I dunno what happened to the video(s) and even some of the pictures I'd wanted to post of Astrid's birthday, but I assure you it was a hectic day and I learned that I do not want to volunteer to have her party HERE again. Next year will have to be someplace like Chucky Cheese if it's my turn.
I couldn't help but notice, as well, how different my birthday gifts were from the others she received. She got tons of fun stuff, while I got her a child-sized rake so she could help her dad rake leaves, a fold-up step stool so she could reach what she can't reach without it, a crank flash-light so she could "read" her books before bed at night (without ever needing to replace batteries or bulbs) and two books on nature.
She also got lots of kitchen-like stuff for pretend cooking, tea parties, etc. She doesn't have so much of that over here. She has two small cups with saucers and a plate (all glass). She had TWO plates, but one broke after she dropped it on the rock foyer floor. [I have a few more small plates like that, but I want her to spend some time noticing the gap in the settings so the concept of "glass breaks when dropped on rock" is absorbed.] For the most, her play areas here are carpeted, so her glass stuff doesn't break if dropped. Sometimes she "pretend" cooks food we've made out of play dough, but mostly she helps with the real thing.
This past week she helped make crockpot pea soup before helping to make Valentine's Day cookies. My hope was to roll and cut cookies, but I used the cake-mix cookie recipe with a strawberry mix and the dough never got "unsticky" enough no matter how much flour I added.
I need to get her an apron that covers more of her body, but until I do No. 1 seems to understand why I frequently suggest that she dress her in crap clothes when she comes here.
Cookie-making dish washing went to a new dimension when she learned about the sink spray.
She ate so much strawberry dough that even with a bath she was pretty much bouncing off the walls when No. 1 came to get her.
I find cleaning up after baking or messy experiments invigorating, but I found myself angry this week when Astrid took out a rubber-like puzzle kit, didn't bother to try and work any of it and left it on the floor for me to put away. That was the first time I felt anger with Astrid and I expressed it both to Astrid and No. 1. The source of the anger was less that Astrid had taken something from the shelf and just thrown it on the floor than the difficulty involved with putting all the pieces back into the package. No. 1 suggested that I put the pieces in another package. I felt that defeated the purpose of a "toddler travel tote", but today I repackaged the pieces and put the original box up for when someone besides me travels with her, because there's no room in my relationship with Astrid for anger.