August Flird and The Number 4.

This is what you looked like at 6:39 am the day you turned 4 years old.

When you were a baby, I labeled you a “Drama Queen.” I know that it’s not nice to label people, but Girlfriend? There was no denying your dramatic ways.

This past year, I learned that your Dramatic Nature isn’t always a negative thing. Your flare for being a little bit over the top is proving to be an amazing asset. You can charm people where ever you go with your random singing. You don’t care who’s listening or where you’re at, if you want to belt out “Umbrella”, you belt it out with facial expressions and hip movements to boot. You almost always make the people around you smile or laugh out loud. When people tell you how beautiful you sing, you always say “Thank you so much! Have a great day and come visit me at my house, ok?”

Of course, not everyone finds your singing to be as precious as we do. Some people give you dirty looks and you’ll ask me “why is that lady mad, mommy?” I want to say “because she’s heartless witch!” But I usually tell you something like “not everyone appreciates hearing other people sing, because they like peace and quiet.” You’ll find out in time that there are jerks in the world who don’t like for other people to be happy in their presence. And you’ll learn to ignore them and keep being who you are, because you are wonderful and joy and sunshine on a cloudy day.

Can I talk a little bit more about your singing? Your singing is one of my favorite things in life. It brings me joy, laughter and sometimes, you’ll bring my to tears with the sweetness of your voice and the expressions you make while belting out a tune. I don’t know many people in the world who can take the numbers and turn them into a theatrical production. In fact, I’m pretty sure you’re the only one.

When I think back on this past year, the two things (because singing and pink!) that come to mind are “Lipstick” and “Hair” because OH MY GOD THE LIPSTICK AND THE HAIR.

You’ve pretty much destroyed/took over every tube of lipstick that I own, but you especially loved my bright red Estee Lauder. You had to take it with you everywhere that we would go. You’d apply it repeatedly in the car on the way to wherever we were going. By the time that we would arrive at our destination, your lips (and most of your face) would be covered with bright, red gloss.

Oh, the shiny, red joy!

You eventually decided that lipstick just wasn’t enough and every single day, I’d find you in my bathroom, painting your face, Tammy Faye Baker style.
I don’t mind sharing my lipstick with you. Lipstick makes you happy and the one thing that I want for you in life is for you to be happy. But do you know what I do mind? The fact that you’ve become obsessed with a hairstyle called “The Princess Fiona.” Basically, TPF is when I pull your hair back into a pigtail and then leave a few long pieces in front for you to flip around all princess like. I have no idea why you named it that, but every single time that I do your hair you say “I want it like Princess Fiona” and I will get annoyed and say “how about I do it like Princess Leah!’ And you’ll start to whine and say “No! I want it like Princess Fiona!” and I’ll say “How about I put a beautiful braid!” And you’ll get REALLY ANGRY and say “MOMMY JUST PUT IT LIKE PRINCESS FIONA BECAUSE THAT IS HOW I LIKE IT.”

I get frustrated because you have the most beautiful hair in all of the land and I could do so many beautiful things with it, but you are unwilling to let me. Except for once in a while, when you’re in a really good mood you’ll let me do something beautiful with it.

Hard Choices

But, it never lasts for long. Before I know it, you’re ripping out the braid or buns and asking for me to put it like Princess Fiona.

I have proof of how much you love the Princess Fiona do. A few weeks ago, you were in your room quietly reading books. Or so I thought. “Mom, don’t worry. I cut my hair beeeeeautiful.” You shouted from your room.
My heart dropped. I ran to your room and found you standing in front of the mirror with the scissors in your hand, a mass of hair on your dresser and freshly cut, very short bangs. You were very proud of yourself until you realized that, um, you had very short bangs and you could no longer do your hair like Princess Fiona because OH MY GOD THE BANGS ON YOUR FOREHEAD.

This went on for a couple of hours. You’d stop crying, then you’d feel the bangs on your forehead, try to rip them off and when you were unsuccessful, the tears would began to fall again. It was probably the most traumatic experience of your 4 year old little life and I am sorry that I laughed, but I’m sure by the time you’re old enough to read this, you’ll laugh too.

I’m not quite sure how to end this post. There is so much I remember, so much I want to tell you, so many things that I want everyone who reads this to know about you, my sweet Lil G. Because…You? You are simply wonderful in every way.

Smart. Thoughtful. Stubborn. Affectionate. Polite. Considerate. Independent. Hilarious. Talented.

Some of your characteristics have the potential to get you into trouble in life. That is why I take my job as your mother very seriously. I want to steer you in the right direction, correcting you and setting you straight when it’s called for, but also never wanting to break your spirit. I know what it’s like to have your spirit broken. I know what it’s like to be told your dreams will never come true. I know what it’s like to be too ashamed to stand up for yourself. So, I will make sure you know the power of your voice, but also know that there is a time to be quiet, listen, learn and plan your next move. I am and will always do everything in my power to make sure you choose the right path for you.

Before I end, let me say one (or 10) more thing(s).

I am in awe of you and always will be because you are the daughter I never thought I’d have. Thank you for bring joy into my life. Thank you for “fixing my hair” when “it’s so ugly.” Thank you for “helping me clean” (even if it really means “making more of a mess.”) Thank you for telling Daddy he should make me eggs for breakfast when I’m working. Thank you for reading me stories. Thank you for not saying “Asshole” anymore because that could have got me into a LOT of trouble with Gramma and Grammpies. But mostly, thank you for bringing joy, love and perfectly timed farts into my life.

I love you.
I love you.
I love you.

Happy, Happy Birthday, Beautiful Girl of mine.

100 thoughts on “August Flird and The Number 4.

  1. Miss

    OMG. She may be the very reason why I would want a daughter. What a SWEETHEART! Happy Birthday to her!!
    You should show her pictures of all the great ways bangs can look on a beautiful woman and maybe she wont feel as sad. What a cutie pie, bangs or no.

  2. Texan Mama

    Beautiful daughter. Beautiful post. She is priceless. All that attitude. All that talent. All that beauty. No one will ever put her in a corner!

  3. KTP

    Oh, Y. I kept it together until “you are the daughter I never thought I’d have.” Does that mean hope for me? Thank God for your blog, so I can live vicariously through you and continue to use condoms.

  4. Christine

    Oh goodness, I can’t believe it has been 4 years already! Happy, happy birthday to her!
    The bangs. The drama. (The laughter.) She is so precious!

  5. mel from freak parade

    What a sweetheart. I love the first picture. What a great way to document memory. Fabulous idea.
    I hear you about the singing. My daughter just turned five and can turn anything into a song.

  6. mary

    I kinda like the bangs. They’re cute. You (and she) make me want a daughter. But I’m almost done, Y! 😀
    Happy Birthday!

  7. Joy

    Oh, and Princess Fiona? That has to be from Shrek, probably the first movie. My daughter had that phase too.

  8. mel from freak parade

    I now you don’t know me, and probably could care less, but watching the video of your daughter singing, reminded me so much of my daughter. I am emailing you a link to a short video of her singing. We should get them together. They could be famous. :)

  9. Cindi B.

    It’s been four years already? Good grief– there’s been a gash in the space/time continuum!
    Love all your wonderful words about your life–even when it feels like things aren’t going that great.
    And Happy Birthday to the Princess!

  10. The Aitch

    awww…Y! You are such a good Momma. My oldest turns four on the 14th too and man alive can I relate. But srsly. ur such a good momma and you said all the right things in that video during her TPF breakdown.

  11. kim

    happy birthday, G! i can’t believe you’re FOUR already. also, i like your bangs. they’re totally hip right now. everyone has them: heidi klum, katie holmes… so you basically are a trendsetter! :)

  12. Kate

    I think this may be my first comment here, but I’ve been reading for a while. (Totally unrelated aside…you know I couldn’t access you at my job for the longest time because WebSense labeled you “Tasteless”? Bastards.)
    She is gorgeous, and I think she should probably marry my son. They can put on dramatic theatre productions together and share our lipstick. He is…quirky, like that.
    Also, she reminds me of my earliest childhood memory, which was when I gave myself a mullet at 4, and while it was my MOTHER who dissolved into tears, I distinctly remember saying “I think I look good!”

  13. Modern Mami

    Your girl is absolutely beautiful and I too have a drama queen on my hands. But she’s still only 2.
    I wholeheartedly agree about the jerks who give kids bad looks. How dare they? My daughter loves to ask questions and point out things on the street. She’s just a kid. Have a heart and stop giving them bad looks!
    But, good answer you give her. 😉
    Oh! And love the video! So glad you got to record that so the two of you can laugh about it when she’s older. It might be a good reminder when she turns 13 and dyes her hair…or cuts it…again!
    Lovely post and lovely relationship you have with her.

  14. Tammy

    I hope she had a wonderful birthday! She’s so beautiful.
    TPF … it’s Fiona from Shrek. If I remember correctly, she had two pieces of hair that fell at the sides of her face.

  15. Lena

    I’ve had the joy of hearing you sing, Gabby. Believe it or not, I think about it ALL THE TIME. Because how could SO MUCH ATTITUDE (and vibrato) come from someone so little? That’s right, you’re your mother’s daughter.
    You are truly a little ray of sunshine. Happy Birthday G!

  16. Lena

    I’ve had the joy of hearing you sing, Gabby. Believe it or not, I think about it ALL THE TIME. Because how could someone so little have SO MUCH ATTITUDE (and vibrato) while singing “A Whole New World”? Then I remember you’re your mama’s daughter. You are truly a little ray of sunshine.
    Happy Birthday, G. Auntie Internet loves you.
    – Lena

  17. Lena

    Stupid Explorer locked up. Delete one of my comments Y, so I don’t look like a dumb ass! Hahahaa
    Y says: Too late.

  18. lani

    Happy Birthday, Gabby! I remember when your Mommy and Daddy found out they were going to have you. Your story is a beautiful one, and I’m glad your Mommy has shared it with us all these years.
    Y, I can’t believe our babies are turning 4!!!

  19. Krystle

    Absolutely adorable, LOVE love love the video!! hahaha! So dang cute… and her lips? I’d kill for them!
    Happy Birthday Gabby!

  20. Alison

    I’m TOTALLY digging the bangs – they look good! I’ve been trying to decent sideswept bangs like that for awhile. Think Gabby will come over and cut my hair? I tip well 😉

  21. elise - All Or Nothing

    First time I’ve ever commented on a child’s birthday post (always seems so personal to the author and weird when I have never met the child!) BUT!
    This was so, so sweet – and poor G – I totally get how she feels about the bangs. In fact, I think my reaction to a bad haircut RIGHT NOW (at age 27) is not so different :)

  22. tara

    how do you not just giggle all day long at all of her adorable cuteness?
    she really is beautiful and it’s ovvious what joy she brings into your life.
    have a happy birthday g!

  23. SassyPants

    Happy Birthday G!
    I cut my own hair when I was 5… not just the bangs but all if it. I looked like a boy for months and my Daddy wouldn’t talk to me for days. You still have the pretty long hair in back and you will have the Princess Fiona look back again in no time.

  24. Beth

    awwww….she is still so pretty.
    I’ve been a lurker for a long time…I may have even commented a few times, I don’t remember, but this just breaks my heart!!
    Your daughter has always been so beautiful, and she’s STILL beautiful….and really really ornery and cute! her little heart is BROKEN!!
    I bet she NEVER cuts her hair ever ever again!

  25. dana michelle

    Happy 4th Birthday, G-Unit!! I can’t believe it’s been 4 years already.
    Y, that was a wonderfully written post. You have such a knack for putting your emotions about your kids into words. Absolutely beautiful. You are such a loving mom.
    Makes me wish I had a little 4 year old drama queen of my own 😉

  26. Genevieve

    My 3 1/2 year old watched the video with me and I think she is a little traumatized lol. I can hear her in the next room muttering to herself “never never cut my hair..I would be soooo sad and cry and cry.”
    Happy Birthday to your sweet, beautiful little girl.
    And I dont think Ive ever commented before but I read your blog constantly. Love it and love you! Ok I’ll stop now before I sound totally stalkerish.

  27. kris

    Happy birthday sweet girl with bangs :) The trauma! God she is adorable- love how “no one” did it! Hope she grows (no pun intended) to accept and love her new look :)

  28. Rhi

    Awww. Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl!
    And, as an aside, I was convinced as a little girl that if I didn’t want bangs anymore, my mom could just cut them off!

  29. Pocklock

    This is so sweet! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GABBY!
    That video cracked me up and terrified me all at the same time. My first baby, a girl, is due any day now really and I’m already going through my head thinking where we can hide the scissors!

  30. Randy

    What a great post. It sounds like she is growing into a beautiful person, inside and out. It makes me wish my daughter was that age again, even if it was just for one day.

  31. SmugMarried

    Happy Birthday to your wonderful daughter – you should post some of her singing! It would be wonderful for us to hear and a nice memory for you. How I wish that I had recorded my nephews first laughes! His laugh is still great, but its not that new baby laugh anymore!

  32. Overflowing Brain (Katie)

    The hair video is the saddest cutest thing ever. I laughed and then I wanted to cry along side her. Because I think we’ve all been there.
    My cousin cut her hair and swore she would never again until her brother convinced her to and then immediately told on her. It’s really brothers who are the problem.
    Happy Birthday!

  33. Loralee

    I think I have found my four-year-old soul-mate.
    Seriously.
    (BTW-The divine theater kids grow up to be divine theater (Or opera. Or both) adults. Who most likely have a bog because they just can’t stop entertaining people 24/7 and a stage isn’t always convenient.)
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. Jamie

    She is a rock star! What a sweetie pie. I’ve got my share of drama at my house and it’s a roller coaster, but dang it’s fun (well, most of the time.) 😉
    Happy Belated 4th to your little diva. Bless her sweet heart in that video! (THE DRAMA!)

  35. Carrie

    Oh, the agony. Deep breaths . . . if I had a nickle for every time I have said that to my ‘spirited’ daughter, well, you know.
    Happy Birthday to your beautiful, wonderful girl!

  36. sylvia

    Oh my but doesn’t she look like you in that first photo?
    This is a beautiful post. My son just turned 14 and I’m belatedly writing him a letter telling him about this year. It’s been good.
    I wish I’d done it every year.

  37. heather...

    I don’t know…those bangs look pretty cute. Maybe she can give mine a touch up!
    Happy, Happy birthday to the most adorable four year old ever!

  38. Maria

    So my 2 year old is sitting her bawling from watching the video. She feels her pain, I guess. :)
    Happy birthday cutie pie!!

  39. Jett

    Responsibility for our actions is such a sucky lesson to learn.
    But hearing somebody say, “I’ll help you right now. I’ll help you.” is an amazing thing indeedy.

  40. Kimberly

    OMG, so sweet. The video totally had me crying like it was one of my own girls! I couldn’t even watch the whole thing! At least maybe she’ll learn the lesson of “Don’t cut your own hair” while she’s still young. :) Happy Birthday beautiful! :)

  41. Dana

    I cried tears right along with her. So sweetly innocent, she is. And precious. What a beautiful baby girl.
    Happy Birthday, sweetie. :) Twenty years from now you’ll look back and laugh.

  42. Cyndi

    I am so glad to see that I wasn’t the only one who cried at her teeny tiny pain. My 4 year old did the same thing to herself and her 1 year old sister. Happy Birthday!

  43. Rachael

    This is a beautiful, beautiful post. That video was sort of funny, but broke my heart a little bit. Poor girl. I hope she’s recovered now! Happy birthday to your sweetie.

  44. amanda

    That is the funniest (yet sort of sad as well) video I have seen for a while. I’m sorry I laughed. But if it makes it any better I sort of also got tears in my eyes.

  45. alyndabear

    Y, your Gabby is the sweetest thing and has grown up so beautifully. My heart broke for her poor bangs!
    Happy birthday to the little lady in the house.

  46. Tammy

    Happy Birthday baby girl! My 1st born daughter Autumn turned 22 on Aug 3rd, the happiest day of my life! Hugs from Fort Worth!

  47. Elizabeth

    I like the bangs, they make her eyes look even bigger! And go you with working the Mom Logic, it’s so hard sometimes to get them to admit that THEY are responsible for something they did.
    She’s just beautiful and I bet she is just as fiercely loving as she is fiercely dramatic, right? Happy Birthday to your sweet girl!

  48. Denise

    Happy Birthday to your precious girl!!! I love the Gabby posts, she is SO adorable and entertaining. The video was priceless. I just wanted to hug her. And laugh, too!

  49. Darcie

    Is it me, or in that picture of her (the b&w one taken on her 4th birthday) does she look EXACTLY like you? She’s beautiful. :)

  50. thotlady

    I am not sure what Princess Fiona hair looks like…maybe you can post a photo sometime soon.
    Kids are amazing. A friend’s sister cut her eye lashes off when she was around five. Her mom was terrified when she found her. Worried she could have damaged her eyes.
    Yikes, what children won’t do.

  51. gwendomama

    i am laughing so hard.
    is that wrong?
    you? you are so freaking great as a mama. i would have had a harder time being as calm about it. poor baby.

  52. Stephanie

    That video was so cute (heartbreaking, but cute). I have to say, she did a pretty darn good job of cutting her own hair for a 4 year old!
    Happy (late) birthday, G!

  53. supertiff

    Y, don’t expect her to think that little video i funny EVER because i just got a haircut i didn’t like AT ALL and i’m THIRTY FREAKING YEARS OLD and i’m pretty sure i reacted the same way that G-unit is acting in that clip, once i got home. and don’t even mention the 14 times i called home crying before i got there.
    i have to tell you, that video tore my heart in half. i mean, haven’t we all been there? grasping for hair that’s no longer there and crying at the folly of ever thinking it was a good idea to cut it off to begin with?
    anyway.
    happy birthday, little G.
    you have an awesome mommy. she worries about you and your brothers more than you’ll ever be able to understand until you have kids of your own…but, the love? i’m pretty sure you already know how much she loves you, right now. hopefully you’ll keep that with every single day, wether you’re 4 or 14.

  54. Angel

    Wow, she even has haircutting talent-those bangs look great! Sideswept is so in right now! *grin*
    Happy birthday babygirl!

  55. bejewell

    That conversation? The one about finding a balance between letting them explore and reigning them in? That conversation takes place in our house daily. And I’ve got a feeling we’re not the only ones.
    Happy belated birthday, little Princess Fiona! Wishing you many more years of unbridled enthusiasm and singing with only joy in your heart!

  56. chasingjoy

    What a wonderful post! Happy Birthday Precious Little Girl!!! I cried watching the video thinking of the little girl in my tummy and all the joy and drama she’s going to bring into my life. Thanks for this post and a beautiful pic to kick it off! It really set the mood.

  57. Feather Nester

    OMG, she is going to TREASURE this post one day. What a beautiful, thoughtful, loving thing you have written for your beautiful girl. This is why blogs are awesome. I laughed at the video which was so sweet and heartbreaking that you couldn’t help but laugh. And I cried at the part that came after. She’s a lucky girl to have such a great mama.

  58. Stefanie

    You are the best mama in all the world. Thank you for that and Gabby is sooo lucky and you are so inspirational, blah blah blah. I miss your face!

  59. Mocha

    I was sort of smiling, covering my mouth because of horror/shock/little bit funny – she is cute, her voice is cute. OH, WITH ALL THE CUTE.
    Then I heard you say at the very end, “I’ll help you right now. I’ll help you.” You pretty much whispered that last “I’ll help you” and in that moment you were the very best mom. That’s the part that made me cry.
    xoxo

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