Tomorrow Lorelei, our baby, will turn 11. True to her birth order, she’s very much still the “baby” of the family, although she is surprisingly capable if no one is around to baby her.
Lorelei is homeschooled, and thus somewhat sheltered from a culture that pressures little girls to grow up too soon, and I like it that way. Many 11-year-olds have already moved on from toys to boys. Not this girl.
True, she will be using those stuffed animals to star in the music videos that she films and uploads to her very own YouTube channel, but she also picks at least one to cuddle with every night. She had names for each one of these picked out before her birthday even arrived.
Right after her party guests left yesterday (we will be celebrating her actual birthday with dinner at Texas Roadhouse, her request), she went to film a video displaying her birthday gifts. This is apparently a thing that “Kinz Tubers” (girls who make YouTube videos featuring their Webkinz stuffed toys) do whenever they have a birthday. They also make videos of themselves unwrapping new toys when they come in the mail, and they work together to make collaborative videos called MEPs. There is a whole language that comes along with this, and it has been fun to see Lorelei getting involved with her own little online world and teaching herself the many new skills that are involved in becoming part of it.
Being able to use stuffed toys as props in somewhat more grownup pursuits is a neat way for little girls on the edge of adolescence to keep a foot in both worlds. I love the combination of big girl and little girl, but I hope the little girl part stays with us for awhile longer.