They say the middle child is always the complicated one.
I don't know if that's true.
But it must be hard to find your place in the family when someone is always older, and doing things before you, and someone is always younger and needing more attention.
But you handle it with grace, usually.
Little Tori, you are suddenly not-so-little. You're at that point in your childhood where your pendulum swings from desperately wanting to be a big girl, doing things for yourself without help, to desperately wanting to be the baby, snuggly and dependent on us for the simplest things.
You're brave. And loud. And my, you are funny.
You can get away with murder because you are so damn adorable. The kind of adorable that strangers remark about when we go out.
And like the nursery rhyme, you are the little girl, with the little curl, right in the middle of your forehead...and when you are good, you are very, very good, and when you are bad, well, we all know the rest.
You thought that you would get to go to school as soon as you turned four. I know you're excited to ride the bus like your big sister, but you've got to be patient....patience doesn't come easy at your age.
As you've carved your niche in the family, you are excelling in being in the kitchen with me. We baked your birthday cake together--you picked it out, and all the toppings. You decorated it yourself (and it was beautiful!). You're my expert egg cracker, batter mixer, and dinner helper.
You are a bolt of lightning when I walk through the door after work..."Mommeeeeeeeeeeeee's home!" followed by a full-on sprint to give me a hug. (Unless there is something really good on TV, in which case I am invisible.)
If our family were a class, you'd be the class clown. And you'd win best smile.
You're the catalyst for chaos in the house...so full of energy and silliness that Dani and Tommy can't help but follow you. From your inexplicable and silly phrases, "I got a fruita in my toota" as you dance around shaking your booty, to your unparalleled couch bouncing ability, Daddy and I often have to turn our heads so the other kids don't see us giggling at your antics.
In the middle of a tantrum, you demand "a hug and a kiss". And you wrap your arms around me and hold me tight, as inside the toddler and big girl battle for dominance...sometimes it works and you calm down, other times, the toddler in you is stronger and the tantrum continues.
You, Tori are our brightest light, and our biggest challenge.
Keep diving in head first.
And keep snuggling with me.
Happy birthday my sweet Tori.