Somewhere, in the last month, my four-year-old daughter began announcing her age as "Almost Five." This is not something we taught her, or even something we say that she's imitating. It's as if she, herself, realizes that being almost five years old is especially significant and she's gearing up for it.Almost five, means attending Kindergarten Round Up this week.Almost five means requesting her first "drop off" birthday party, with other five and almost five-year-old giggle girly-girls.Almost five means the disappearance of the guard rail on her bed and the knowledge that she can reach the bathroom light switch and unlock the front door, on her own.Almost five means the wish for a Big Girl Doll, rather than the long-loved baby doll.Almost five means practicing her homework with her big brother. She's "getting ready for real school."On the other hand, almost five means that she is still only four. When it's convenient, she wants to be held. She cannot reach the sink to wash her hands, without a stool. She favors cookies for breakfast. She can't read the books herself, so she makes up her own stories, based on the pictures.In short, she wants to be little and she wants to be big.She is almost five and straddling the world between toddler and kid. As her mom, it's amazing to watch and impossible to predict. I want to cuddle her back into her little self and guide her on into her bigger self. Both are pretty great.Can't wait for "Almost 10, Almost 13. Almost 16." Oh my.