Sunday, January 30, 2005

Typhoid G

Poor G's on her second full day of being sick. All she's done this weekend is lie on the couch and watch TV. She saw Balto and The Neverending Story and about 47395 episodes of Zoboomafoo and Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends that her dad had stored on the DV-R. She perked up for a little while this afternoon and drew a picture of herself exploring the jungle, but then she crawled back under her quilt and spent some more quality time with the tube. We also finished reading Magic Treehouse #31 -- only two more to go before we're all caught up with the series. These last few are longer, and IMO, better written than the previous installments, although I'm probably prejudiced because they're also more focused on magic, fantasy and folklore, which is what I like to read about. I'm eagerly waiting for her to be ready for some of my old fantasy favorites, like the Narnia books and The Dark is Rising series.

Since she's been sick, I've had more time than usual to do my own reading. I finished reading Wicked for the second time while I was sick last week, so I went to the library for some new material yesterday. I got Peyton Place, A Wizard of Earthsea (one of those old favorites), a book on helping your child with reading, and a very interesting book called Never Done, which is a history of housework in America. After reading the chapter on laundry, I developed a new appreciation for my washing machine. I'd go insane if I had to stand over a woodstove boiling my dirty clothes all day long.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Short and bittersweet

I forgot to mention in my last post that my grandmother came to stay with us for a few days this week. She got here on Tuesday afternoon and left early this morning. I haven't seen her in two and a half years, and the last time wasn't under the best circumstances, so it was wonderful having her, even for a short time. It's never easy to say goodbye, though. When I went into G's room this morning, she looked up at me with big, tear-filled eyes and said, "I'm going to miss Grams." Me too. :*(

In other news, G's come down with a nasty cold and is coughing and sneezing everywhere. Unpleasant as this is, it's actually good timing. I've been living in dread that she'd get sick and miss out on some of the activities we had planned, but now that all the partying and visiting is over, a cold is no big deal. Plus, since it's Friday, she has the whole weekend to rest and recover. I really hope I don't get what she's got, though. I was just sick last week -- I'd like to be healthy for a while at least.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Party All The Time

It seems as if all we've done for ages is go to kids' birthday parties. Last week, G's friend Jack had his fifth birthday at Chuck E. Cheese, with all the games and flashing lights and guys in giant mouse suits that involves. Two days after that, we had G's party at Build-A-Bear Workshop. Her friends Tabitha, Jack, Sofia and Adam came, along with Sofia's little brother Benjamin, and all six of them had a wonderful time choosing, stuffing and dressing their animals. G dressed her bunny in a fairy princess costume and named it Glinda -- not after Glinda in The Wizard of Oz, but after Glinda in Wicked, which is her latest obsession. After the bears, we went to Red Robin, and G opened her presents at the table. I'm sure the staff at Red Robin was horrified to see a party of twelve with six kids under six arriving, but everyone behaved very nicely (even we parents, ha ha), and enjoyed their ice cream sundaes/cookies/apple crisp/etc.

The following day, it was off to G's friend Tabitha's house for Tabitha's sixth birthday party. G divided her time between bouncing in the bounce house and hanging out in Tabitha's playhouse with some of the other girls. They had collected a bunch of pebbles from the landscaping and were pretending to cook them in the playhouse kitchen. Good times, good times.

Yesterday was G's actual birthday, and you guessed it, we had another party -- this one a short celebration at her school, with cupcakes and goodie bags for all the kids in her class. She'd asked for a Kim Possible theme, so I got Kim Possible plates and stuffed the bags with Kim Possible stickers and 3-D glasses. Later, we took her to Rainforest Café, which is not a place I'd ever choose to eat at myself, but hey, it wasn't my birthday. She really enjoyed everything and was thrilled when the waiters brought her an ice cream sundae and sang the Rainforest Café birthday song. It's hard to believe that she's the same kid who, as a toddler, would scream in sheer terror when waiters at a restaurant sang to anyone, even if they were ten tables away.

Rainforest Café is inside the mall, so after we ate, I took her to the toy store to spend some of her birthday money. She picked out a Clikits kit with two photo frames and a little box to decorate. She loves to make any sort of craft, and is very good at it -- a talent she certainly didn't inherit from me, I can tell you. In addition to the money and the Clikits, she got a bracelet, a necklace, a Borders gift card, two new Polly Pocket sets, the last three Magic Treehouse books (we've got the whole 33-book series now ), a DVD of the first Princess Diaries movie, and the Disney edition of Trivial Pursuit. I've really been trying to get her fewer big toys because there's just no space for them in her room -- and it isn't a small room, either. We had a massive toy decluttering session a few months ago, and I'm thinking it may be time for another one. All kids should have such problems.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Bucket o' sap

G is turning six in two weeks, and I'm having serious issues with it. I went through something similar when she started kindergarten back in September, but this is on a grander scale. I guess I'm just not ready for her to be this old. *sniff* When she was a toddler, I could hardly wait for her to grow up. I wanted to have real conversations with her and read classic children's literature to her and do all the things we couldn't do yet. (I'll admit that I was also pretty excited about the idea of not changing diapers or dealing with tantrums anymore.) Now that we're there, I wish I could turn back time and have a little toddler again. I get emotional about it at the oddest moments, too. For example, just before Christmas, I replaced the small bookshelf I bought when she was two with a pair of larger units that take up an entire wall. The result made her room look like a big kid's room instead of a little kid's room, and before you could say "hysterical mother," I was all watery-eyed and quivery-lipped. Oddly, I didn't have this problem when we bought her bed, which is supposed to be the Really Big Furniture-Related Rite of Passage. For one thing, she almost never slept in her crib -- it was more of a giant stuffed-animal container han anything else -- and for another, she was still so small that she could hardly climb onto the bed unassisted. It's harder to pretend your child is still a baby when she's over four feet tall and is dancing around with an iPod and singing along to Hilary Duff, you know?

The funny thing is, last year, she angsted for six months before her birthday because she didn't want to turn five. Every night at bedtime, she'd lie there in the dark and moan, "I wish I could stay four forever! I don't like the number five!" and I would console her and tell her how cool it would be to be five and how much fun she was going to have. Now she's eagerly anticipating her birthday, and I'm a soppy ball of angst.

Anyway, one way or the other, she is going to be six soon. She spent most of November and December poring over the Birthday Express catalog like a high-school senior with a bunch of college brochures, trying to make up her mind about what sort of party she wanted. At last, we decided that she wasn't going to have a Birthday Express party at all. Instead, she's taking five of her friends to Build-A-Bear Workshop to make teddies, and then going upstairs to Red Robin for dessert. (Which reminds me that I should probably call Red Robin to arrange this. And mail the invitations. Yeah. That'd be good.) On her actual birthday, she's going to bring cupcakes and juice for everyone at school. This is a compromise -- her first choice was having a party at home for all her school and non-school friends, but I didn't think it would be a good idea to try to cram 24 kids into my living room. Scratch that: I knew it would be certain disaster. So we decided to go the two-celebration route, and she took it very well. Hmmm, maybe there'll be some benefits to having an older kid after all.