Memo to Emmy: 58 Months

Emmykins,

You're starting to show a bit of sassafrass lately. An independent streak of sorts that's reflected in the way you flop to the ground unable to walk upstairs for bedtime because you're "so tired, Mommy." Or your "Harumph" frowny sighs as you slowly stomp your way to brush your teeth. You are realizing you can slow down the nightly routines and you're exercising your newly discovered rights. It's nothing compared to the tantrums and talkbacks and horror stories of complete rebellion and lawlessness by other children but we've grown so accustomed to the easy, good natured, obedient Emerson that this new mini fire cracker shrimp is not just a dish at Panda Express, it's an almost-5 year old in my house testing her tiny boundaries.

You get out of bed without fail 9.9 out of 10 nights about 5 minutes after we leave your room. You sit at the top of the stairs and hoot or make little warbling sounds until we realize, over the sound of chewing our late dinner, that you have once again breached the security barrier that is your bedroom door past 8pm. We take turns checking to see what your nightly excuse is. "Mommy, my fingertips are a little hot." "You didn't brush my tongue." "I need more water." Sometimes we sneak up on you and you have to quickly come up with an excuse because you're caught unawares and thought you'd be humming a little longer. "Um Daddy--my sheet is bunchy." One of my favorites, you were listening to us and called out, "What is the laughter all about?"

One time you actually had a legit claim, "But every time I close my eyes I see a bright light through my eyelids." Further investigation revealed there really was a flashing strobe light in your room--from your sister's Minnie Mouse dress up shoes that flash seizure-inducing lights at the slightest movement. Sorry, Emmy. Those are definitely not bedtime-approved paraphernalia. 

I volunteered at your school during the week you were named "Special Person." It was beyond fun watching you "do the calendar." I had long wondered what you meant by that and now I finally know. It was a whole process, changing the date, saying the month and the day and the year, posting the velcro weather cutouts indicating if the day was sunny or windy or rainy or cold. You're definitely a chatty kid and we were pretty stunned when you picked a girl and a BOY as your two friends to hold hands with and walk back from the bike yard. You have so many good schoolmates and sweet friends. I will cherish this experience of watching you because it's the definition of innocence. 

What an artist you're continuing to be. Lefty for sure.

Plus your handwriting is getting better with practice. Working on lowercase and uppercase so it's not quite so random.

You're reading tons of books to me -- a delight and a treat and the best gift. One of my favorite activities especially since I can do it lying down. We've also read through a bunch of my favorite Roald Dahl books. You're a great listener and question-asker. And wise observer when I lament how fast you're growing up: "I'm never gonna be too big for hugs and kisses." 

And now a big sister who teaches her little sister so much. Even when she's not always the best pupil. You're patient, and doing a great outreach campaign for Dessy. Even when she rips your origami in half, sending you into hysterical sobs, you tell Asian Grandma you'd like to share your chips with her. Classy, Emmy.

We still have epic dance parties. Your rendition of Lady Gaga is so cute, "Do what you want, what you want with your body." I don't know how you know to censor the lyrics but I rue the day when your innocence turns into snark.

You love to sneak up on people and sometimes you really do scare the bejesus out of us, like first thing in the morning when I'm quietly getting ready and putting on my eyeliner and suddenly you're just standing there like the baby in the Grudge movies. Minus the black hole mouth. You also love to put your ice cold feet under the shirt of an unsuspecting parent and right into the small of our backs. That is very undesirable though I understand the hilarity as one who has done that to Daddy a bunch of times. #karmaisatinyfrozenfootintheback

We did get Daddy pretty good with a kumquat trick wherein we told him it was super sweet when in fact, it was the most sour fruit on earth. We make a good team.

Love love love you Special Person,

Mama