This is the girl who wakes up with a fluffy mess of blonde waves, like a halo around her head. This is the girl who was the baby, bald as a cueball, who I adorned with giant flower headbands until she was old enough to yank them off in protest.
This is the girl who watches me apply make up and wants to put some on, too. The girl who laughs hysterically when I flip my hair over while drying it and when I flip up with a mess of curls not so different from her wake-up hair. The girl who exclaims with glee, "I FOUND YOU!" as her little face appears in the bathroom door, as if I wasn't just down the hall with her a few moments before.
This is the girl who looks at my feet and tells me I need lotion. Who stares at my nail polish and wonders if my nails will ever go back to the way they were and can hers get colored too please? Who runs her tiny hand over my blouse and says, "Silky!" and loves to touch any jewelry I remember to put on.
This is the girl who was the toddler just learning to walk when the orthopedist said she would need to wear a brace again as her hip was sliding out of place. After weeks of fretting about how we could possibly do this to her and how she would adjust to a clunky brace, this was the girl who started crawling moments after being put down in the brace, who learned to stand in it, and walk, and even do tricks on her bicycle. This is the girl, currently brace-free.
This is the girl who last year could not begin to climb the spider web at the playground, but today kept trying until she mastered it, reaching the top with a triumphant, "I did it!" Then did it again, and again.
This is the girl who wants me to be happy and asks me over and over again, "Are you happy, Mommy?" at moments when I'm clearly not. This is the girl who perceives others moods and wants everyone to be happy, a trait I must have passed down but one I wish I didn't. It's hard to worry about everyone's happiness, to feel responsible for others moods. This is the girl who cares about how people feel.
This is the girl who sings nursery rhymes, who sings "Too Ra Loora Loora" (even the part: "Me Mother sang this song to me in words so sweet and low") and our variation of "Baby Come Back" (we changed it to "Meggie Come Back" and she promptly sings "Any kind of fool could see, there was something in everything about you...."). This is the girl who remembers lines from books we've read, word for word.
This is the girl who I was sure was a boy, after getting over the shock of an unexpected pregnancy. This is the girl who was the baby with acid reflux, who I held all night long sleeping on the couch because she slept better upright. The baby who had special formula delivered to our house and who sat in her bouncy seat in front of the microwave vent, the white noise soothing her. This is the girl who was the baby that loved to walk outside, who calmed down at the sight of sky, trees, and grass. Who laughed with glee when her brother came near, the brother she called "Agex" as one of her first words.
This is the girl who turns 3 next week, who likes to pick out her own clothes and snuggle with stuffed animals. This is the girl who insists on cooking scrambled eggs and then won't take a bite. This is the girl that will start ballerina classes. This is the girl who still says "lellow" instead of "yellow" and tells me "sharing is caring" when she wants something of mine.
This is my baby. This is the girl.