Pigtails feel like a rite of passage around here. As I go through baby pictures, pigtails are a benchmark. There's bald, then fuzzy, then some short hair and then there are pigtails. They appear right around the time that personality forms, that individuality is asserted, right around the time that babies become mobile and self-assured and independent. They may be there in one picture and mysteriously missing in the next-- a mark of an emerging toddler that has developed some aesthetic preferences. Or there's the single "poof" pigtail, a compromise that seemed to please mother and baby alike-- not quite your conventional pigtails, but a step in that direction.
Well, as with most things, I have found that with this second precious child in our home I am much less eager to reach those milestones. I am happy to savor those sweet baby curls that are growing down her back; shudder to think of altering something so beautiful and delicate.
But that second baby of mine has sharp eyes and a keen sense of what defines toddlerhood. She watches her sister with eagle eyes, and mimics perfectly; climbing to the dinner table and drinking from an adult cup, pushing a stroller with a baby in it, wiping her ice-cream covered face with a napkin just like sister. And so when she saw Zosia climb up on top of the toilet for me to fix her hair, she followed suit, going as far as taking two hair elastics and pushing them into my hand, emphatically gesturing towards her head with a few grunts.
And so somehow, we have arrived here. Fourteen months, two pigtails, and one proud baby.