I have a four year old girl. She’s not three and she’s not five, and she’s not a boy. These distinctions matter a lot.
A three year old is, for the most part, still like a baby.
A five year old is suddenly and irrevocably aware of the world and her place in it.
A boy… well… A boy is a boy (and I say that with equal affection).
But at four there is a bridge to cross, and Bobbie, right now, is on it. Click click click go her plastic heels, blue eyes cast upward to meet the gaze of those who have had the good fortune to be in town as her parade passes through. I envisage her as the lead actress in a big budget Bollywood film, with swathes of extras thrusting their arms skyward in unison, dancing to the beat that Bobbie is setting.
This is my four year old girl – not three, and not five, and not a boy.
I wrote the above diary entry on the 5th of May 2011, nearly a year ago. I came across it today and thought… how true. Bobbie is now 5, and everything is different. She could still be a Bollywood star, I’m sure, but suddenly we’re all homework this and ‘how do you spell that?’. I wake up in the mornings to find beautifully handwritten letters strewn about the carpet (“Mum, I love you, do you love me?”). And pictures of her and her brothers bouncing on the “Chrampoleen”. My four year old girl is not four anymore.