My Harlo.

What can I even say about my Harlo?
She is pretty much exactly what you would imagine having a 4 year old daughter would be like.
She loves anything fancy.
Pink, ruffles, dresses, lipstick.
She is passionate about everything she does.
She helps me more than anyone else in my life.
Sometimes I have to remind myself she’s not really 15.
If you bring a baby to my house, you can trust completely that Harlo will make sure it is well taken care of, entertained, and spoiled throughout the duration of your visit.
She is almost as enthusiastic about taking care of her younger sister… on the better days.
My girls fight more often now than they have before, but I’m surprised at how much they still enjoy each other and play together.
Harlo is rarely the issue in the fights, but if she gets bored or tired, she’ll start pushing Stella’s buttons.
I say this often though that Harlo was created to be a big sister.
Even though she’s only a year and a half older, she will always tell me how cute Stella is, or how funny it was when she said this or that.
When Stella does something particularly toddler-ish, Harlo will look at me with a knowing smile.
She’s such a little adult.
As good of a helper as she is, she is also quite sassy and will pretty much not do anything she doesn’t absolutely want to.
Luckily, most of the time she’s in a rather helpful mood, and when she’s not, she’s easily distracted into a better one.
She is very sensitive and gets her feelings hurt easily.
The majority of the tattle-telling in this house comes from her.
I always say, “did it hurt you, or did it hurt your feelings?”
99% of the time, “It hurt my feelings”.
She continues to be the manner police in the house.
Often even reminding me of words we don’t say or a nicer way to ask for things.
She is also the first person to acknowledge when something “is not appopriate”.
She is my right hand, and the eyes behind my head.
The perfect first child, if I do say so myself.
Lately, her favorite color has shifted from purple to “magenta”.
(I still don’t exactly know where she learned ‘magenta’)
She will do pretty much anything for a promised ice cream.
She will also do pretty much anything for an opportunity to wear red lipstick.
She’ll come in and ask me, “Mom, are we going to be home for a while?” when I say yes, she’ll say, “Is it appopriate for me to wear red lipstick then?”
(I tell her red lipstick is fun, but it’s not really appropriate for a 4 year old to wear it out and about every day.)
A couple weeks ago, I was called to teach her primary class in church with her current primary teacher.  It is my first calling in the Church and I think it’s going to be the perfect fit.  On my first Sunday, Harlo wasn’t so sure.  She reminded me she was big and could go to primary by herself.  Ha – poor thing.  Once I explained I knew she was big, but that I was coming to teach she was okay about it.  Now, after two Sundays, she tells me she’s glad I’m in her primary. 🙂
Brady has been working with her on her speech from saying “free” for three.  She finally got it the other day!  She can now say “THree.”  It takes some extra effort, but it’s there.
She is such a negotiator!
Anything I ask her, “mom, in 5 minutes I will.”
Or if I tell her to give her sister a turn, “Okay, I just have to finish this one thing really quick and THEN I will..”
This drives me batty by about afternoon each day.
She has started to not be AS picky about food.
She’ll try everything on her plate and eat what she likes of it.
She’s definitely added some more food to the variety, thank goodness.
She’s also gotten easier to dress.  Not completely without struggle, but much easier than we were 6 months ago.
Her favorite hair style right now is a ‘curly ponytail’ or a ‘top knot’.  She has retired the coveted “braidy”.
Lately we’re working on choices and consequences, also with privileges.
We like to play and keep things relaxed in our home, but we’re pretty strict about the important stuff.
Harlo has also started exercising more freedom by pushing buttons and limitations.
This has brought back some tantrums on her part, but we know all the phases have growing pains.
Someone once told me the odd number ages are the easiest, like 1, 3, 5 and the even numbers are the harder stages, 2, 4, 6..
So far this has been true, so we’ll see what the future holds.
In this case, I’m glad my girls are close in age to swap stages on me. 🙂
We have been talking a lot lately about keeping our home and family happy.
Each morning, we talk about how we all want to be happy today and how we all need to do our part by treating each other with kindness and respect, and doing our jobs.
Harlo has been the best at putting this into action.  She is always reminding us about keeping a happy home and a happy family.  When she starts with an attitude, I have to just briefly remind her, and she’s back to helping towards a happier home.
I have found that chatting about it every day over breakfast has really made a huge difference in my girls fighting.
Simply saying, “let’s get along” or “please don’t fight” is sometimes just not enough.  When they actually have a reason and something to work towards – their very own job, I think that has really helped.
She likes playing barbies and house these days, her favorite game is talking to me on the phone (when she sits right next to me – on her fake phone.) We have long, heartfelt conversations like this.
She’ll tell me things like “Oh, I’m just really busy.  I need to go do work on my instagram program.” ha!
She’s my constant reminder on being intentional about how I act and the things I say.
Now that Harlo is 4 and a half, there is almost no baby left in her.
She is taller and thinner, her rolls and chub from babyhood have disappeared.
She can walk and talk and keep up with the rest of us.
She has turned into such a sweet little lady.
But every once in a while.. she’ll ask me to hold her.
She’ll still crawl up on my lap and snuggle up to her blankies.
This is a tender mercy for my soul.
I’m not ready to give my babies up yet.
On good days and the more trying days, I feel nothing but 100% privileged that this sweet girl calls me Mom.
From the freckle on the top of her head, to her almost always pink toes, I love every single ounce of her – inside and out.