Things Kiara, on her last month of being four, said to me today

She was sitting on the toilet bowl in a thankfully clean and almost empty public restroom in Molito. We had left the restaurant in a hurry, because there had been a line to their comfort room and she was already dancing from her need to pee.

Kiara: I also need to poopoo.
Me: Why didn't you tell me when you said you wanted to wiwi?
Kiara: I just wanted to tell you after.

***

I was waiting for her to be done with pooping, standing in front of her, my back to the cubicle door.

Kiara: (Singing) Is this the real life?
Me: ...
Kiara: It's your turn. I say "Is this the real life?" And then it's your turn. (Singing again) Is this the real life?
Me: (Singing reluctantly) Is this just fantasy?
Kiara: Open your eyes--
Me: (Suppressing laughter) Kiara, please focus on pooping.
Kiara: MAMA! OOH OOH OOH I DIDN'T MEAN TO MAKE YOU CRY!

***

Fifteen minutes had passed after she first said she was going to poop.

Me: Are you done?
Kiara: I don't know.
Me: Well, try to make sure. I'll count 1 to 100 while you make sure, okay? One... two... three...
Kiara: Faster!

***

On our way home, she hugged me tight.

"I love you, Auntie Dat. I will miss you. You're a fun people."

"You're the only one I really love."

***

Crying, she ran back to me for the nth time for a hug, saying she loved me and would miss me. We had just arrived at their house after their dad's birthday dinner. Her parents were still out, driving the paternal grandparents home.

We were in a bit of a hurry, wanting to catch the Friendship Route before the gates to the interconnected villages closed.

Me: I love you, and I will miss you, too. Let's hug from 1 to 10, okay? I will count.
Kiara: (Tearfully) Okay.

I start counting.

Kiara:
Slowly.

Kiara with my mother that day, playing

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