I saw quite a bit of this little face this past week. This little person was my constant shadow and bud while Mimi helped Eldest/Admin, and for this post to be known as Viv's Mom, nest for the New Baby. While nest conjures up sticks and grass and mud, this nest involved lots of paint and fabric and sweat and strength. And Fun. Always Fun when it involves a Three Year Old.
In the quest to acclimate Miss Viv to the reality that her world will soon be rocked by a sibling, Mimi and Viv's Mom found it important to involve Miss Viv on all levels of the process of moving her to the Big Sister Room and preparing Little Sister's New Room (formerly Miss Viv's Room). This included introducing the little sprite to her queen size bed in the New Room, formerly known as The Guest Room/Office. As you can imagine, a move of this scale required much pre work from Viv's Mom. Much sorting, storing, filing, and memory lane travel. By the time I arrived last week, VM had done the foundational work so that the grunt work was ready for Mimi. Viv's Daddy had his own project, finishing the downstairs bathroom in time for the arrival of the Queen, otherwise known as the 32 week preborn.
Some serious redo was in the plan and this Mimi wasted no time getting to work.....
We (Miss Viv and I) painted. She had a small roller and a teeny paint brush to help with the cause. After a grand total of ten minutes, she proclaimed it too hard and settled for watching me, playing around me and talking to me constantly about the most interesting of things.
We took breaks, sure.
We played outside on the most delightful of early spring days.
We went down the slide and uncovered some sand box toys from under the deck.
We went to gymnastics class where we galloped with the young mama's and kids and played on all the equipment. Mimi refrained from doing her cartwheels for which she is known. Sadly, the cartwheels went into retirement about 10 years ago after a realization that a hip broken could be more catastrophic than broken pride in the doing. Nevertheless, Mimi managed to skip and hop and gallop in a careful way.
We pulled out some vintage Lite Brite and let her organize the pretty colored pegs and jars and lids in the best OCD way.
We went to Whole Foods for lunch and supplies.
We sat there like a little lady while Mimi ate her weight in the best salad bar ever. Miss Viv, being all of three years old, managed to eat all her veggies and fruit so she could have some cornbread. Very Good, Viv.
My little friend has a most wonderful imagination.
She managed to keep her little self very occupied while her Mimi and Mama were involved in our Nesting Projects. We would hear her talking to her dolls, making 'coffee' for us, bring us 'cake' and other imaginary foods, to replenish our energy. She kept herself occupied with her extensive library, bringing books to me in the middle of painting a wall and I figured the wall just needed to wait while I shared a story or two with this good little girl.....
When the painting was finished and it was time to bring out Mimi's Sewing Machine, Miss Viv was eager to watch the whole process. She got on the floor with me as I measured and cut. She helped me take it to the table. And she climbed up on my lap, very interested in this magical machine. Miss Viv was appointed my pin remover and became very adept at it. The tomato pin cushion, which my own little munchkins played with while I sewed for them years ago, once again, enchanted another generation of wannabe sewists.
Is there anything more entertaining than a conversation with a three year old? Their explanations, questions, logic and manipulations are incredibly fun and guileless. If the world followed the thinking a a three year old, there would be more hugging and more honesty in this world. This jaded 58 year old certainly appreciated the time spent with this refreshing little three year old. She kept me laughing and crying at the same time.
And then the Real Reason for the visit finally arrived: Miss Viv's Third Birthday!
Her Mom (which is apparently what you call your mama when you turn three) and I worked very hard so that by the time Friday arrive,we could celebrate her day without interruption. Her patient tolerance of our tasks and projects, made us all the more willing to clear the day for her.
The day dawned clear and sunny following a very rainy day.
It was a good sign.
We proceeded into the day with a visit from Designing Friend, someone that knew VM from her days as a tiny baby well into the age that Viv was now celebrating. She brought gifts too, so that was fun for all of us.
Next up, lunch at Chick fil a, a favorite haunt for Mimi and Viv.
Then off to Glendale to Bluebird Bakery http://bluebirdbakeryandcafe.com/ for the yummiest birthday cake ever. Normally, Mimi would have made her cake but this year, it was more important to keep myself in the paint instead of the flour. We all appreciated the detour. Glendale has the tradition of having large squirrel sculptures located through out the city, often decorated by the owners of businesses nearby. Bluebird Bakery has their squirrel painted a delightful bluebird blue. And Vivie loved it. Of course.
When we arrived home, Vivie found Papa at her house! He had taken off work to help us celebrate! What a treat!
With Papa in tow, it was time to take a visit to the nearby Disney Store in the Kenwood Mall http://www.kenwoodtownecentre.com/. Since Miss Viv is now three, she has developed a passion for all things Toy Story and her very astute mama knew that a visit there would be the perfect thing to round out her day.
And it was.
Entranced and focused, she entered and played out the perfect ad for the store. A small girl following the trail of her favorite movie characters, hugging the stuffed animals and watching in awe the ginormous video screen that is placed near the check out. Those Disney marketers certainly know what they are doing.
We all bit and promptly purchased her favorites but in a covert way. While she was watching excerpts from Disney's best, her Mom and her Papa quietly set off to purchase her surprises.
When it came time to leave, this Mimi dreaded the time when she would have to release the toys that she had been hugging since we entered the Magic Store. But true to her trooper form, as her mama told her to tell the toys good by and to put them back in their beds to visit another day, she did obediently, without one issue of protest, placing them back on the shelf. This Mimi sighed in appreciation for the good discipline her mama places on her and the rules and regulations and abundance of patience that she exhibits with Dear Viv. A warmly proud moment of all three of my little family; mama, daddy and little sweetie. Sigh.
We returned home to fetch her daddy so that he could accompany us to http://www.apontespizza.com/about_us.html Pizza Time at Apontes. The friendly people at Apontes even helped us celebrate by putting our pepperoni in the shape of a '3'. Sweet.
Surprise! Surprise! After pizza time, we came home to find her auntie, grandma and three cousins from Georgia and Illinois, at her house, waiting to share her birthday cake.
As the day wound down and the Birthday Girl prepared for bed, her little head spinning with the events of the day and her mama and Mimi reflecting on the wonder of the day and the purpose for it, we were very thankful.....
Is one little girl worth all the planning, all the hoopla, all the time?
They all are.