Our sweet little Tori turned three yesterday. Three! I swear, just a few minutes ago she was a wriggly little baby. A quiet, easy, little baby. Wow, that didn't last long!
She's our little free spirit. So often silly, and almost as often mischevious. When things get quiet, it's not because she's behaving, but because she's getting into something. And she's just so hard to get angry at, because she is just. so. damn. cute. It's those eyes. Those big brown eyes that make you melt a little bit inside when you look at her. She's the kid that strangers stop you to tell you that she is just precious and adorable. Because she is.
She can throw a tantrum like nobody's business. Wailing and flailing like the world is coming to an end. But as she grew closer to three, she grew closer to the ability to reason. When you explain the whys to her and tell her how she should be acting, she understands. She doesn't always like it, and doesn't always do it, but she understands. And for the zany, middle child, who is always going a mile a minute, she will surprise you with how much she knows, how much she understands.
She knows her letters and numbers to count and by sight. And big numbers--she will hold up her Urlacher jersey and say, "I'm fifty-four, Mommy." She will dance around and tell you she has a pelvis, and a patella, and a cranium, and point to them in turn. She's learning about the body with our leap books, and will wiggle her fingers and tell you they are phalanges. And, it typical toddler (silly) fashion, she describes what she learned about the digestive system...the food goes in my mouth to my BOOTY!
She's pretty much potty trained, because the reward of playing on Mommy's tablet is incentive enough to get it done.
Adventurous in every way--from her love of broccoli, "ninos" (tomatoes) and every fruit and veggie imaginable--to leaping in the pool, jumping on the bed, and never letting discretion be the better part of valor.
If she wakes up in the middle of the night, she ends up in my bed. But unlike her big sister, who is happy with her own pillow and her own space, Tori insists on sharing my pillow, on snuggling so closely to me that I can feel her breathe on me. As she starts to fall back to sleep, her arm always reaches around me as she snuggles up tight.
Everything Tori does, she does intensely.
And her little brother adores her.
We all do.
For years, I've been close to an old Italian man--he's in many ways like a great grandfather to me. I bring the girls to see him every few weeks. His name for Tori is "estrella", for star.
How fitting. Our Tori is a star, a shooting star, bright and blazing, grabbing our attention and filling our lives with light.
And she's been doing it for three years.
Love you, Tori.