Monday, February 16, 2009

Everyone Loves A Party ... (Especially Zach and Allie)

Over the past few weeks I learned that in a 4-year-old's eyes, being invited to a birthday party trumps just about everything else in life ... except perhaps Christmas and going to Disneyland.

Several weeks back as I picked up Zach and Allie from preschool and fished out the photocopied "Letter F" book with hand-colored fish, frogs and firefighters from their folders, there it was, hidden in the deep fold.

Unmistakable by the smallish, almost square-sized envelope with "Zach and Allie" carefully penned on the outside, inside was a piece of paper that would unleash excitement, and as I soon discovered, a valuable -- although short-lived-- tool in my Mommy arsenal.

Now that Christmas is over, I can't use Santa anymore. If you're a parent, you know what I'm talking about.

"If you want Santa to come, then you need to pick up your toys."

"Santa's watching you, you need to quiet down and go to sleep."

For a 4-year-old, these little threats always work wonders. With Christmas gone, it's back to square one.

But now, with a party invitation in hand -- and a costume party to boot -- I eagerly employed my new-found power.

"If you want to go to the birthday party, then you need to go make your bed."

"OK, Mommy," as they hurry to their rooms.

And so with the invitation also came two weeks of anticipation and questions.

"Mommy, is today the birthday party?"

"Mommy, can I wear the Spiderman costume?"

"Mommy, can we wrap the present yet?"

And when the day came, I've never seen two kids more excited -- costumes and bouncy houses and cookies and cake. Despite the coolish weather and the sniffly noses, they oozed with delight in their Spiderman and ballerina costumes and so excited as together they held the gift to give to their friend.

My two youngest doing what little ones do best -- laughter, excitement, smiles, and sweetness.

"Mommy, this is going to be SO fun," Allie squealed.

"Yes, sweetie, it's ALL so fun."

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