She’s been a little girl for so long, I’m just now starting to realize it’s time to let her start growing up…and in some cases, to push her to do so.

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She’s learning what mommies are good at (and good for), and she’s decided it’s worth choosing Mommy occasionally.

And she actually calls me “Mommy” now. I have waited so long for that.

She’s seven years old, and she began her birthday by escaping us yet again after church and heading for the doughnut hall, where she helped herself to a cherry cake doughnut without permission. When we found her, Christian looked helplessly at me. I, having had my butt kicked last week at the DSEI conference, dove in. “You do not run away from us. You do not get a doughnut without permission. That is not okay. You may not have this doughnut.” And I took it from her and threw it in the trash.

And she cried. And I felt like a heel for being mean to her on her birthday. And my husband gave me puppy dog eyes and said, “She’s crying.”

“That is how she manipulates us,” I said.

You know that thing about “This hurts me more than it hurts you”? There’s some validity to that, I think.

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But we redeemed the day with pasta and cake and ice cream. And presents. We finally found a Lego set that’s good for her. A Duplo cupcake set. (She’s crazy about cupcakes. And purple ones, at that. Auntie C., you’ve trained your goddaughter well, and you didn’t even know it.)

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Oh, and what is this? A purse? Or…something. A Jazzercise sparkle bag that Mommy pushed through the whole holiday season to earn for Miss Jujubee.

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And what’s in inside? Sticky stars for her hair. She’s in Heaven. We finally found a hair accessory she’ll wear.

Julianna's 7th b-day 048 smallHappy birthday, sweetheart.