I’m not gonna lie. My kids are awesome. Super awesome. I may have mentioned that before?
Today, I’m focussing on Little Girl. She is, in my opinion, the most kickass out of the three. Here are a few of the reasons why.
1. She laughs in the face of social convention
Little Girl isn’t one to try to please other people. It’s as simple as that.
I’m willing to cut her a bit of slack. I mean, she is only 3. I’d be impressed if I met a preschooler who was au fait with the many subtleties of communicating with others.
But Little Girl doesn’t just not try.
She takes the entire concept, and craps all over it.
Big Girl has always been very sociable. As a toddler she would smile and chat to adults in shops and children at the park. She was just really friendly.
Little Girl is too. But on her terms only. And with a level of inconsistency that leaves people guessing.
Take the lollipop man at school, for instance. The girls absolutely adore him. They call him ‘Mr. Morning,’ and can’t cross the road without giving him a hug and a high five.
It wasn’t always this way, though.
Little Girl has been through some troubling times in her relationship with Mr. Morning. When she first met him, she was in her ‘trust no one’ phase. Again, fairly reasonable, given she was only 18 months old. Big Girl would run across the road, greeting him with the enthusiasm only a small child can summon up at 8.40 am. Little Girl, however, used the most effective tool in her, admittedly limited arsenal.
Like, Paddington Bear style.
If you’ve never seen Little Girl glare, then you could be mistaken for thinking this was pretty small beans. A toddler, glaring? Ha. The only thing that could possibly be is cute as hell.
You are wrong.
When Little Girl glares, she isn’t just frowning. No, she’s channeling the fires of Hell into her eyes and forcing them out. Right in your face.
After a few months, she decided he was in favour again. And it lasted for a short while until a terrible thing happened. She tripped over, next to him. Four months of glaring followed.
She likes him again now, but for how long? No one knows.
It’s not just him, either. We often walk to school with my friend and her children, who Little Girl has known since she was born. Every day they exchange cuddles and kisses and then skip along the street together.
Until one day, when my friend’s little boy held out his arms as usual. Little Girl recoiled, frowned, and said, “I don’t like you.”
In the most cutting voice she could manage. Poor kid was crushed.
The next time, she was full of smiles and cuddles again. Apparently, she likes to keep people on their toes.
2. She will sacrifice herself for the sake of winning
This is one that you can’t really skip in the quest for kickassery. I mean, you can’t go around just bending to a lowly parent’s will whenever they dangle a good enough carrot, can you?
Little Girl says no.
I was always glad when Big Girl timed a tantrum to coincide with a fun thing we were about to do. All I would have to say is, “Come on, it’s time to get ready for the park!” Up she would jump, the subject of her ire forgotten.
This categorically does not work with Little Girl. She doesn’t do weakness.
So she will be lying on the floor, howling because her toast is cut the wrong way, or because I won’t let her wear her shoes on the wrong feet.
But it’s cool, because we’re about to have a snack. I say, “LG, would you like something nice to eat?” I know she does. She was asking for it before the perceived maternal slight.
She says, “No.”
I say, “Shall we watch a movie?” We were about to anyway, and it is her favourite. The one she has been begging for all day. The one she was bouncing on the couch for just a few minutes ago.
She says, “No.”
One thing I often do when she is freaking out on the floor is to offer her a cuddle. By that point, her emotions are all out of control and she can’t bring herself back down on her own. I’m not ‘giving in,’ as some would think, but instead giving her a safe space where she can calm down. She needs it. I know that, she knows that. And when she does it, it works very quickly.
But usually this is how it goes:
“Hey Little Girl, come and have a cuddle.”
I can see she wants it, but there’s no way she’ll give up that easily. She’d rather scream her head off for at least another 23 minutes.
And there’s no persuading her to change her mind. Not even for sweets. She will deliberately punish herself just so she doesn’t lose the battle.
That, my friends, is determination.
3. She is fearless
In Little Girl’s life, there is no room for being scared. Unless it’s the fictitious beast that lives in the hall. Or if someone is wearing a mask. Then, she’ll totally lose her shit.
But in terms of doing stuff, there are no limitations.
Here’s an example. When she was 18 months old, she was in the kitchen with me while I made lunch. She was too small to sit on the bench, so was playing with a few toys on the floor.
Then, I heard a creaking sound. I turned to find her standing on the kitchen table.
Too small for the bench, my arse.
She didn’t stop there, though. As I gasped, she ran along the table, and straight off the end. This wasn’t by accident. She didn’t just forget to stop. She did it on purpose, with joy in her eyes.
Somehow, I caught her. I’m not sure how. And as I looked down at her, my face contorted into a grotesque panicked expression, what did she do?
At the park, she will clamber, monkey-like, up the things Big Girl is too cautious to try. She is frequently found upside down. And if a surface is smaller in width than her feet, then it’s irresistible.
Like my sewing machine cover. Ugh, I still shudder at that one. Somehow, she balanced on it like a champ , and no major injuries resulted.
Needless to say, parkour videos are strictly off limits. If there’s one thing she doesn’t need, it’s more ideas.
4. She has a rock-hard grip
Anyone who’s ever been to a toddler group knows that they are essentially a fight to the death, under the guise of ‘playing.’
And Little Girl comes prepared. With her hands.
One thing that toddlers do a lot is snatch. They see a kid playing with the most awesome toy ever invented, and they have to have it.
Like, right. now.
So they stomp over, grab the toy and pull.
Some kids just concede at once, and slink off, tails between their legs. Big Girl was a bit like this. After a brief squawk of dismay, she would just go and find something else to play with. But not Little Girl.
Little Girl doesn’t give up. Ever.
As the other child closes in, she activates her frown powers. And as they grab hold, her knuckles whiten and she plants her feet for stability. She ain’t letting go.
Off they go across the room, pulling and tugging and maybe engaging in a bit of screaming, if the situation warrants it. They flatten everything in their path, including the odd kid. Oops.
Little Girl’s iron grip prevails. Her face is flushed, and if you look closely, you can see that her teeth are actually gritted.
I’m trying to remember, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen her lose. Not bad for a kid that can still fit in her sister’s baby clothes.
5. She has the power of cuteness
It would be pretty tricky to get one past me if she was always kicking ass and taking names. I would come to expect it, and maybe even prepare.
To Little Girl, that is intolerable.
Imagine if I was always catching her when she jumped off a high surface? Or if I pre-empted every tantrum, and resolved before it went into the danger zone? Or, God forbid, cuddled her when she was sad?
Her solution is to be suddenly and randomly cute. Her favourite method is to stop mid-sentence and smile a giant, toothy grin at me. Then she says, “I like you!”
You have to admit, that’s pretty disarming.
Of course, she usually follows it up with something unexpected. Such as licking my face.
I can see she is thinking, Ha! Weren’t ready for that, were you?
6. Because she is
Allow me to illustrate this one with a story.
A few weeks ago, Big Girl and Little Girl went to a birthday party with Mark. I was for an 8 year old boy, so almost every kid there was at least twice the size of Little Girl. The host was a bit worried that she would get squashed or knocked over. She asked all of the children to be very careful of her.
But that was not really necessary.
Little Girl stopped at the doorway and surveyed the room. She was all big eyes and serious face. Cautiously she entered, and walked across to the pile of toys. There, she picked up the most enormous, bright blue Nerf gun ever made. I think. Like, machine gun sized.
She lifted it up and smiled.
And shot every single person in the room.
That done, she let it fall to the floor, and left.
I think it’s clear that it’s not her that needed protecting.