Thursday, October 14, 2010

Phoebe, Party Princess

Last weekend we successfully took Phoebe to her first grown-up's party since she was a baby. It went a lot better than I expected and I was very proud of her.

We went over to Straddie (North Stradbroke Island) on Saturday for a wedding on Sunday. The weather wasn't the best for an island break, with rain alternating between torrential and drizzle, and winds of up to almost 70 kph. After settling in on Friday we visited the "party house" where most of our friends were staying. There were quite a few people there and I thought Phoebe might be a bit shy but she was in her element. It probably helped that we'd bumped into a few people on the ferry, including Mindy who came in our car to the other side of the island. By the time we arrived Phoebe was quite taken with her. She spent the evening flitting around the lounge room, eating crisps (and refusing dinner) and getting lots of attention as she was the only child there. We took her home in time for her usual bedtime of 7pm but it took her a while to wind down. It didn't help that there was no bath. She was a bit restless and I had to get her up again and give her a bit more to eat, then there was a bit of crying until eventually at 7.45pm she fell asleep.

At 10.30pm just as we were dropping off she had a coughing fit and woke up crying. We couldn't get her to settle again. Clearly waking in an unfamiliar room to the sound of wind howling round the third floor windows - and pretty spooky it sounded too - was freaking her out, understandably. It took us 2 hours to get her back to sleep and by then I think she passed out from sheer exhaustion.

Nevertheless she was in a pretty good mood the next day. We popped back to the party house to say hi, and Phoebe was a social butterfly again. We went for a drive to Brown Lake where we were going to walk but Phoebe fell asleep in the car, and besides the walking track looked impassibly swamped. Then we took her on a walk around the gorge, no mean feat in those conditions and there were spots where Toby had to carry Phoebe to prevent her being blown over. Once back at the house she settled down for a decent sleep, finally comfortable enough with her surroundings.

Then we took her to Sam and Christie's wedding. She was less lively there due to all the people although by the time the ceremony kicked off she was running around picking shells from the tables and loudly pointing out all the things she knew names of. I missed a lot of the ceremony due to that and being stuck behind people taller than me. What I did see was lovely though.

We managed to keep Phoebe out til gone 9pm, which we were amazed at. Apart from a temporary obsession with the wooden staircase she was remarkably easy to entertain. Of course there were lots of people happy to entertain her (and photograph her) for us. She spent some time throwing flower petals over the head of a little boy the same age as her, which was very cute. We took a glo-stick, balloons and a little pull out couch for her to play with. By the time of the speeches Toby and I were sitting on the floor with her and she was having a great time. Every time there was laughter and clapping she'd leap up onto her feet, screeching and clapping.

We were saying goodbye to the bride, who was downstairs preparing coffee, when Phoebe spotted a tray full of treats. I made the mistake of giving her one to keep her quiet. Then Christie suggested that they cut the cake before the people with kids had to leave so we decided to stay for that. In the meantime the treat tray moved to a table that Phoebe could reach and she parked herself next to it and proceeded to ram chocolate wafers into her mouth. Obviously I put a stop to that and the tantrum I'd been expecting for two hours erupted.

Needless to say we missed the cutting of the cake and unfortunately the cake disappeared and we didn't get any. Everyone kept telling us how lovely it was too. Very disappointing. The things we sacrifice for our children.

I kept waiting all weekend for the payback of keeping Phoebe up but it didn't happen. She went straight to bed that night, woke up coughing again but went straight back to sleep after I gave her a quick cuddle, had a nap in the car the next morning and a good sleep in her cot that afternoon.

We invited friends over for a bbq the following night as we thought it would be better to keep her at home and it was nice for us not to have to rush off to get her to bed. James and Melissa came around with their 4 month old baby, George and Phoebe was obsessed with him. She kept pointing at him saying 'baby, baby, baby' over and over and over again. Then she just wanted to be right up close to him, cuddling him, kissing him and touching his face. It was quite exhausting trying to stop her from being too rough with love.

She was a good girl going to bed that night too and has been well behaved ever since. I'm so proud of her and really enjoying her company these days. She's growing up so quickly. She's no longer a baby. She's now my little girl.

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