baby kate turns three

 The other day Zachary came zooming past and yelled, 'See ya later alligator.'

You scrunched up your face, made two fists, and yelled, 'I not a gator!!!! I BABY KATE WOMACK ROSE!!!'

Happy Third birthday Baby Kate Womack Rose.  While you were the one child that was planned, you are the one that surprises me the most.  You intrigue me.  There is a quiet power in you that is hard to place.  In this way I think you take after your father, you say what you need to, but stop there. While the rest of us gush and annoy, express and then apologize, you two watch and calculate.  I wish your father would fawn over me, but after 20 years with the man I know that his independence is what drew me in, and in this same way you draw us in.

The other night I came into bed, your dad in that place of sleep where you can still be pulled out of it, and asked 'Do you think that you understand baby Kate more than Z and Sophie?' 
And he rolled over a bit and said 'No I think I understand them all the same.'
And of course I wanted to have a long conversation where we figure everyone out and feel good about ourselves and how we are living and solve all our stresses in the way that parents only can when their children are finally asleep and you can parent without them being there, but I heard the breathing deepen and it was done.
Regardless, I see so much of your father in you and seeing you two play and laugh and wrestle fills my heart.  I like to imagine you becoming very close as you grow, hopefully you admiring the strengths that you inherited.

While your brother and sister never give me the luxury of not knowing where they are, two bees buzzing all day, you are often off by yourself, organizing your dolls and animals, transporting them from one room to the next.  You love collecting your loot in a big pink polka dot bin and when you come into our bed (every night around midnight) you drag the big bin behind you.
I can count the number of tantrums that you have had in your life on one hand, you are easy-going and undramatic.  I've never put you in a time-out, partly because you don't mis-behave, and partly because you mostly get what you want.  When you say you're done with a meal, and I say 'ok, just have one more bite of carrot',  you say 'no I not, I done' and climb down and walk away.  And I really don't know how to respond other than smile at your little person-ness. 

Kate, you are so many things...you are so beautiful.  When I was pregnant with you I knew you would have brown eyes and brown hair, just like I knew your siblings would have blue eyes and blond hair.  But I couldn't predict the softness about you.  I'm always trying to capture that softness with my camera, but because I'm not a great photographer I never quite do you justice.

I remember holding you after you were born, you so quiet, just taking everything in, and thinking I could do this a million times.  And I could.  If I could have a million of You I would.  But instead I will cherish the one You that I have.  Happy Birthday my daughter.   

Ok wait, I could have a million of you......if you got better at sleeping. You. Are. The. Worst. Sleeper.  Please work on it this year.  Seriously, go to sleep Kate.