This draft was written by Shannon and posted by her mom, Gretchen. Pics added by Gretchen.
Pretty much since Emmie was born, we’ve had a running joke that she’s a princess, or at least minor royalty. Not because we love Disney princesses or simply see her as “our little princess.” No, Emmie’s apparent blue blood runs much deeper than that.
Even as a tiny infant, Emmie has always had a very clear sense of personal boundaries. Woe betide the stranger who smilingly grasped her tiny outstretched hand, expecting smiles in return. Emmie immediately would withdraw her hand and give them the cut direct. I’ve never seen a 6 month old look offended before, but she managed it each time. I always felt so bad for those well-meaning adults who expected a friendly baby from her sweet face, and instead found themselves cut down to size by this tiny tot. To those who have earned her trust, she can be the sunniest, sweetest thing you’ve ever seen, but if you forget yourself and get too familiar, she will freeze you out with just a look.
Now, her sense of personal space is an issue with her sweet friends who simply get too close, either on purpose or accident. Kids who walk by her, only to have her erupt in tears are often understandably confused. “But I didn’t even touch her!” they seem to think. Whenever an affectionate child wants to give her a hug, Emmie usually burst into tears, or at the very least gets a shocked and horrified look on her face (which of course makes all of us adults laugh).
Even her innate gestures have a regal look to them (although she is losing this a little more as she gets older). As early as she could sit in her high chair, she would cross her ankles like a little lady, and still often does this today. When she was younger, she would gesture with her palm upturned to indicate she wanted something. This is the best image I could find to illustrate the very regal way she would do this. She really, truly held her hand just like that, which I loved because it was so very ballet.
Emmie also has a very strict sense of etiquette. She often reminds me of the Dowager Countess of Grantham (Maggie Smith’s character on Downton Abbey). Not only does she know what utensils are used for what kinds of meals, but she insists on using them at the right times. Heaven help me if I try to give her a fork with her oatmeal or even try to convince her to eat something directly off of her high chair tray like a normal toddler. She’s even discovered napkins and it took me quite a while to decipher her insistent “mah-mih!” before I figured it out. As soon as I placed the napkin on her lap, she smiled happily and started to eat. She knows where we each typically sit at meals and will