This is my Social Butterfly. She is thirteen, and in the eighth grade. When I introduced her I mentioned her perserverance; our first clue should have been when I got pregnant with her while nursing and taking birth control pills. She really wanted to join our family, and since then she's been fighting for what she wants pretty much every day of her life. In my experience there are two kinds of youngest kids from big families-doormats and steamrollers. In the long run, you want a steamroller, but in the meantime, it can be exhausting.
I scammed this pic out of her photo folder--apparently being on the yearbook staff gives you endless opportunities to take photos of yourself using the Mac. Since all her pictures, and those of all her friends, include pursed lips, I can only assume its considered more attractive by the younger generation than it is by me.
She is very perky and bubbly, and this type of abberant behavior, quite frankly, drives her brothers bonkers. She does truly annoying things like smile and talk in the morning. The nerve! Plus, she has lots of friends, and they come over to our house. Again, the nerve!
A few things I really like about my littlest one:
It takes her 20 minutes to get ready in the morning. Most of her friends are getting up at 5:30 a.m. to primp. She scoffs at that, and that makes me very happy. There's plenty of time for obsessing about hair and make-up later. Or maybe never; that would be good.
She loves Hannah Montana, and she doesn't care who knows it. She's too cool to care about whether or not she's cool. I think that's cool.
Her best friends are 11 and 31, and they are both neighbors. Technically, she babysits for the 31 year old, but they also are friends, and since I'm a big believer in the village helping raise the child, I love that she has someone who's not a mom, and also not a peer, who can help her solve life's mysteries.
No one, but no one, makes her do something she doesn't want to do. In Kindergarten, she came home one day and asked, "Can I go to Jordan's birthday party? He invited the whole class."
"Sure," I said.
The next day it was, "Do I have to go to Jordan's birthday party. Because he says everyone has to go, and I don't think he can tell me what I have to do."
"No, you do not have to go to a birthday party if you don't want to."
By the time she was done expressing herself on the playground, several other children decided they weren't going either. Lest you feel sorry for Jordan, he bided his time (revenge being a dish best served cold), and punched her in the face in sixth grade.
She skips. I don't know if she even knows she does this, but I do. Every morning, when we go to pick her friend up from school, and she gets out of the car to knock on the door, she skips up the walkway and to the door. I don't think I'll share this with her brothers, they'd just find it annoying. But I treasure the last vestiges of little-girlhood.