mermaids, tarantulas and bubble gum…

that’s what little girls are made of, right? oh. right. just our little girl.

today, the silliest 4 year old i know turned 5. last night, we blew up about 40 balloons and put half of them on the floor in her room. the other half went into the hallway alcove right outside her door, hanging down so she had to walk through a tunnel of balloons to get to breakfast. but instead of being in awe of all the work (we had a hand pump, but my triceps were killing me this morning when i woke up), zoë was dismayed that she still looked 4. that was the first thing she said this morning – “i still look 4!!” with a tone that bordered on disgust. we aren’t quite sure what sort of transformation she was expecting, but she was disappointed when she didn’t turn into whatever mythical figure she anticipated. the day continued in that vein.

she went to school this morning, taking cupcakes with strawberry frosting (another bit of work last night) which she informed everyone were “homemade.” apparently this is an important distinction to make, as i guess they get bakery cupcakes for other kids’ birthdays. go me. the cupcakes are fantastic, and i’ve made the recipe twice in the last week. and of course i didn’t take any pictures. you can find the recipe here. i cut it in half to make the cupcakes, since i only needed a dozen.

so after school  today, her teachers informed me that she had an exceptionally good day. she sat in her seat, didn’t talk, didn’t get distracted, and also didn’t take a nap (no big surprise on the nap). she told her teachers that she is going to obey, now that she’s 5. she informed us of this fact about 2 weeks ago, after a pretty bad temper tantrum. apparently, she meant it, so we’ll see what happens now that she started the behavioral changes. she also told her teachers that she gets to chew gum now. she ate 3 pieces of sugar free gum tonight, but so far so good on the not swallowing bit.

we went out to dinner at cracker barrel, where she got a “kid food” (she gets inordinately excited over what she calls “kid food”, and what i call “boring”) birthday dinner, also a big deal. apparently my adventurous cooking is not good enough for her simple tastes and desires for mac-n-cheese, mashed potatoes and chicken fingers. she initially wanted fish sticks, but had to work with the kids menu. in regards to the “kid food” thing, she’s 5 now, but she better get a better palate, or the rest of her life at home is going to be interesting, to say the least. after dinner, she spent some birthday money in the store. on a battery operated tarantula the size of a dinner plate. the thing is a little too realistic for my tastes, but once again, she’s 5.

finally, after dinner, she got to go spend a gift card from aunt allie and uncle buzz – so she buys herself a mermaid toy for the bathtub, a moon nightlight (also the size of a dinner plate, though significantly less terrorizing when viewed out of the corner of the eye, and will allow her to make it match the current phase of the moon),and a recorder (yes, the awful elementary school music class instrument). the first two choices were good ones, although i know we will regret the 3rd.

all in all, she got to celebrate her day in the sorts of ways she finds meaningful – mermaid, tarantulas and bubble gum included. her big party is on sunday, and there will be lots more pictures coming for that too. i have pictures of today to post, but they won’t be coming til tomorrow, as i have a paper still to write tonight. you think i could use an afternoon and evening partying with my 5 year old as an excuse for not completing it? yeah, me neither.

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