The theme was set, at two years old you had told me exactly what you wanted. You already knew your own mind. An independent, strong woman in the making and I couldn't have been prouder. As I wiped away a tear from my eye, I thought back to the time when I was planning your first birthday. All Mickey Mouse themed as you were so excited every time you saw him. Now you were a mini me, being able to articulate exactly what you would like, based on exactly what you loved.
Planning the party took over. This was the bit I enjoyed, despite having to do it in the week after Christmas and before your birthday. Feeling like an awful Mummy for not organising it sooner, I got to work on the plans for your special weekend. A Princess party for the kiddies and a meal out for the grown-ups. Things started coming together and before long I could envisage what it would look like.
The day before your party, we were running around picking up balloons, food shopping and choosing a birthday cake. It was then you started to get excited, started to want to help put up the decorations and started to show how grown up you were. I asked if you wanted to help me make up the party bags, you couldn't wait. Chatting away to me about how your friends would enjoy playing with the bubbles and playing 'Pass the Parcel' the next day, I hadn't really thought about the fact that you were turning three. A few months back I had applied for your Nursery placement at school. I hadn't thought about it then either. When we took away your dummy, signalling a huge change from baby to toddler for me, I hadn't thought about it then either. Had I been pushing it out of my mind? Trying not to think about it. Probably. It was something I was finding hard, my baby girl was growing up and I didn't want to think about it. All I was getting from those around me was that 'it was time for another.' That wasn't what I wanted to hear. I also didn't want her to stay the same age. I was excited about her becoming more sociable, more independent and the thought that I may soon get a hot cup of tea. But part of me was feeling emotional, it was hard to pinpoint why...
The day of your party arrived. Your face as you came in the room and saw all of your decorations up was a picture. You were so grateful, thanking me and your Daddy for getting the house ready for your party. To us, it was simply some pink decorations from Home Bargains, party on a budget, but to you it was pink, girly and Princessy. Everything you had asked for. I was so proud of you for thanking us, no prompting, just your kind and caring nature shining through.
You transformed into Princess Belle and your friends arrived. An afternoon of utter chaos (with nine children under seven running around) but a lot of fun followed. You of course gave 'clear instructions' (you weren't bossy at all...) to your friends, especially when it came to the party games. You struggled to understand why you couldn't win the prizes for the games but Mummy found a little something to distract you, Mummy's are good for that sometimes.
Princess food, cake and juice had gone down well. Glittery tiaras, party bags and pin the horn on the unicorn were also a big hit. When the last guest had gone, we collapsed on the sofa as you were still enjoying being Princess Belle, twirling around the room, not sure how you were still going after such a busy day. When reminded that it was your birthday the next day, the excitement was there again and you went to bed happily dreaming of the day to follow.
Operation third birthday prep and second mini get together was next. As I cleared away the remains of the Princess party, I reflected on how lovely it was to see you dancing and playing with your friends. You were a little social butterfly, despite not going to nursery. You were polite, if a little bossy at times, but you shared your toys without any drama and included all of your friends in everything you did. Your dance moves really should have won you 'Musical Statues' but we couldn't be seen to be biased! As soon as money improves I am getting you booked into some dance lessons! Daddy spent his night building your doll's house, something you had said only yesterday that you needed to ask for off Santa next year, and I spent the night tidying up ready for round two the next day.
Sunday 8th January, 2017. You turned three. My little girl was three. The time seems to have flown and I made a vow in that moment to cherish every second I have with you. This year you will start Nursery school, next year you will start actual school. Your excitement made me well up, I was so emotional, moreso than last year, I'm not quite sure why. Every morning you wake up and cheer me up with your beautiful smile, no matter what the time is, you can win anyone over with that smile. 'What are we doing today Mummy?' is your usual question, and even today on your birthday, you asked what we were going to do. When I reminded you of the day your face was a picture.
Walking into the living room, it took you a moment to look past the wrapped up presents and balloons waiting for you, but you then finally saw it. Your doll's house. Hugs and kisses were given all round, and you couldn't wait to play with it. Grateful for all of your presents, well clothes weren't much of a hit but show me any three year old that likes clothes. We did the whole family meal and get together with friends without children thing and you didn't complain once. You enjoyed it, especially when the waitresses sang 'Happy Birthday' to you. I was emotional then too....I still say my hormones aren't right after having you! The only thing that used to make me cry was 'Mary Poppins!'
As your birthday grew to a close, you were getting tired and understandably quite overwhelmed with everything that had happened over the weekend. Off you went to bed, still needing your bunny, still insisting on a family hug, still my baby girl.