We talk to Saoirse with the same tone we’d use to speak with an adult, or each other.

We scold her when she cries because Quinn’s playing with one of her toys.  We can’t understand why she just doesn’t get it–it’s not a big deal, we think.  You’ll get the toy back.  She’s your sister, for Pete’s sake.  We reprimand her for guarding her playthings, hiding them.

We ask her to go get that diaper, or clean up those toys, or put those crayons back in that container like I asked you.

We want her to try spices, and tofu, and apple pancakes, when all she wants is chicken fingers, and shrimp with Old Bay please, and frozen waffles with honey.

She gets herself up in the morning, goes to the bathroom, washes her hands.  She comes in to the bedroom to say hello, blows us a kiss, then goes down to the playroom for the few minutes she’ll have to herself before the rest of the house wakes up.

It’s hard to forget that she’s only 3.  I looked around today, though:  at her crafts from preschool hanging on the playroom bulletin board (don’t I sound organized?  Ha!), at her trains and cars lined up on a bookshelf, at her collections of toys she hoards protectively in various corners of the house.  And I remember, she’s just a kid.  No wonder she’s so precious.

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