At nine months, Alice had had enough of the “baby just goes along for the ride while you live your life and pop out a boob” routine.

She’d had it up to here.

Before: Alice at 3 months as she uncomplainingly accompanied me about my life

The endless car rides to school drop-off, pick-up, sports and ballet? Over it.

Taking naps in her car seat carrier as it was sloppily transferred from car to store and back to car again? No way in hell.

Staring happily into her eyes while I talked on the phone to others? Don’t two-time me, botch!

All of a sudden, she was like Mikey in The Goonies shouting, “This is our time!”

Not pictured: Chester Copperpot

And I agree.

Since baby was soooo easy going and life was so busy and this time I was experienced at this mothering thing, Alice’s preferences about how to spend her day were getting the shaft. Sure, I cut waaay back on work, but largely Alice simply tagged along as the Special Star as we all went about our lives. Back in 2003 and 2006 when I had Charlie and Eve, those babies ruled the school. Their routines, needs and whims were supreme.

Alice was adored and snuggled and glorified and cared for (probably better than the others, getting her parents nice and broken-in.) But the days sure did not revolve around her.

Now they do.

Alice is crawling all over the place, picking up books and bringing them to me, calling out her five or so words, raising her hands to be picked up, pulling me toward the Little People village for playtime, pointing outside the window for walks and freaking the heck out when it is time to be strapped into that dreaded car seat. She has her favorite songs and playlists on the family iPod, favorite dinners heavily in rotation. I have her home each evening for the bath she requires promptly at 7 p.m. with her “DUCK! “DUCK!”, followed by all four Clifford board books.

(Don’t even try and skip Clifford on the Farm, or you’ll be sorry.)

Together she and I are taking a music class, we head out for at least one daily walk, are pros at arriving at the local parks for prime bucket swing availability and are hitting a weekly mother’s group featuring other baby playmates.

All her naps, unless I cannot avoid it, are taken in her own comfy crib.

Life is now on Alice’s routine.

It’s HER time.

It was about time.