It’s great being Katie

It’s great being Katie. At 17 months, she receives the the royal treatment. Her personal lady in waiting (aka “Mamma”) personally dresses her every day. Katie does not have to do anything about putting on shoes, socks, shirts or shorts. Her personal hair dresser pulls her hair up to the top of her head and secures it with a tiny rubber band, creating an exclamation point of straight hair with no curl.
The great part about being Katie happens when hunger hits and she sees a banana. Even if it’s in Mamma’s hand, she wants a bite of “la-la.” (La-la because her picture book shows bananas on the yellow page.) The little princess expects everyone to share. She always smiles, except when her daddy insisted she use her own plate of fries with ketchup and leave his alone. She cried. She protested. She scolded. She wanted Daddy’s ketchup. Slowly her wailing died out. She sniffed, picked up a fry, dipped it in he ketchup and began nibbling. She looked up and smiled. All was forgiven.
It’s great being Katie. All she has to do is copy the big folks, like the day Mamma gave everyone, including Katie, a cookie to decorate. The big kids swapped tubes of frosting paint and excessively decorated cookies. Katie nibbled her cookie and watched. When they left, Mamma handed Katie a tube of frosting. Katie leaned over her cookie, squeezed the tube onto her cookie and made a dot. Before supper, when big folks stepped around her as they prepared food; she looked across the room and smiled at Grandma. Grandma nodded to say, “I notice you.” Katie copied the nod. Grandma shrugged and raised her hand. Katie shrugged and raised her hand. For a few minutes, the two performed a silent ballet in the busy room.
It’s great being Katie – the baby with no chores. Her brother and sisters have chores every day after school: put away dishes, sort laundry, run the vacuum cleaner or play with Katie for 30 minutes. “No fair! Katie doesn’t have to do anything,” her 10, 8, and 6 year old siblings protest.
“Katie is only 17 months-old. She can’t do chores yet, she is just learning to bring me a toy when I point to it.” Mamma explains.
The best part about being Katie is that nobody expects her to put things away, and anyone who wants their stuff left alone must move them away from Katie’s reach. Otherwise, she blithely pulls out all the diapers in Mamma’s handy basket, reaches in the open drawer for another tasty marker to bite, empties any low lying drawer, basket, bag or box … as if making a mess is her chore.
It’s great being Katie. She holds her hands up with grabbing fingers. Everyone knows that means, “Pick me up. Carry me.”
It’s great being Katie, if she gets tired, she whines and someone declares, “Time for a nap.” They take her to the bedroom, read to her, pat her back and pull up her blanket to help her go to sleep. And being sweet Katie, she does just that with the shortest of whimpers.
It’s great being Katie. Every day she is learning, developing fine motor skills and becoming the big girl that her siblings already expect her to be so she can help with chores and color with markers instead of biting off the tips. It’s great being Katie, the baby of a family who will soon grow to be a helpful big girl who hopefully doesn’t always insist on the royal treatment.