Three years old
April 14th, 2017It took David a full five minutes to figure out what was happening. Which was kind of embarrassing if he considered that his clever three-year-old probably didn’t even need half of the time to come up with this brilliant, almost oscar-worthy plan to make a theatrical entrance. And to fool her parents.
He woke up to her kicking at the covers beside him. Then there was some of the usual rustling and just when he thought she was about to climb on his chest and wake him with a sweet “It’s my birthday, Daddy,”, she crawled towards the foot of the bed and, almost as quiet as a mouse, slid down to the floor.
Now more than curious of what was going on, David opened his eyes and slowly turned his head to the side, catching a brief glimpse of a rustled blonde head in a pink jumper quietly opening the door and slipping outside. And then complete silence.
Weird, David thought and waited. And waited and waited and waited.
After a couple of minutes, he heard a quiet voice coming from outside and some scratching on the wall. It almost sounded like she was sitting on the floor with her back against the wall and talking to herself. Almost as if… as if she was waiting for something?
And that’s when David realized what was going on.
As quietly as possible, he scooted closer to Gillian, who was resting on her side facing him, still soundly asleep. “Hey, babe. Wake up,” he whispered and slid his right arm around her warm waist. “Gillian, wake up.”
“Hmm?” she hummed approvingly and blinked herself awake only to see him putting his index finger against his lips to sign her to stay quiet. She looked at him in confusion and mouthed a silent “what?”
“Listen!” he said, and looked at her expectantly while listening to their daughter’s sweet little voice coming through the gap.
“Is she sitting in front of the bedroom door?” Gillian asked in a confused whisper after awhile, eyes still only half open and eyebrows furrowed.
“Yeah,” he nodded and couldn’t stop himself from leaning in and kissing her. She was so unbelievably soft and beautiful right after waking up.
“I think she is trying to make us believe that she hasn’t slept in here tonight. And a few days ago, she told me that she’s going to be a big girl now and that she would start to follow the rules.”
“What rules?” she slurred, getting more confused by the second. She remembered some rules somewhere in the back of her head, but had their daughter ever followed one of them?
“Just wait and see!” he said and turned onto his back. And then, a big, hearty yawn came out of his open mouth and he stretched his arms and legs so that the sheets were rustling.
Barely five seconds later, as if she’d waited for the slightest sign that one of her parents were finally awake, there was a soft knock on the door, and suddenly Gillian remembered one of their rules: knock before you come into Mommy and Daddy’s bedroom after the birds started to sing outside. She had never acted on that rule before.
It was absolutely hilarious, and Gillian had trouble holding back a bark of hysterical laughter. This little girl was truly a blessing.
David grinned at her knowingly and waited five seconds before replying with an extra-tired “yes?”. And almost in the same moment, the door was pushed open and in walked a beaming, three-year-old Eaden.
Gillian wasn’t sure if she’d ever seen such a big smile on her daughter’s face, and there sure had been a lot of big smiles in all those three years now. She looked so proud and adorable walking towards the bed in a confident, bouncing pace.
“Hey,” David greeted her exuberantly and held out his arms as she climbed up the bed, and pulled her on top of him. “Good morning, beautiful. Where are you coming from?”
“From outside!” she said proudly and pulled her bottom lip between her teeth, as if she was waiting to see if her parents would look through her little plan or not.
But before Gillian or David could say something, she apparently decided to change the topic to more important matters. Excitedly, she looked between her parents and suddenly threw her arms in the air.
“It’s my birthday today!” she called out and kicked her little legs into his pillow.
“What!” David looked at Gillian in feigned surprise.
“Daddy! Mommy! I’m thwee!”
“Oh my god! Happy birthday baby girl!” Gillian said cheerfully and put her arm around her daughter to pull her down for a big kiss. “Wow! I can’t believe you’re three years old now!”
“Happy birthday, Eaden!” David pulled her into a bear hug. “You’re such a big girl now! We love you very, very much!”
“Yeah,” Eaden nodded and rested her head on David’s chest, grinning at her mother. “And I know the wules now!”
Gillian chuckled and let David pull her close to them. “You know the rules now?”
“Yes! Do I get my pwesents now?” she asked and put her fingers into her mouth, suddenly concerned if her efforts were enough to be that “good, well behaved girl” who earned herself all those presents she’d asked for. Although she wasn’t sure if it was enough for that little brother she’d desperately asked for, but certainly for the pack of chewing gum.
“Yes, baby,” Gillian smiled affectionately and stroked a few strands of hair behind her daughter’s ear, fighting hard to hold back the tears. “Let’s go downstairs, have your birthday breakfast with all the things you like and open up all those presents waiting for you! How does that sound?”
Eaden smiled happily and flung her arms around her father’s neck. “Like I’m a veeeery good girl!”