It’s my baby’s birthday today! Yep, my youngest is turning SIX. Can you believe it? Seems like just yesterday Harlow was exiting the womb. Actually, no it doesn’t. That seems like a lifetime ago. I also realize that because Harlow is a tiny one, I’ve been able to hang onto the baby years longer than most. She still looks itty bitty to me!
This afternoon, we’ve got big plans for her and this weekend will be her birthday party, but for now, I’d just like to tell you a little about who Harlow is at this exact moment in time.
1) Harlow’s birthday is Harlow’s favorite day of the year.
Harlow has been counting down the days until her birthday since before the summer. It makes me a little worried for what she is going to do once it’s over, when we tell her she’s got a whole 365 days to wait until the next one. When I say counting down, I mean literally counting down. This video is my evidence, filmed six days ago:
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2) Harlow can “write” but she can’t read.
Yesterday, Harlow picked up my phone and started typing something. I thought she was playing a game, but apparently, she was using predictive text to write very long run-on sentences. Then, even though she had no idea what she was writing, she posted them to my Instagram story without me realizing. I figured this all out about five minutes later, when I got a flurry of messages from people thinking I had been hacked. I responded, “Yes, I have been hacked. By Harlow.”
But the funniest part of this story is that when I discovered the sentences and read them back to her, she looked at me for a beat and then said, “Capiche?”
Speaking of reading and writing, we went to Harlow’s parent teacher conference last week. Her teacher showed us the first full sentence Harlow had written on her own, unassisted. She pushed the paper across the table. It said: “Mazzy makes me happy.” Well. If that isn’t a reason to have two children right there. Let me go cry happy tears in a corner. My job is done.
Harlow has trouble getting up on weekdays (although not nearly as much trouble as Mazzy), but on weekends, it’s another story. She will routinely jump into our bed at around 6am, shouting “Good Morning, everyone!!!” Last weekend, Mike asked her, “Why is it so hard to drag you out of bed during the week, and then on Saturday, you get up even earlier??? Wouldn’t now be a great time to catch up on sleep?”
Harlow said, “Because it’s the weekend. I LOVE the weekend. I want to be awake for as much of it as possible!”
Hard to argue with solid logic like that.
5) Harlow might not look like me, but she is my mini-me nonetheless.
Harlow was super excited when I handed her the cup in the pic above, because it looked like she was drinking a cup of coffee just like Mommy. It’s actually hot chocolate. Then she saw that wall of flowers, pointed and said “Looks like a photo opportunity, Mom!”
Last year, when Harlow was upset that kids at school were calling her small, we told her to tell them she was small and mighty. It became her mantra all year long. Then at some point, she dropped the “small” and just started saying “I’m strong and mighty,” which is kind of redundant but I like it. Over the last few months, she has evolved her favorite saying even further. She says “I’m strong and mighty,” flexes, kisses both biceps and then adds a karate kick with a “heee-ya!” at the end.
And the moral of the story is: DON’T MESS WITH THE SMALL KIDS. THEY ARE PREPARED.
7) Harlow has one complaint about dance class.
“I have to follow the teacher’s moves. I like my OWN moves!”
8) Harlow considers herself a baker.
Harlow loves baking but because I am not that into baking, she doesn’t get the opportunity as often as she would like. So, out of necessity, she likes to create things on her own, which obviously don’t involve any actual cooking. Ever since she figured out how to climb up onto the counter, she has become obsessed with putting together snack plates. Those involve assorted chips and crackers and nuts in different bowls on one big tray. I think I’ve gained about 20 pounds because I have to enthusiastically eat her snack plates to make myself feel less guilty about not baking with her.
Once when company came over, we made cupcakes. (From a box, obviously.) But that wasn’t enough. Harlow took it upon herself to whip together a whole table of treats. She used a very complicated recipe that involves putting marshmallows in cupcake liners and covering them with rainbow sprinkles. Let me know if you have any questions about her technique.
These delightful snacks are officially called “Harlow’s Fabu Treats.” I know this because she wrote that on a piece of paper and taped it to a snack table before she sold them to us for $2 a piece.
9) Harlow loves Christmas lights.
While walking down the street one day, Harlow randomly asked to take a photo with me. I said, “Okay, let’s move out from under this scaffolding and find a better place to do it.” She said, “No, Mom, this scaffolding is perfect. They decorated it with Christmas lights and it’s beautiful.”
Well, okay, then Super Jew.
10) Harlow is obsessed with her phone, even though it does not work.
If you see a 6yo girl remove a phone from her purse and stare at it intently like she is conducting very important business or arranging a meet-up with her 6yo friends, and then think, “What kind of parent gives a 6yo a phone???” Please also consider that what you are witnessing is a kid staring at an old broken phone that has not turned on in over four years.
The other night, while lying in bed with Harlow, I told her I was going to leave.
ME: Because you need to learn to fall asleep on your own.
HARLOW: But I need you to tickle my back.
ME: Well, I need to spend some time with Daddy. We never get to have time alone together anymore.
HARLOW: You should get a robot.
ME: What’s the robot going to do?
HARLOW: The robot is going to keep Daddy company.
12) Harlow might have a boyfriend.
A few weeks ago, during a play date, Luke told me that we’re practically family because he knows he is marrying Harlow. Those were his exact words. And later that same day, he told his mom that he is no longer single. I asked her about it and she would neither confirm nor deny.
13) Harlow wants to be a blogger.
At the end of last year, Harlow’s final school project, an “All About Me” book had a page that said, “When I grow up, I want to be a blogger.” That was the first I had heard of it. Well, she has kept to that dream of hers and this summer, she wrote her first blog post. On paper.
14) Harlow is very clever.
Harlow loves rhymes, jokes and plays on words. And she’s actually really good at them. She will routinely make up little sing-song lyrics like, “I don’t care what I wear, even if it’s my underwear!” And she’ll often get the answers to jokes, just be figuring out the pun involved. Like the other her Uncle Mickey said, “What’s the funniest part of Batman?” And without a beat, she said, “The Joker!”
Another time, early in the morning, Harlow screamed my name from her room. I came in. “What’s wrong, Harlow?” She pointed to the floor where her stuffed cat Buttons was lying next to her bed.
“I dropped Buttons,” she said.
“That’s it??” I asked.
“Mom,” she deadpanned. “It’s a CAT-tastrophe.”
15) Harlow can still put together an outfit like nobody’s business.
Harlow still loves her accessories, just like she always has. She likes layers and sparkles and animal ears. She doesn’t wear her purse around her neck anymore, but she still wears it regularly, usually as a crossbody. Her style is ridiculous but it always works. And her poses are continually on point.
This morning, Harlow wanted to wear a huge birthday hat that she found in my office the other day and took home. I told her, “Absolutely not.” Then she remembered the tiny birthday hats that we got for Mike’s birthday and asked to wear one of those. I compromised and said, “Okay.” Then, at school, the second Harlow entered the class, everyone started singing “Happy Birthday.” I guess that’s exactly why she wanted to wear the hat.
Harlow is beyond excited to turn six, but she’s also very nostalgic for her younger years. Every time she tells me she’s excited for her birthday, we usually end up in a hug or a cuddle and then while nestled in my arms, she’ll say, “I want to be a baby forever.”
To which I usually respond, “I think that too sometimes. But big kid Harlow is even better.”
Happy Birthday, my baby girl!