Summy had a party last Sunday, though I couldn't write up an entry about it last week. It was a lot of fun for everybody who was under 4 feet high.
The guests all arrived on time, at 11 am. They wished Sameera a Happy Birthday and then got into play mode right away. Everybody cooked and fed their parents in the play dining room, rode the big train engine in the train room, shopped in the play grocery store, and tumbled about in the little gym.
After about an hour of this, we herded them into the party room, and the kids got sticky and messy doing a paper bag puppet craft. After which, they impatiently dug into their pizza. (Little kids aren't subtle when they realize it's lunch time - "Is that pizza?" "I want some pizza!" "I'm hungry!" "Can we eat now?" Even one parent asked "Is that pizza for the big boys too?" - everybody ate, it was good pizza!) A huge Dora cake followed, and Summy blew the number 3 candle out to cheers and clapping. The lady of the play place played on the piano and sang Happy Birthday. Then we sliced and served cake (with more subtle hints in the background "I want cake!" "I want cake!"). This went well, mostly, except for when one of her friends said "It's my birthday!", which made Summy very indignant (a shouting match of "No, it's MY birthday!" followed).
After licking the frosting off the cake and leaving the rest alone (next year I have an idea for a cake that's made entirely of frosting), the kids were manoeuvered again into a different play zone. They drove fire engines, little cars, played doctor, made music, colored, and best of all, played with water. At about 1, the parents tried to convince their children to leave. This was made easier with the bringing out of the goody bags.
This part is the icing on my cake. I was handing out goody bags, and Summy seemed to consider this the lowest insult. She said "I want to do it." So I let her. She gave a goody bag, a hug, and a kiss to each friend, and said "Thanks for coming to my party.".
It's true I had told her the night before that as a host, it would be her duty to do this. It would make her friends happy if she did. But I didn't dream that she would actually remember and do it! Shows that I should trust her with more responsibility than I do.
This birthday party was not about Summy being queen for a day - though ofcourse it was her special day. At three, she was ready to be the host at her party for the first time. She was to know that it's good to have friends around to celebrate, and to receive them well and show them she was happy to have them come. She did this much better than I've ever done (except for the one small shouting incident :)).
In her excitement, Summy had a single bite of pizza and one sip of juice in the party. After we went back home and settled down, her tummy reminded her about that - she asked for pizza, and then some more, and then some more. Kiran, Summy and I sat down at the French window and ate pizza. That was our little family party, I suppose.
Summy was as eager to send thank you notes to her friends as she was to open presents. She decorated them, and though she could not write, she asked me to read what I'd written. I mailed them out, but forgot to tell her about it. Two days later, she says "Uh oh! We forgot to mail the thank you cards." :) Three-year-olds are miracles.