Ellie has big blue eyes, bouncy blonde curls, and a bubbly belly laugh. If you ask her how old she is, she'll tell you, "My two." She loves each of her 27 dollies, sucks her right thumb, and likes Dum-Dums lollipops more than almost anything in the world. When I get home from work, she runs to me and yells, "DADDY, mup! (up)" and gives me a big snuggle hug. In short, she's the sweetest thing since high-fructose corn syrup, and I'm in love. Here, see for yourself:
But there's another side to this little princess. You see, her big brother Brady could bench-press her with one arm and isn't afraid to throw his weight around a little. He's usually loving, but he sometimes takes great joy in picking on her, and although big brothers do indeed become protective of little sisters at a certain age, four is not that age. Therefore, Ellie has had to develop a non-physical defense system. I call it toddler swearing.
An example from a few days ago: Ellie was playing with her new LeapFrog laptop, a current fave, and Brady walked over and grabbed it out of her hands. Ellie screamed. I informed Brady in no uncertain terms that if he chose to not give it back and wait until she was done, he would win an all-expenses-paid trip to his bedroom for some involuntary R&R. He said, "Huh?", to which I replied, "You'll get a time-out." He understood that just fine.
Brady shot Ellie a dark look, and that's when Ellie broke out this gem, under her breath and with a sneer: "Sucka-bucka-poopy-sucka-pucka..." She said it in the same way someone would say, "Yeah, that's right. Walk away, punk." Toddler swearing. Brady is obviously not too threatened by Ellie, but when she throws down, it works because he thinks it's so stinkin' hilarious that he forgets whatever it was he was bugging her about. Situation defused, and not by me. I sometimes forget the fact that God made these little people pretty darned smart, and that despite all the things I do wrong, they just might turn out all right.
Now look at that gorgeous little face again. Go ahead. Can you imagine such a sweet little girl telling off someone twice her size? No? Well, you better believe it, Sucka-Pucka.