Wednesday, October 3, 2012


"Anna, it's my birthday!"

That was how I woke up yesterday. Mary was five years old and thrilled about it. In a rare moment of good parenting, I got out of bed, sang her "Happy Birthday" and offered to make her scrambled eggs for breakfast.

"Can I help stir them? Since it's my birthday?" she asked.

"Sure," I said.

"It's my BIRTHDAY!"

"We need party hats," Anna said, reaching into the cabinet and producing a colander and large sauce pan.

"You do not need hats," I said, attempting to take back the sauce pan and colander. She managed to slip away with the other colander while I wasn't looking.

This year, Mary requested she be allowed to have her ears pierced in lieu of a big party, since I told her ear piercing was expensive. Before I had kids I had big stances on cosmetic procedures for kids, now that I'm in the thick of it I find I really don't care anymore. She's old enough to not yank them out and old enough to let me take care of them so we're going with it, assuming I can find an actual piercing place to do her ears. (My issues with malls and guns have not lightened up.)

"Can we get donuts on the way to drop Anna off? Can I get a pink one? Since it's my birthday?"

Are you sensing the refrain of the day? Mary was delighted it was her birthday, looking forward to her family party on Sunday, and was thrilled to find out the dress up dresses she had worn exactly one day before still fit "even though I'm five now."

J came by to drop off Baby G around 11.

"Do you have a present for me, Auntie?" Mary asked.

Along with not magically outgrowing dress ups, new five year olds do not magically download etiquette tutorials, it would appear.

"Mary, we don't ask that," I said.

"Sorry, Auntie," she answered. "I'M FIVE TODAY."

Really? I'd forgotten.

The day continued with calls from her daddy (who left before she woke up), grandparents, Uncle Brian. She got Facebook messages. (No, my daughter does NOT have her own Facebook page.) She was queen for the day and she knew it.

As the day stretched into afternoon, I asked Mary what she'd like for her birthday dinner.

"Mac and Cheese!" she said. "The orange kind!"

"The orange kind," in case you are wondering, refers to the Kraft blue box spectacular, as opposed to my homemade variety with freshly grated cheese and a homemade butter crumb topping. The one that my husband adored and my kids poked at as the adults attempted to not eat the whole pan.

"Really?" Tim asked when he called. "She doesn't want, say, pizza...?"

"No," I said firmly, "she wants mac and cheese."

Resigned, he ended the call.

"Mommy, when is it going to be Sunday? That's when I get presents, right?" At this point I was halfway kicking myself for raising what appeared to be a rather entitled little girl and halfway kicking myself for not having anything for her to open on her actual birthday.

"Right," I said. "Friday, we're going to try and get you earrings. Sunday is your cake. And Monday, you are going to lunch with Daddy. You get a birthday week, kind of!"

"Is it Sunday yet?"

Other facts about new five year olds: Cake > all.

"Soon, Mary. Want to help with dinner?"

"Yes. Oh, and you can just call me Birthday Girl."

You got it, Birthday Girl.

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