Sunday, September 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Party

We arrived over an hour early for the party. Little One and Brother came out the front door as we pulled in the driveway.

"Did you bring my cake?" She called as she made her way down the front steps. "And my candles?"

"Yes, we did." I smiled at her as I handed the cake to Brother and he bent to show her. "Happy Birthday Party!" I grinned since she turned three last week. I gave Brother a look when she didn't smile back. He shrugged.

Mom sat on one of the steps with Smallest One while Brother's Wife went to run an errand. Little One took a seat on one of the higher steps as she waited for her mother and guests to arrive for her event. She didn't want to play with the Care Bear I brought, so it smiled brightly next to her, still in the Dora bag I used for transport.

Little One did perk up once her mom got home. Her daycare provider came with her family to drop off gifts, then Brother's in-laws and friends began to arrive.

"I need to wash my hands." Little One said insistently.

"You're fine." Brother told her, trying to get drinks for everyone.

"I'll go with you." I said, reaching down to take the tiny extremity she declared too dirty to endure. We climbed the stairs to the bathroom and I boosted her up so she could lather and rinse and dry. But we had accidentally dampened the ends of her sweatshirt sleeves so we had to find a new one of those. Obviously.

"The both have movies." She said of the 2 Care Bears I gave her. Someone had placed them in her room and I asked where she got the big, blue bear behind the two new additions to the bear family.

"He's their Dad." She told me. And when I asked about his name, she replied, "Trophy on his belly Bear." Swamped with affection for the creature, I cuddled her for a moment before finding a suitable sweatshirt before we rejoined the party. I held her hand as we walked slowly down the stairs from the deck.

"Look who's here." I said softly as we turned the corner. I didn't recognize everyone myself, and blinked in surprise as my niece wrapped her arms around my leg as she hid behind me. "Little One? Are you OK?" As I tried to see her little face, she released me and reached up to be held. I eagerly scooped her up, wiped at a bit of orange powder around her mouth from the cheese curl and moved my head so she could hide her face in my neck.

"There's Smallest One." I told her, keeping our distance from the crowd.

"I want to swing." She said so I moved toward her swingset and tucked her into the blue swing, per her instructions. "You'll push me now." She said and I obediently moved behind her while she chattered at me. We talked about swings and Smallest One, daycare and her dog ("She's a drama queen." I'm told), all the while pushing her away from me and into the shade, then watching her move toward me and into the sunshine again. We spent a long time away from everyone, talking and swinging and enjoying the sunshine. I felt rather special, honestly, spending time alone with the birthday girl.

We later joined the crowd, having decided it was time for cake. She blew out her candles and accepted our singing gracefully.

"Go at it! With your hands!" Her mom cried after the candles were blown out. Mom, Dad, Brother and I turned to her at once with identical frowns.

"You only do that on first birthdays." Dad said disapprovingly.

"We can cut her a piece." Mom offered, still frowning.

"I'll get a knife." Brother said after shaking his head, moving toward the kitchen. I, knowing better, didn't speak. Little One waited patiently until the first piece was placed in front of her, then picked up her plastic fork and began to daintily scoop up icing. The four of us looked on proudly.

We moved outside to open presents. Brother's Mother-in-Law wanted to so that she could offer the free desk she'd obtained. I disapproved once again because Mom struggles with stairs. But we moved back to the patio while Little One clapped with glee and glanced at each item before moving on to the next. She's really very sweet, I thought, as she talks quickly about each gift then throws thank yous over her shoulder.

I glanced down at Smallest One as she rested in her carseat, frowning when she looked too scrunched. She opened her eyes rarely, squeaking a bit more often, but never crying.

"Little One?" I called a few minutes later when presents were abandoned for bubbles. "May I have hugs and kisses?"

"Yes." She nodded after thinking for just a moment. She wrapped tiny arms around my neck and pursed her lips so I could kiss them.

"I love you." I told her, meaning it with all my heart and wishing everything wonderful for her.

"Love you too." She said, turning back to pick up her bubble wand.

It was, I think, an absolutely lovely afternoon. I hadn't planned to be there, given that I should have been home long ago, but I'm grateful I was able to attend. I had a wonderful time.

4 comments:

Psychobunny said...

Awwww! They're both so cute! I love Little One's hair. Oh, and Smallest One's lips. Definitely worth staying!

Lucy said...

I'm glad you got to be there. They're both adorable :)

Kisha said...

That is the best age! I used to be a daycare teacher and they are so adorable at 3 and 4. Especially 3.

JustMe said...

they are both soooooooooo cute!!

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