Oh, my little girls.
It seems like only the other day that you were perfect strangers and we marvelled at you as you thrashed beneath my skin, and we wondered who you would be when you were born. But my dreams those days only stretched so far; I couldn’t imagine you as anything more than babies, couldn’t envision the little girls that would grip my heart and squeeze it so tightly that sometimes, in the office, the thought of you leaves me breathless. It doesn’t seem two years ago that we daydreamed of you, and yet I feel as though I have known you all my life. On the cusp of your second birthday I wanted to take some time to write to you, to celebrate the children that you have become.
You are such beautiful beings. I don’t mean physically – though you are – but your enormous hearts, your fierce and brilliant minds. You fill me with admiration and terror, with softness and hope. You make me laugh every day.
Olympia, Pocket, our little Polly Poobum, your mother calls you ‘Mini’ because you are such a mini human, she calls you ‘Sunshine’ because you have the ability to illuminate – and to burn. You are loquacious and hilarious, a formidable triplet to your twin brothers. You frighten me sometimes with how much I love you.
Although we do not look much alike, you share the set of my jaw when we are determined to accomplish something and the world is against us, and you share my feelings for cake, which you demand vehemently every morning as you hurl yourself against the kitchen counter – as though we have ever given you cake for breakfast! You love cats, which you call ‘tats’, choosing your own clothes in the morning, wearing shoes in the house (woe betide anyone who tries to part a Polly from her shoes) and your independence, scorning the buggy in favour of your own two feet. You love all of your family but you are fierce about me, and about Zaza, whose hands you demand to hold as you cross the street. On the quietest of mornings, when we can see no cars on the road, we let you walk with your brother and you are swollen with pride. A most responsible little girl, you bring me my shoes every morning and open the door for me, so that we can take out the dog together. You will not neglect this duty even when it is raining, even for breakfast. You are emphatic about your human rights and will tell your brothers ‘NO!’, complaining fiercely to each of us if you feel that you have been wronged. Every other sentence that you speak begins with “I need..” I love that you come and fetch me whenever you feel that I am too far away from you, taking my hands with a plaintive “come on”. Your favourite place is still inside my dressing gown, your bare skin against mine.
Embla, Emmywiggles, Igwig, you are still your mother’s girl and sometimes you will go to me if you see that she is busy, but often I have to bribe a cuddle from you with a crisp. You are a funny, manipulative little thing, determinedly the smallest, the baby, your siblings are each wrapped around your little finger. You make me laugh with your obsession with your hair; you bring us bows and you preen like a little bird. You love so much to be pretty. You love to be a part of things, but you never let us forget that you are the baby.
Before you sleep, you demand your La La Lu and you sing along, relaxing in your mama’s arms. You are your mother’s best friend, so friendly and confident when you are with her and yet you refuse to be placed on the floor at your brothers’ nursery in case she leaves you there (your sister, on the contrary, sobs with devastation when she is not allowed to stay). You love your ‘beebees’, whether they be plastic or actual children, some of whom are bigger than you, and your ‘wabbits’ – though we miss when you used to call them ‘babbits’ – and somehow you are louder than all three of your siblings put together and we can never ignore you or fail to give you your fair share of attention, even though you are still so very little. You are my favourite to kiss, because your exaggerated puckered kissy-face is so hilarious and so endearing. It makes me laugh every time you roar at me – “Oarrr!” – because you so genuinely believe yourself to be fearsome. We love you so very much, and we are so lucky to have you.
The two of you are growing so fast. On our recent trip to Camber Sands, you slept in ‘big girl beds’ for the first time, because like a complete numpty I forgot to order travel cots for you! We were sure that you wouldn’t sleep a wink, but you astonished us by falling asleep so peacefully on that first night and for the rest of the holiday, utterly silent save for occasionally rolling out of the bed. In the mornings, you would go and wake up your brothers and then all of you would come and find us, four tousled bedheads in pyjamas climbing in for a cuddle. I wish that I could pinpoint that moment in which you graduated from babies to little girls.
The third year of your lives mark the year in which you become big sisters. You still seem too small for this responsibility, which is silly because your brothers had already known you for three months when they turned two. You have the absolute best examples of older-siblinghood in your big brothers, and I hope that you adapt as easily as they did and embrace the new baby with as much warmth and love. I hope that we can make it easy for you.
Mostly, I hope that you know that your mummies and your brothers all love you very, very much. Keep on being you, perfect as you are.
Alex and Alexa kindly sent these beautiful outfits, in exchange for a feature on their blog – to which I will link once it is live! Thank you, Alex and Alexa.