Growing. Upward.

SUCH a little girl now. Sniffle sniffle.
Today is Charlotte's last day in the class that she has been in for the past 13 months. On Monday, she moves up to the next class, which consists mostly of 3-year-olds.

I cannot believe it.

Charlotte's movement up to each class actually hits me harder than her birthdays. I mean, birthdays are a big deal, but nothing really changes after January 30th.

But when Charlotte moves up to a new class, her growing up-ness is so tangible! Our morning routine at school changes, her teachers change, her class buddies change, her cubby changes, her tuition changes (yipee!). Her entire day changes.

Anyhoo, Mommy's sentimental editorializing aside, moving up is a big deal. She's potty-trained (during the day), so much more verbal, and she SO has her BFFs she talks about all the time. They transition kiddos to the next class quite gradually, and Charlotte has been spending increasing amounts of time in the new room each day, working her way up to lunch and then through naptime.

She has quietly observed the new digs and routine, taking it all in, just as she did 13 months ago. This is how Charlotte operates: She observes, observes, observes, gauging the situation, collecting data, and determining how she's going to interact. Two of her favorite friends are in this class, but she leaves behind a gaggle of buddies for whom I believe she fancies herself their queen bee. This worries me, but she still sees them on the playground. Besides, they'll all move up eventually, too.

I spent some time talking with Charlotte about her new class, as she snuggled up against me in her bed. She said she likes her new class--she said this of her own volition--but I can't shake the feeling that she knows WE want her to like it, so she's feeding us the lines we want to hear. So, the next night, I told her a new classroom and new teachers can be scary sometimes, and she agreed. But then she pointed out they have better stickers. So, there's that. Stickers.

Finally, to mark the milestone, tonight the whole family is going to our favorite brewery, Dogfish Head. Charlotte (bless her heart) LOVES going to Dogfish Head, so we've been talking it up all week, telling her it's to celebrate moving up. She adores their mac and cheese, possibly because she gets to do the very messy task of sprinking a cup full of parmesan on top of it. And, well, she just loves mac and cheese, period. And Mommy and Daddy get to drink hoppy beers. Win, win.

We're so, so proud of our biggest little girl!


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