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June 5, 2016

Iris is Three


Our baby is three, which means she isn’t a baby. It’s her first time having a birthday where she’s aware of the occasion. “Is it my birthday?” she kept asking. “Right now?” We’re well tuned to birthdays at the moment because Harriet’s was just ten days ago, and it makes me think of the year that Iris turned one and one of her first words turned out to be “happy” because for about a month, it seemed like we sang Happy Birthday to You to someone every second day or so. But now she is three, and strings words together like beads on a string, and she’s got her own stories to tell—about her friends at school, and who pushed who, and who cried because there were raisins in the muffin at snack. She’s got her own little world that’s hers alone, and so staunchly belongs to it, and to herself, and she is quite unaware that this hasn’t always been the case. She knows that we were nothing before her. (“Thank you for coming to live with us,” I like to tell her, and I mean it.) As I was typing the preceding sentence, we heard Iris upstairs muttering to herself and then a thump as she climbed out of her crib and landed on the floor, the worst kind of thud shortly followed by the wailing, and this is what she’s like, reaching beyond her limits, trying to do it all herself, brave enough to jump, to climb. A human whirligig, and she’s fierce and maddening and rude and impetuous and she’ll bite you if you’re her sister, but we love her. We can’t help it. We fall for her charms, because she’s funny and smart and more stubborn than all of us put together, and we can’t stop trying to fathom her, even after it seems there is really no point. The way she ends conversations by saying, “See you next Monday!” and saying, “Pooks,” or when she scampers over, breathes in your ear, and whispers, “I burpted.” We like to joke that she’d be excellent on twitter, because she’s very good at outrage, always screaming at somebody. She likes to read the comic books her sister loves, never mind that she can’t read the words yet. At the moment, all she eats is cereal for breakfast and bagels and cream cheese of lunch, which is annoying but better than nothing. She loves Taylor Swift and singing, “Dancing on my own, has a very very mo,” which aren’t the right lyrics, I don’t think, but she isn’t bothered. Much of the time she is very very good, but when she is bad she is horrid. She used to have a charming three-tiered toy cake stand, until she smashed it in a rage, and that is Iris. Who is also excellent at baking—when she “helps” she actually does. She is much beloved by Harriet’s classmates and is quite accustomed to be being made a fuss of. She likes to dance, and play with her dolls, and draw pictures, and play whatever game her sister happens to be playing—though she can outplay her sister for hours these days, much to her frustration. Iris is kind and loving, and has a good time with her friends at school. When people are sad, she tries to comfort them. She can walk so far without slowing down. She can “read” Go Dog Go and the Elephant and Piggie books. She is fearless, full of fire, and we can learn a lot from her. If she doesn’t kill us first.

2 thoughts on “Iris is Three”

  1. Joan says:

    I just love this and Iris too of course.xo

  2. JC Sutcliffe says:

    Lovely! Happy birthday Iris.

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