Thank you Julie for the good idea…
Abi went to her very first birthday party last week – other than her own. Myself and two of my friends all had baby girls within a few months or so of each other. I love the idea that Abi will have friends she’s known since birth; I have one such a friend myself. Although we haven’t spoken in several years I savor the memories I have of us playing together as little girls.
We get to the party and after a little while Abi loosens her reserve and wants to play with the other girls. They aren’t walking yet, and she wants to hug them but ends up hugging their heads and in the process tries to pick them up, making it look like she’s attempting some new toddler wrestling move. I do not freak out, but gently pry her hands off the unwitting victim of her affections and tell her she’s such a good girl to give Olive a hug, can she give Olive a kiss, too? This usually involves Abi offering her cheek to whomever fancies a kiss and she complies with a very European cheek to cheek kiss with her friend.
As the party continues, it’s obvious she is getting restless and bored (tired)…these kids don’t walk! These kids don’t dance! These kids don’t fight back! The other mothers are aware of Abi’s nature…she has a perpetual bruise somewhere on her body from her endeavors at adventure. She will more than likely be a tom-boy and somewhere inside me finds that a relief.
I know I’m a good mom when I scoop her up to leave and she puts her little head right in the crook of my shoulder, sighs, and pats me on the back like we do when we pick her up out of her crib in the mornings (or 2 a.m.). As we walk to the car we run down the litany of animal sounds – what does a cow say? Boooooo. What does a rabbit say? Hop Hop -also the name she’s given her stuffed rabbit. What does a dog say? Woof. What does a lion say? prrrrrrr – she makes a trilling noise in the back of her throat. I guess it’s as close as she can come to a roar or growl.
As I strap her in the car seat I ask her if she had a good time, she smiles, says ‘time’ and kicks off her shoes. By the time we’re out of the neighborhood she’s asleep, one hand grasping her sippy cup, the other holding her Hop Hop.