Kara has to wait until Wednesday for her first day as a proper schoolgirl. But while she hasn’t reached that major milestone yet – and, yes, I’m sure there will be the obligatory photo of her in her new school uniform at some point – in many respects she’s already sailed past it.
As a May baby, Kara will be relatively young in her year. By comparison, her brothers were five and four months older than she will be when she starts. That’s quite a significant difference when you’re four years old. But she seems so much more mature than either boy was on their first days of school.
Maybe that’s just a trick of the mind and maybe it’s a function of being the youngest of three siblings but Kara has always been a girl in a hurry. She was potty-trained barely a few weeks after her second birthday – a good six months earlier than her brothers. She has just come back from spending four days staying with her grandparents – she barely missed us at all. Over the past three or four months alone, she has suddenly shot up in height, her vocabulary and ability to hold a conversation have skyrocketed and it would be easy to mistake her at times for someone a year older, maybe more.
Sometimes I forget too. To see her perched neatly on the sofa with her bling pink diamond-effect headphones, casually flicking through games on the iPad and barking out orders to all and sundry around her, if you closed your eyes and listened to her you would think she was 14 rather than four. (God only knows what she’ll be like when she’s 14 …)
While she was away, the smallest person in our household left the biggest hole. The house was very quiet. She effortlessly fills any space she inhabits with her personality and her laughter and although her forceful nature makes her challenging to deal with, she’s equally delightful.
It would be wrong of me to want to hold her back but the reality is that daddy’s little princess isn’t so little any more. A girl in a hurry? Absolutely. Which is why I need to stop and savour little moments like this a bit more. They’ll be gone before I know it.