Mama, look at me! I’ve got long hair, parading herself in front of me, wearing her towel on her head. I asked her if she wanted her photo taken, and she stood in front of me, as serious as she can get, with only the slightest hint of mischief in her eyes. The usual. I could only gaze at her and wonder how she can be so much like me, yet so much better.

This morning, when I ran my errands while she was at her play school, I chanced on a store that sold this plastic crown. Promptly, I took it to the cashier with me. When I showed it to her the minute she walked in the door, she exclaimed, “Oh wow, a crown! It’s mine! Oh my gaaahd!” and I had to laugh. I did not teach her to say “Oh my god” after all, and in that manner too. I get asked often enough where she gets her accent, and I should be excused when I shake my head in ignorance.

A pink polka dotted dress, which in her language is “podadat”, is her favorite right now. It is a dress my friend Leia of Travel Factor left for her right before she left for the U.S. and she’s worn it before. Only now, she has renewed interest in it for its ribbon and ruffles. She likes to call it her “princess dress” and she has asked me to put it on her for just about the nth time this week. Yes, it still, surprisingly, fits because it is haltered and ruched.

Princess Lia with Tutu

To this day, she still insists that she has her best friend, Tutu the little lamb, with her in all photos. The all enduring, Tutu princess, Tutu baby and Tutu friend.