For her birthday post last year I wrote about Betty's disappearing babyness. Well it's all gone now and I no longer look at her and cling to any remaining baby traits she might have. Instead I look at her and think 'Is she really only four?'
She knows every little road, T-junction, house, bend, within a 50 mile radius of our house. If I accidentally take a wrong turn, I don't know, say 35 miles away, whilst visiting her great grandmother, she is on it, before I am. 'Mummy stop the car, and turn around, you have got us lost again.'
She often points out to Tom or me, that what we are wearing 'looks terrible'. She then rifles through our wardrobe, tutting and shaking her head, and picks out a better contender to go with Tom's brown trousers, or my purple skirt. And the scary thing is she is always right.
She is obsessed with tights. If she is being naughty, I use the 'if you don't stop doing that you will not be allowed to wear tights tomorrow' line, and it works a treat, every time.
She loves to build dens, or rather 'nests' out of cushions and blankets and bean bags and chairs or whatever else she can find. I'm almost certain that she was either a bird in a former life (the way she pieces soft furnishings together is quite extraordinary) or she will become a builder in adulthood.
She now goes to ballet lessons and absolutely loves it. Before her first lesson I told her that she had to do what the ballet teacher told her, and that way she would become a ballerina. Betty told me 'But mummy, what can the teacher show me that I don't already know?'
She loves to write out all the letters of the alphabet, and can write her own name unaided, and she will often nag me to get out her writing books so that she can practice. Her artwork is also pretty mindblowing, as is her dancing and singing and sense of rhythm. (Yes, I am blowing my own daughter's trumpet, but it's her birthday, so I'm allowed.)
Tom and I visited the school that she will be attending next year, and met with the head teacher. We were introduced to her future teacher and shown her classroom. The words 'Betty' and 'school' make me want to shout 'NOOOOO' and sob into my pillow.
Betty is growing up unnervingly fast.
Happy Birthday my darling, gorgeous, funny girl - I hope your day is filled with fun and happiness. And I hope your hedgehog cake, party, and presents, all live up to your expectations.
Your mummy and your daddy and your little sister all love you very very much.