Little T. The youngest. The fearless one. The pain in my backside. The force. The absolute cuteness.
I am a youngest child, as is my husband. Side note: as a general rule, I would advice youngests against marrying each other: we both expect to get our way all the time, so one of us is usually shocked and disappointed.
There is no better place to be in a family than bringing up the rear. Being the youngest, especially of a large brood, means you benefit from just the right amount of benign neglect. Parents are experienced enough to let 60% of your antics slide and exhausted enough to completely miss the other 40%. My youngest has cartloads of confidence, gathered from being minimally supervised and able to try pretty much anything she wants to. She sees the world as her oyster, and the world complies. She doesn't offend easily (except when her siblings imitate her little lispy cartoon character voice: that seriously pisses her off) and she hurtles through life with abandon and joy.
She's hard to parent and utterly delightful to watch, especially when I catch glimpses of just how robust her self-image is. Take last night, for example. I was taking a shower, and had locked the bathroom door to keep her out. She, not to be deterred, set up camp right on the other side of the bathroom door -- complete with pillows and blankets -- and commenced serenading me with every preschool song she knows. Wheels on the Bus...Five Green and Speckled Frogs...I'm a Little Teapot...Hit Me Baby One More Time...
I mostly just kept my eyes closed, let the warm water wash over me, and counted myself lucky that the sound was slightly muffled by the shower flow and the closed door.
Then she sang Matchmaker Matchmaker, and I commented: "Oooo, one of my favorites!"
The singing stopped abruptly.
"You mean, this isn't annoying you?" Giggles and smiles, both of which I could hear through the door.
No honey, you are not annoying me.
"You mean, you're actually listening to me???" Outright joyful laughter this time.
Yes honey, I'm actually listening to you. Although apparently, that's not a necessary part of this equation.
She sings, she entertains, she puts her little bit of energy out into the world, and clearly, her enjoyment is not predicated on whether or not anyone at all is paying attention.
I want some of that.
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