Maddie

Being a Virgo, I have a tendency to be a tad stubborn. It’s hard for me to redirect an ambition once I’ve set my mind to it. Even after having experienced what it was to raise a strong-willed girl for two years, I still was determined to have another. I’d always wanted two little girls, and, really, Riley was my fault. I chose her name with a purpose, and she turned out to be exactly that way. All I needed to do was be selective in my name choice and stay away from rowdy, high-spirited names. I could pick one that was soft and sweet, and this little girl would be an easy-going charming angel. Madison would do the trick.

Maddie was born on Mother’s Day and smiled for her hospital photos. In fact, she was smiling regularly when she was two months old. She rarely fussed, slept through the night, and handled the fast pace of our world with calm and ease. It had worked!

Or had it?

Another hectic day finished, I settled in to bed. All was calm, and I was just drifting to sleep when a shrillness came from Maddie like I had never heard before. It was the pitch and tone that sent my mother instincts straight to their most primal. It lasted five minutes, and after a check of every inch of her by both myself and my mother, I spent the remainder of the night watching her while she slept, sure Innocencethat she was suffering from a serious condition. As soon as it turned an acceptable hour that morning (she may disagree), I called my aunt, a pediatrician. She informed me that it was likely a tooth moving and that my daughter was, in fact, a diva. A diva? No, not my girl. She was sweet, and smiley, and easy-going. I named her that way.

A few weeks passed and the incident began to fade in my short-term memory. Another typical night found the girls and me at my parents’ house for dinner. I was talking with my mom in the kitchen with Maddie on my hip when I felt something protruding from her pants. I reached in and pulled out a Little People figurine. Baffled, I looked at that sweet girl and asked, “Is this daycare’s?” She smiled at me with that innocent yet mischievous smile that only little girls have. It was no accident. This is when it truly hit me. I didn’t fool fate with my name choice. This young girl was just as headstrong as her sister; she just hid it behind a veil of innocence. Innocence, with a just a touch of diva.