On Thursday I took Little L for her 3 year check-up. This is the first of the “big girl” check-ups. The one without the baby scale and tape measure. She stepped on the scale and stood up straight and tall to let the nurse measure her. The results astounded me. She however was completely unfazed and went on to ace her eye exam. She skipped off to the exam room where she charmed the socks off the doctor. One no-shot-today happy dance later and we were out of there, medical record sheet for the school in hand.
As I buckled Little L into her car seat I marveled at how big she’s gotten. She was talking a mile a minute and for a moment I couldn’t see even a glimmer of the baby she used to be.
Her big girl status isn’t just being tested by the doctor’s office; she starts preschool tomorrow. In the morning I’ll pack a change of clothes and some diapers into her brand new Dora backpack and I’ll walk her into her classroom. Tomorrow I get to spend the morning with her, but Thursday I’ll have to leave her at the door. I’ll be leaving her with teachers I don’t yet know, but who come highly recommended by people I do know and trust. She already has a friend in the class, and knowing her she’ll have ten more by the end of the week.
You’d think I’d weep as I walk away. But I really don’t think I will.
This is going to be an amazing thing for my baby, the one who is already rhyming and learning her letters. She’s going to be on her own there, not in her sister’s shadow, and she is going to shine. I see glimpses of the preschooler in her when I watch her do crafts – cutting things out with intense concentration. Or when I hear her starting to stand up to her rather bossy older sister, insisting that the game go the way she wants it to for once. And I know that preschool is going to be great for her because it’s going to allow her to hone all those skills and develop new ones.
On Thursday she measured a whopping 38 3/4 inches tall -that’s a full 2 inches and a quarter taller than her sister was at that age – physical proof that I’m not kidding when I tell my friends that my baby is a monster. Or rather, as the doctor put it, that she looks like a 4-year-old and it’s a good thing she speaks and acts like one too.
So, yes, my baby hasn’t really been a baby for a while. She’s not even a toddler anymore. Tomorrow morning she’ll officially become a preschooler and while I’m sad to say goodbye to our infant years, I’m not worried about her in the least. On Thursday when the doors close, I’m going to walk away knowing that she’s good and ready for this transition.
Whether I’ll ever be ready to stop calling her Little L is a whole other question.