T. turned 6 on Saturday, Apr. 22 (and I'm still behind!) It is a tradition in our extended family to throw a birthday party for each child and invite the extended family. This was planned for Saturday evening. On Saturday morning, she had a small party with 3 friends. It was her first friend party, and was significant because she is a slow bloomer socially, and didn't have many friends until this past year. Since her birthday fell on Earth Day, I got clay pots for the kids to paint, which we then planted a pansy in. They each had their potted flower, a spade and a watering can to take home, in lieu of those "goody bags" of absolute junk commonly distributed at parties. And the kids were so excited that they got to keep their spades and watering cans (acquired at Target before Easter for $1.00 each). I had planned that they would play Pin the Tail on the Dog (made by her big sister J) and musical chairs while we waited for the paint to dry, but it was difficult to generate interest. We did play one halfhearted game of Pin the Tail on the Dog, and then they went outside to play. We had pizza and birthday cheesecake for lunch (T's choice) and then opened gifts and that was the end. Short and sweet!
T. felt that she also wanted to have a private celebration with just her parents and siblings. Usually we do this on the actual day, and any friend or extended family parties are on the weekend, but since her birthday fell on Saturday the day was full. So we opted to have the small family celebration on Friday night. During the day on Friday she'd also celebrated her birthday at school, with cookies she brought in.
The only gift suggestion she had mentioned was that she wanted a globe. Three times we had this conversation: "You mean a globe of the earth?" "No, I mean a globe that plays music and has snow in it." "Oh." For some reason it was impossible for her harried and distracted mother to remember this, so I did ask her the same thing several more times on different days, to which she replied, "I already told you this!"
I looked at snow globes online, and saw some that were nice, but not compelling. I waited until several days before her birthday and called 3 local gift shops, none of which currently carried snow globes, although I'd seen them there in the past. Of course, it was now too late to order a snow globe online.
The other gift that I wanted to give her was a scooter. Not a small razor style scooter, but a large bicycle sized scooter with hand brakes. Years ago I had given scooters to 2 of the older kids, and I just found them in a bike shop. Once again, I called around to the NUMEROUS bike shops in my area, and not one carried scooters in stock, although many of the shops said they could order them. Panicked, I began calling shops further and further away, and found one in a shop about an hour's drive away. Thankfully, the bike shop was in a town near my mother-in-law's house, so I asked her to pick up the scooter for me. She was coming her Friday night anyway to attend D's track meet.
When I mentioned to my mother-in-law that I was also looking for a snow globe, she went to her local mall where she found 2 gift shops that carried them, and one had a huge variety and they were on sale 50% off! She bought one for me, and it was absolutely perfect! It had dogs both inside the globe and on the base, which turned while it played "Memories", and snow glitter inside. T's favorite thing is dogs. She has never liked dolls or traditional girly toys, nor does she care for cars, action figures or other "boy" toys. She already has a huge collection of stuffed animal dogs, so it was difficult to come up with new gift ideas for her.
I think she enjoyed all of her birthday celebrations, but was exhausted by the end, as was I. Being a foodie, I usually insist on only homemade birthday treats and cakes, but this time she took store bought cookies to school, and I bought the cheesecake, although I did put a yogurt and fresh fruit topping on it to make it look like a flower. She chose steak caesar salad for dinner on Friday night and I made a red velvet birthday cake. For breakfast on Saturday she requested puffed oven pancakes with fruit on top. We served hamburgers and hotdogs and potato chips for dinner (no salads or side dishes--how lame is that?) at the extended family party, followed by store bought ice cream cake.
T. herself is somewhat of an enigma. My only dark eyed child, and my only child born with a head full of hair! She is fiercely loyal and devoted to the family, and often mentions how much she loves her family. She is very sweet, extremely intelligent, and slightly immature for her age. I think this may arise from having been the baby of the family for more than 3 years. Often when challenged, disagreed with, scolded, or asked to do something she doesn't want to, she bursts into tears in an attempt to manipulate us. She is very astute about people and relationships and understands far more than she lets on. Somewhat timid, she does not enjoy rough play, being upside down, or things like that, and has yet to learn to ride a bike or to swim even a little.
She is a good playmate to her younger siblings and can be an able assistant to me when she wants to. She is generally happy and very loving. She is a person for whom still waters do run deep, and I am so curious to see who she will become!
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