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May 26, 2014

Harriet turns five

IMG_0553Harriet turned five today (I know! Crazy) and to celebrate, we all came down with a stomach bug. It was brutal, and poor Iris had it the worst of all of us. I do wonder if fate wasn’t hoping to counter any nostalgia I might have for baby days, now that my first baby is impossibly grown (5!) and my little baby is just days away from turning one. Waking the baby to feed, having to sit up to do so–ugh. And then walking around like a zombie this morning, all of us taken down by illness, sleeping lying sideways on my bed beside the baby while the strains of Frozen made their way up the stairs. I am so glad this isn’t my life anymore. Iris doesn’t sleep much, but she sleeps more than she did last night, and I’ll appreciate it now. We’re all feeling much better, and looking forward to a final day of convalescing tomorrow in which we’re feeling well enough to go to the park or even out to lunch.

IMG_0557So Harriet had the most disappointing 5th birthday ever, but it wasn’t so bad because we managed to throw her a party on Saturday, a little fete for five friends from playschool. The theme was Beetles Bugs and Butterflies, and we pulled it off beautifully, stringing up extra bunting for the occasion. Things were very simple–drawing bug pictures, hunting for plastic bugs, making antennae and dancing to The Beatles. Dessert was served in flower pots with gummy worms, and everybody got a copy of this fun book to take home. Nobody cried, which was pretty much our goal, and it was totally nice and un-overwhelming and would all have been so perfect had most of the guests not also come down with a stomach bug the next day (but so did many children in Harriet’s class who were not at the party so it’s not all my fault.)

IMG_0556So Harriet at five–what can I tell you? She never stops talking, she loves Wonder Woman (dressing up like her, reading her comic books, pretending to be her), is learning to read, still loves H best of all the letters but can write them all now (though she doesn’t see the point of lower-case). She does a terrific job of taking care of her sister, and the two of them have a really excellent time together, making one another laugh. She gets along well with friends at school and even tries sometimes to rise above the pre-pre-adolescent girl drama squabbles. She can be really helpful, empathetic and kind. When my book arrived in the mail and I showed it to her, she said, “Oh, Mommy…” and gave me a big hug. We have reached a comfortable arrangement in which she can tell me she hates me and I’m not bothered. She thinks that all families eat ice cream daily and sometimes twice. She is excited to get a scooter and ride it to school. She loves school and has learned so much this year. She is obsessed with Riders of Berk, and idolizes Violet from The Incredibles. She likes Ramona and Laura Ingalls, and loves to be read to. She is clumsy and uncoordinated but we’ve enrolled her in emergency dance and soccer classes and she’s happy to be learning and having fun. Her powers of observation are formidable. She is tone-deaf but we’ll never tell her. She is funny and smart, so aware of the richness of language. She finds the world interesting. Sometimes it is too much with her. I can’t believe she is that tiny bundle of baby I first encountered five years ago. It seems impossible now, and also like yesterday, and it seems like I’ve known Harriet all my life. And I think I really have.

3 thoughts on “Harriet turns five”

  1. Joan says:

    This is beautiful. Yes, five year old Harriet is just about perfect and I love her to bits….

  2. Love. 🙂 Hope to meet her some day.

  3. Melwyk says:

    Happy Birthday to a lovely girl! Always so nice to hear about her amazing adventures 🙂

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