This past weekend, Wee Three attended one of her very first birthday parties.
She went without me... which wrenched my heart more than it should have. Truth be told, it was not just my heartstrings that were stretched... it was my nerves that were a bit frayed, as well. I was worried, because she was honoured to be the only girl at her little friend David's party.
Now, this would not be "news" if we were talking about Child Number Two, here. In many ways, my second daughter is the "son" I'll never have-- she is delightfully gregarious, has self confidence out the wazoo, has stopped my heart (and those of a few emergency room doctors) with her death-defying, fearless feats, and, well... has always run with the boys, quite frankly. Whenever party invitations have arrived on our doorstep, she has always raced upstairs and thrown on her "bestest" (read: rattiest) playclothes, NOT a fancy-schmantzy dress.
Wee Three, on the other hand, is a timid little creature when it comes to public appearances-- particularly at school-- in spite of her current title of Resident Tyrant Princess when we're at home. (And just so you know, I continue to retain my title of Tyrant Queen, in spite of being no match for my progeny).
Nope, I wasn't sure about sending her to the party alone, but Wee Three's delight at being invited, and her enthusiasm to prepare for the Big Event, settled it: She was GOING, and that was that.
We shopped for David's birthday gift together. She had originally wanted to purchase a set of hand puppets, but changed her mind when she clapped eyes on an amazing remote-controlled Tyrannosaurus Rex. Wouldn't you know it, David just LOVES dinosaurs, and thankfully, this one was extremely reasonably priced.
I had the gift wrapped at the store, but the moment we arrived home, my darling daughter promptly threw one of her now-famous "super-fits": SHE wanted to wrap the present, and she wanted to do it ALL. BY. HERSELF.
As the wrapping paper had "mysteriously" been torn off the t-rex during the aforementioned super-fit anyway, I grudgingly rummaged through the basement for tissue paper, and then embarked on a half-hour exploration of the rest of the house for a roll of sticky tape.
She wrapped it up, all right-- by the time she was done, that thing was taped up so tightly, a life-sized t-rex would have had difficulty escaping the plasticized, mummy-like encapsulation.
But it was a supremely happy little girl who proudly set off in the dress she had chosen (ALL. BY. HERSELF.), and carted her gift out to the loser cruiser.
I dropped her off, said goodbye, and watched as she took David's grandmother's hand, and allowed herself to be steered towards the playroom...
Two hours later, it was the same smiley girl I collected at the door-- and she was bursting with tales of NEW TOYS, RACE-CAR CAKE, MUSICAL CHAIRS... and WINNING AT BINGO!! (Woo-hoo! If the economy doesn't turn soon, at least I know I could ship her down to the local seniors' centre to help us earn a few bucks...)
The great burst of conversation continued through suppertime, as she sat with the family and retold every occurrence, down to the most minute detail. But when she came to the final event of the party-- the gift-opening-- she covered her face with her hands and giggled.
Mother: What, sweetie? Did David like the dinosaur you gave him?
Wee Three: (more giggles)
Mother: Because if he didn't, I can take it back, and we can exchange it for something else.
Wee Three: (suddenly serious) Oh, NO, mum... David liked it. He liked it a LOT. He opened it, and took it right out of the box, and his mummy got some batteries, and he walked it all around the whole house! He REALLY liked it.
(Family makes murmurs of appreciation)
Wee Three: In fact, David liked his present SO much, he came right over to me and gave me a BIG HUG, and a BIG KISS!! THAT'S how much he liked it!!
Needless to say, it was at this news that the two older sisters just about dropped their forks-- and so did their father.
But the youngest girlie read her dad's emotions perfectly. She stood right up on her chair, reached across the table, and patted him on the arm.
Wee Three: (lovingly) Don't worry, Daddy... I didn't kiss him BACK.
Yes, she's a heart-breaker already, my wee girl...
and it looks like her father's is going to be first.