It’s Raspberry’s half-birthday today, so she’s officially six-and-a-half. We’ve been celebrating her half-birthday since she was born, initially with banana bread and then as she got older, cupcakes, but it’s never really been much of a big deal beyond that. This year however, she’d been planning a big day at the beach since December. On numerous occasions (often on our long walks home from a day out), she’d talk endlessly about who she was going to invite, what kind of supplies she’d need, what she would give out in loot bags (at one point, she thought seeds to plant would be a good idea), you know, all the party planning details that I, as a virgin party-planner, am utterly clueless about.
She sort of got her wish for a beach day on Wednesday. Some of our friends whom we invited couldn’t make it, so it ended up just being Zsofi and us going to New Brighton on what began as a very wet day. But it cleared up nicely (even though the wind was relentless), and the kids had a grand time climbing on rocks and playing on the pirate ship. The usual cupcakes were replaced with ice-cream from Caffe Cream where Raspberry picked out a scoop of Sparkle Sprinkle in a chocolate-dipped cone while I couldn’t decide among all the amazing flavours and settled with tiramisu. It was also there that Zsofi had what she considers real coffee, her first in a while. I feel a little bad that Raspberry didn’t get the big beach bash she’d so been hoping for for months, but she did enjoy her day.
Last night, I set out Raspberry’s half-birthday gift on the coffee table, hoping she’d be surprised beyond words when she saw it this morning. For the past few months, I’d been slowly and secretly building up this gift for her. So many times, I was thoroughly tempted to excavate it from its hiding spot so I can look at it. We’ve never done half-birthday gifts before, so it was to be a complete surprise for her. I gotten her a dress, two cat buttons, some glitter glue, a lunchbox, a postcard of the dog from when the giants were in town, a wooden skeleton to put together, and six books (two Ivy and Bean books — The Ghost that Had to Go and Ivy and Bean Take the Case; Illustration School’s Let’s Draw Cute Animals; The Squirrel’s Birthday and Other Parties; Nicholas; and Free to Be You and Me,which unfortunately hasn’t arrived yet). The unpackaged gift can be seen here. It’s way more than we’ve ever gotten her for her six past birthdays combined and I was really excited to give it to her (I love giving people gifts). When she awoke, Lucas sent her out to the living room on the pretext of getting his watch, and she saw the wrapped gift on the table but didn’t seem to know what to make of it. I thought she’d be bouncing with excitement. Interestingly, she opened the gift in a very subdued manner, quite unbecoming of someone who’s just received an unexpected present, and after examining it, proceeded to alternately arrange it all in piles or spread out on the table. I kept waiting for her to burst out in excited chatter or to start hopping around but neither happened. When I asked her about it later, she said she wasn’t expecting it but she wasn’t surprised either. Well, then!
We spent the morning at the park and picking blackberries, a recent favourite activity of hers. We’d promised her she could pick some yesterday on the way home from Aurelie’s but due to a change in plans, we couldn’t, so we decided to do so today. She even climbed over a fence and got more than usual, filling the plastic tupperware we brought almost to the brim. At the park, she spent a long time working out at the exercise machines (“I’m extracising! It’s different from exercising.”) and at the playground, climbed rungs up to the play structure for the first time ever. She’s never really been physically adventurous and has always been afraid to climb ladders like that. I was quietly surprised and so proud of her. At home, during various intervals through the day, she worked with Lucas to put together the wooden skeleton. I think he was as excited as she was to work on it, if not more. At this moment, the skeleton remains limbless, but it’ll probably be blessed with them tomorrow.
The day went surprisingly swimmingly. It’s the first time in months that I genuinely felt like Raspberry and I had a good day together (I’ve been having a tough time connecting with her since Ares was born… more on that in another post I’ve been meaning to write). Patience came more easily than usual and I actually had fun. I’m not sure how today differed from other days, beyond the fact that it was her half-birthday, but I can only hope this is a turning point and our days will be smoother from here. Cross your fingers for me.Advertisements