4 year old learn and grow. Lately he has taken to asking me, “Mommy, even when I become a big boy I’ll still be your baby. Right Mom?” And then we hop onto our painted ponies and keep riding, up and down.

    Comment by Erin on May 4, 2012
  11. ahh my dear, i dont know how ill deal when my little ones grow. my oldest is 4 and i am more sad than he is when i drop him at school everyday…oh if we could just give them a shot to keep them little…and thanks for making me cry into my chicken soup tonight =)

    Comment by Abby on May 4, 2012
  12. Oh wow – she looks so old now. That’s so crazy. She’ll be a famous baker before you know it.

    Comment by Avitable on May 4, 2012
  13. I love that you can see her toes poking out! 🙂

    Comment by Steph on May 5, 2012
  14. Your photography is getting SO GOOD Ali. Wow.

    Of course she rocks, she’s your kid.

    Comment by monstergirlee on May 9, 2012

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