First off, we sent out invites and had the little girls (mostly from her class last year) bring a stuffed animal to pamper. (Thank you Dollar Store: for three bucks the kids had pipe cleaners and beads with which to make collars, necklaces and other adornments for their toys.) Then I called in a few favors and had friends/family/neighbors bring over their pets to show off. We ended up with one massive dog, a sweet cat, our lizard, two very cute chinchillas and our neighbor's chickens. It wasn't quite the sit-down show-and-tell thing I was hoping for; it was more like a circus of running kids, chatting adults and man-handled animals. But it ended up filling the time and keeping the kids happy, most importantly the birthday girl.
Speaking of the birthday girl, she did quite well, although she did have two completely massive tantrums during the day. I guess that's to be expected - birthdays can be very very hard on kids in some ways, which I'm sure I've mentioned before. But for the most part, it was fine. And the best part was that I made absoluetly zero attempt at any sort of pet-themed cake. I just make a big huge chocolate-with-vanilla-frosting cake. It was great, and much better than the cake I made the next day, Sunday; her actual birthday. That cake was a giant pink disaster. Why oh why can't I learn how to measure the powdered sugar in the icing and trust the recipe? Also, I need to remember that when it comes to expensive food coloring, just a dab'll do. Pinkest frosting I have ever seen, and the fact that it was slowly sliding down the sides of the cake all evening during dinner at my parent's house made it look all the less appetizing. Oh well. Bitty liked it - she told me it was the best cake ever and that I had "beaten my record." (Whatever the record was before, I don't want to know.)
So happy birthday, Bitty girl. You rock my world, in good ways and in, well, not bad, but certainly challenging ways. Heaven help me when you turn 13 but in the meantime I'm going to enjoy all the wonderful times you share with me. No other child on the planet could possibly be as adoring as you are (when you're in the mood). I love you dearly.
Want to hear what she said to her father last night? He took Bitty and Stomper swimming after a blastedly hot day. Bitty was chatting away like usual and this is what she reported to her father:
“Dad, all the boys are scared of me and Sofia and Katherine because of our hotness, and our cuteness. Whenever a boy comes over to us we scare him away by saying, "Would you care for a kiss?’ When we say that they go away because boys don’t like to kiss, not at our age anyway.”