Jeez, where has my baby gone?
And who is this little girl who rules my house and my life with complete and utter impunity?
She walks around patting herself on the chest with both hands and calling herself 'Mama'. I'm still Mama, but apparently, now she is too!
She runs up and gives me a light bite on any available part of my body, and when I remonstrate using my stern you-know-that's-not-on voice, she grins and wags HER finger in MY face.
She swings Tarzan-like, from all the top drawers in the house. Nothing can be safely put away any more. She climbs onto, over, and around all manner of obstacles. No corner of the house is unreachable, and therefore unexplored.
She asks to be tickled by lifting up her shirt, pointing at her belly button and saying 'gilli-gilli'. Sometimes, if I'm within reach, she pokes my belly button, saying 'gilli-gilli' and giggling like she's the one being tickled.
When her Papa comes home from work, she runs to put his socks in the laundry basket. When he gets ready for work in the morning, she steals his clean socks and puts them in the basket as well. When she gets the chance, if his cupboard is open, she steals his underwear and attempts to wear it like a hat.
She kisses her Papa on demand - and sometimes even unbidden - pressing her mouth against his cheek, and saying 'ummmaaa'. I, on the other hand, have to chase her, grab her, squeeze her, and generally wrestle an 'umma' out of her.
When I whisper nonsense in her ear, and then draw back and say, "it's a secret, ok?" she looks at me, eyes huge and round, and nods solemnly.
At night, after her bedtime story, I flick off the light and she lies down and goes to sleep by herself. But she has to hold on to some part of me - her hand on my arm, or her foot in my lap; as long as she knows Mama is near, she can drift off to sleep.
Don't grow up, my darling. Your poor Mama will not be able to bear it.