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I Woke Up Four!

Yes, Cora had her fourth birthday
yesterday, and it was positively wonderful.

The birthday started the night before: one of our family traditions
is that the birthday girl receives a new pair of summer pajamas as
she goes to bed on her birthday eve, so Cora hit the sack in
hot-pink zebra-striped pjs, feeling like hot stuff. She slept until
almost 8 a.m. (which would have been great had big sister done the
same), and when she came out of her room she ran into her Gamma.
Squatting excitedly with her hands on her knees, Cora said,
“Guess what, Gamma! I woke up four today!”

The night before we’d wrestled
Cora’s big-girl car seat into the mini-van; it’s
Cora’s big gift from us and she’s talked about it for
months. We didn’t tell her she’d get it early in the
day, though, and as we piled in the car for a birthday breakfast
out she saw it and squealed with delight.

We went out to breakfast at a place of her choosing – pigs in
a blanket, with two extra sausages on the side. My child loves her
pork products. Then the wait staff surprised her with a
chocolate-chip pancake and birthday serenade, and after her first
bite of the chocolate-chip pancake (which I’d thus far
managed to avoid her meeting), she rolled her eyes ecstatically and
said, “Mommy, it tastes like a COOKIE!”

We hit open gym, Cora in a new sparkly leotard, and she played hard
with Daddy for the whole two hours. Brian had taken the day off
work and it was the best present she got, I think, since
she’s in full-on Daddy Love mode. Tossing foam blocks at each
other in the pit, jumping wildly on the trampoline – there
was nothing Cora didn’t do, and she relished every minute.

We had lunch out, then quiet time at home. When Maddie’s
weekly ballet class came up and Cora had the option of going and
watching, or staying home and playing with Daddy, it wasn’t
even a hard choice. She’d gotten some new Citi Blocs over
lunch and she and Daddy happily spent the afternoon building

Cora’s birthday meal, as per her menu planning, was macaroni
and cheese with strawberries on the side. Ah, a refined meal,
indeed. Then came the cake and the frenzy of gift-giving, and she
finally went to bed exhausted but happy.

I loved watching her all day, basking in the attention, and tried
hard to keep from noticing how big she’s gotten. But
it’s hard to avoid, and with Cora in pre-kindergarten in the
fall it’s hard to ignore the fact that her babyhood is fast
retreating in the rear-view mirror.

Which makes days like her birthday that much more special.


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