Іра (Ira) is the truly the littlest girl at the Internat. According to the records, she is five years old; initially, we had been told that she was only four. The three of us all know her by a different variation of her given name Irena. I know her as Irka, Jessica knows her as Irenka, and Miri may refer to her as Ira. [Side note: for simplicity's sake, as well as the fact that there are several Ira's at the Internat, I'll refer to her as 'Irka' here.]
As the youngest (the baby of even the 'malankas'), Irka is rarely short of attention. A few of the older girls look out for Irka. Ira (15 years old, and one of several Ira's!) often watches her in the malanka room. One of the Yulia's has been playing with her lately at the park (they both love the swings). Nastya is either holding her or scolding her, and I've also seen Alina (aka the infamous 'Alina-Boss') calm Irka down at nap time. Today, some of the girls had even placed her into a crib for their dolls (see? never short of attention!).
Irka is non-verbal, but not at all quiet. She has quite the growl, and it is surprisingly loud, given her petite size. Watch out world, when Irka is frustrated! She's definitely not shy about sharing her emotions. When she is upset, she crosses her legs and then puts her face down to the ground. She tends to rock herself (and growl) at the same time.
Always on the go, Irka is spunky and can be aggressive. She is affectionate, and I'm no stranger to her slobbery 'kisses' - she opens her mouth and digs her chin into my face (or leg, or arm... whatever is closest at the time). This is accompanied by her little fist twisting my nose off, so that I can no longer breathe well enough to wrestle her away.