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03 May 2012 @ 06:57 am
Happy birthday, Maria Harris  
Happy birthday, Maria Harris. You share today with the anniversary of the May Uprisings in Germany and the defeat of the King of Naples at the Battle of Tolentino (really fascinating time in history, by the by I urge you to look up with Neapolitan War and the Regency Period when that sort of thing starts to interest you.)

I only mentioned fightin' and feudin' this year to show you that it's as warlike as any other month, May is, and that's why it doesn't surprise me that you seem to have spend some time over this past year being .... physically assertive.

It happens. And sometimes it takes people by surprise: May babies are supposed to be dependable and predictable. Gentle and given to a desire to eat icecream whilst reclining on a soft couch. So when we get rowdy, it can cause a bit of a stir.

It can go too far, though. Maria Harris, I am given to understand that you've gotten a little ... bitey. I'd go so far as to describe you as a wee fractious thing who may or may not be a little bit of a bully.

That happens, too. Don't take this the wrong way, because I hate it when people who are older than me start telling me about "people my age" in that patronizing "I know everything because I'm older" type of way, but you're at an age where, depending on the situation, you either know exactly what you want and can't find the right way to say it or you don't know what you want but you know how it should be and you can't find the words to express it. Plus, of course, now there's not just the one little sibling, but two! TWO! Who on Earth can live with that kind of thing! Right? No one is paying attention! Stuff at school isn't easy! So you go bite somebody.

You should probably not do that, you know. It's the wrong sort of attention. And I know you're smart enough to know that, too. I can't advise you to stop, because it's the sort of thing you have to figure out for yourself; and I can't tell you that I don't sometimes bite people, too, because I do. Not actually with my teeth, mind you. Because I'm an adult and if I bit somebody it would be called "assault." But sometimes I get mad or frustrated and I can say some very bitey things. One of the few downsides to being smart (and you will start to figure this out because you are smart) is that your smart brain can come up with very clever and quick things to say that can hurt people. I really try to avoid that. I don't like myself after I've been bitey. It's the wrong sort of attention. So when I get mad or frustrated because I can't say what I want or because there's not enough attention being paid or I'm tired or lonely or whatever reason ... I try to work really hard to not hurt other people. And it can be difficult sometimes. But, you see, you get over being mad. Things are not always frustrating. You will understand that it's OKAY for things to not go your way sometimes and that, just because no one is paying attention to you doesn't mean you aren't loved. Because you are. Mom and Dad love you. Your aunts and uncles do, too. You are loved by more people than you realize, I think. And you're littler siblings love you. You're the Big Sister. I know I keep coming back to this theme, but it really can be a very amazing job, being Big Sister. The benefits of being looked up to, of always having someone to play with, of having someone who will understand where you came from when you all grow up, all outweigh the occasional frustration that comes with not being The Baby and having people expect you to act like a Big Girl. Which is a total drag and I understand.

I hope this year gets better for you. Happy birthday.