So yes, Bundle turned four on Monday. I am not quite sure what she is going to talk about for the next while here because she has been discussing her birthday for MONTHS. "Mom, can I have a purple birthday? Can I have a purple snail for my birthday? Mom, that toy is too much for today but I will put it on my birthday list. Let's invite them to my birthday party." I think that placing every wish on hold for her birthday has been a very important coping skill for quite some time now, and I am a little nervous for her and how she will cope. Oh, duh. Christmas. We'll be fine.
This morning she was in bed with me (she's on like a two-week streak of not sleeping all night in her own bed; I'm not sure I mind....) and as I was getting up to get started on the day her little eyes cracked open a tiny bit. She moaned, rolled over and said in a croaky little voice, "...it's not my birthday any more..." and went right back to sleep.
You see the pressure I had to make her birthday great? This has been a massive milestone for her and taken up quite a large portion of her thoughts and comments. And I have a bad habit of thinking I have a great idea for a birthday celebration that without fail gets somehow both out of control and completely underwhelming at the same time. But this year, I actually think it went pretty well.
I certainly couldn't implement all billion of her birthday wishes she had made over the past months - had I even been keeping track of them. Which I wasn't. So a few days before her big day we sat down and made a little plan that seemed to make her very happy despite the fact that it included nothing she had mentioned. Luckily she wasn't keeping track of her wish list any more than I was.
We started the morning with her requested meal of waffles and hot cocoa. (I never use the phrase 'hot cocoa.' It's 'hot chocolate' to me, but every time I let that phrase slip out of my mouth I was instantly corrected.) By the way, does anyone else have the thing where you ask your kid what they want to eat on their birthday, they plan a whole menu for the day and then pretty much don't eat a single bite? Well, except for the frosting which they lick off the tops of their cupcakes, carefully avoiding any actual cake. What is wrong with my child?
I got breakfast all ready and Troy went to get her out of bed. Sorry, out of MY bed. He brought her downstairs as we all sang to her. That may have been a mistake because it nearly reduced her to tears; we must have been an overwhelming sight first thing in the morning. Luckily she had some candles perched on top of her waffle waiting for a wish and plus there were a couple of presents. One was just a little notebook and some pens but the other was a fancy little set of four tiny tea cups I found at a vintage shop - I was there looking for teacher gifts and though I failed miserably to find them (more on that in the next post) I did see these cunning little things and knew Bundle would love them. She did. And we sipped our hot COCOA out of them. Well, everyone but her. She didn't touch hers.
After we got the big kids off to their second-to-last day of school we frosted some cupcakes and headed to the park where we were joined by a bunch of sluffing teenagers whom we scared away and then by a several of Bundle's friends. The friends, those who were there early enough, all decided that nothing was as important as those cupcakes and demanded an instant singing of the birthday song. I am not sure if I can describe this next bit but I will try. Three moms sitting on the steps of a concrete pavilion, pressed in by four little kids, each clambering to get their fingers on a candle to shove in a cupcake. Thus the candles were not artfully nor symmetrically placed (as I would have done) but they all made it into a cupcake. We sang and as we neared the climax of "Happy Birthday Dear...." you could see each child take a deep breath in, preparing for Bundle's triumphant extinguishing of the candles. Bundle could feel it too and she stopped us all. She put her hands out to get our attention. "You GUYS," she said slowly and emphatically, "Clair, Emily, Joseph...my FRIENDS. Let's all blow them out TOGETHER." She sounded like Julius Caesar or someone. It was hilarious. The two other moms and I laughed so hard we didn't even see the candles get blown.
So; park, lunch at Wendy's and then home to pick up the big kids. We relaxed, ate leftover cupcakes and tried to clean up the house for a bit. Then I took the kids to see Epic, a charming cartoon which we all enjoyed. We zipped home just in time to throw together Bundle's requested supper of spaghetti and meatballs, supplemented with garlic bread and salad, as grandparents and one sweet and also hungry niece came to enjoy the beautiful spring evening. We also enjoyed one darling little four year old who exclaimed as she opened a present or two that she was very grown up and that her gifts were meant for big kids like her and not three year olds.
Here is Bundle wearing her new very fancy nightgown (she wore it all that evening, all that night, part of the next day, the next night and all day today. And she's still wearing it as she sleeps tonight. I did manage to get one washing in there despite her pleas to keep it on). In the photo she is using the one toy she actually had mentioned at least once in the past few months - a Merida bow and arrow (from the Pixar movie Brave.) Note its purpleness. The birthday girl couldn't have been any happier. Phew. (And no attempts at theme cakes this year - I may be on to something.)
Love you, birthday girl. See you in about an hour and half when you come get in my bed.