Isabelle runs everywhere she goes, sometimes even without a destination in mind. She loves spending the night at my house, though much of the time is spent with me doing homework or working on the computer.
When I do finally get the chance to turn off the computer, she becomes playtime-focused and instructs me very bluntly that we’re going to play with our stuffed animals or with Barbies; there is no room for discussion.
Isabelle is 4 years old. She loves make-up, perfume and cheerleading, just like her big sister Makayla. She also likes My Little Pony, Olivia, Strawberry Shortcake, Hello Kitty, Spongebob and Sqwinkies. Her favorite stuffed animals are Piggies and Raffis (giraffes), which she can’t sleep without.
She has a thing for stuffed animals, or animals in general. When Isabelle was almost 2, she was admitted to the hospital with a virus and I bought her a stuffed kitty with a rattle inside. She carried that thing around her everywhere for two years, until one day, someone spilled glue on it, and that was the end of Kitty. I have spent a year looking for another just like it but with no luck.
Isabelle is sweet and loving, but can become loud and obnoxious without notice. But all she has to do is look at me with those big brown eyes and sweetly coo, “I love you Grandma,” and every naughty thing she has ever done is instantly forgiven.
But I understand Isabelle. I know her need to try new things and ask why things are the way they are. When I look at her, I see another rambunctious 4-year-old who loves to climb trees, jump off fences and worries her mother to death. When I look at Isabelle, I see a little Cindy; loving, sweet, charming and a little devilish. That ornery grin of Isabelle’s always gives her away and I’m (usually) one step a head of her.
People ask me if her mother, Holly, was as wild as she is. I have to admit that Holly had her moments, but she was always much more cautious than Isabelle is. Maybe that skips a generation.