Dear Little Princess,
Happy birthday! You turn seven today. Wow, seven. I’m amazed at how well you turned out. You are our first child and until you were born, your mommy and daddy have never taken care of a baby before. And unlike other parents, like the responsible ones, mommy and daddy have never even read a parenting book. Not a single one. When it comes to raising you, it has been on the job training all the way. We learned a lot about parenting from you. Unfortunately for you, you are the guinea pig and your little brother and sister are the beneficiaries of all that we have learned. Sorry.
As inexperience as mommy and daddy were at being parents, you were even more clueless on how to be a kid. When you watched the Wiggles, you didn’t dance to the music like other kids. You just sat there and watched. Same with shows like Dora. You preferred to sit and watch instead of shouting out “Map! Map!” or “Backpack! Backpack!” Then there’s the concept of playing with other kids, which you didn’t seem to understand until you were almost four. When daddy took you to the park or to kids birthday parties, you didn’t play with the other kids. Instead you watched the other kids in the comfort of daddy’s arms. Thank goodness you finally figured it out. Now, if it was up to you, you would go on play dates 24×7.
When you were little, daddy knew you were on the bright side. Not genius or prodigy bright, but bright nonetheless. When you were barely two, you knew your ABC’s, the main colors, could spell some words, and spoke clearly. Strangers use to ask how old you were and were amazed you could speak so clearly when you were just two. And before you were even three, you were forming compound sentences that did not involve the word and. I still remember when you said to me, “Daddy, you can kiss me, but you can’t tickle me.” Just so you know, I’m your daddy and I can kiss and tickle you if I want to.
This year, your first grade teacher confirmed you were bright. Halfway through the school year, the school district gave you a reading test. The goal was to read 40 words per minute by the end of the school year. They clocked you at 110 words per minute. The teacher said you read accurately and you understood what you were reading. Mommy and daddy are so proud of you. Good going, kiddo!
This year, you started learning how to play the piano. We don’t own a piano so you have been practicing on a cardboard keypad. Just kidding, you have been practicing on an electronic keyboard. Our neighbor has only given you a few lessons so far, so it’s too early to tell if it will stick. But so far, you seem to like it.
We also enrolled you in Chinese school this year. It was only 50 minutes a week, but that was enough to get you started. And because mommy and daddy can’t speak Chinese, you’ll eventually be able to say anything you want and mommy and daddy will be clueless.
You adore your baby sister. And when I see you two together, I can’t help but remember when you use to be daddy’s little girl. For the first three years of your life, daddy was the center of your universe. You prefer daddy over mommy. Life was good. Then your little brother came along. Your baby brother was like a new puppy to you. Daddy was no longer at the center of your universe. I miss that little girl, but I also proud of the girl that you are now and the woman you will become someday.
I love you. Happy birthday, little princess.