princess jessica

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All day long, she insisted her name was Princess Jessica. 

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David was out of town. The girls and I ate our dinners in the backyard on top of a tablecloth. Afterward, Alice said it had been “the best picnic ever.”

Ever.

And here’s the heartbreaker: She’ll only be 3 for a year, and then she’ll never be 3 again.

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There are some things I don’t love about 3. For example, that an hour after we have tucked her in for the night, I can still hear her singing along to “Peter, Paul & Mommy.” That mealtimes exact a cruel toll of patience and attention. (“Another bite. Another bite, please. Alice, another bite”). That every morning we have the same disagreement over  whether “dancin’ shoes” are appropriate footwear for nursery school.

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But, mostly, she is delightful in a way that makes me think, if I were never lucky again, I still would have had more than my fair share. And some of my favorite things about Alice lately are:

That she drops the g’s off the ends of her words: “I want my dancin’ shoes!” “I’m comin’!” “He’s not listenin’!” I can’t decide whether it’s more hayseed or valley girl, but it nearly kills me every time. 

That she makes up her own songs, including “If You Have a Bug Bite, You Better Get Some Cream,” and “Don’t Put Your Toys in the Trash Because Them Will Get All Yucky.”

(That she only says “them,” never “they” or “their.”)

That when I told her the balloons her dad blew up wouldn’t float like the ones she brought home from a birthday party because they didn’t have special air, she said, “Do you blow special air?”

That she wants to know everyone’s name. The cashier at the grocery store, the newscaster on television, the woman whose house we walk past on the way home from school. That she believes I know everyone’s name. 

“What’s her name?” she asks.

“I’m sorry. I just don’t know.”

“But what’s her name, Mama? Think.”

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