Whew - it's Sunday evening and I think I need a weekend to recover from my weekend. Haha.
Today is St. Patrick's Day, of course...and also today is my SEVEN year Blogoversary. I can't believe I started this lil' ole blog 7 years ago today. My, how life has changed in seven short years!
March is a month of a lot of birthdays for Paprika's classmates - we have four birthday parties to attend in the next two weeks. Good thing I stocked up on birthday presents last July when Target had its 75% off toy sale! Ha!
On Saturday, one of Paprika's classmates had a party at the local bouncy place. Siblings were not invited - so that meant we just dropped Paprika off at the party. Then the rest of us went out to lunch while she had her party with her classmate friends. Here is the gift that Paprika wrapped and the little card she made. I thought the card was so cute and sweet (she did it all herself):
Here is the inside. I am glad I took a picture of it. I don't always remember to do that - but I am always so happy to have the little memory of the cards she writes. I love them!
Today (St. Patrick's Day) - Another one of Paprika's classmates had a birthday party. This party was at a "Tea Room" and I figured Paprika would like it. Mr. M is home this weekend (he starts working weekends on DWTS next week) - so I took Paprika to it by myself. I didn't realize until yesterday that the party was a 45 minute drive from our house. And again, siblings were NOT invited. So, that left Ginger and Violet out of the mix.
I do understand why siblings are not invited - but wow, it really hurts my heart to have to tell Ginger two days in a row that she can't go to a party her sister is attending. Paprika and Ginger are the very best of friends and it's just not easy.
Plus, family time is really important to me. I feel like I need to focus on what will strengthen our bond as a family - what will be long term beneficial to our girls. I work really hard to create strong sibling relationships - to not have jealousy or hurt feelings. And so everything in my heart today was going against taking Paprika to the party (even though it was a lovely party).
Even so, Paprika had a great time - here she is on the little stage they had:
Here is the Tea Room where they dined and had cake:
I don't think I've ever seen so much pink! Haha:
They did hair (with glitter, gel, and hairspray), makeup, nail polish, wore princess dresses, high heels, etc. It was not really my cup of tea (hardeeharhar)- but the girls had fun with it. And considering this may be the only time Paprika has hairspray in her hair until she gets married, I didn't mind it too much:
So, back to the whole "birthday party siblings not invited" thing...
It's a real balance - because on one hand, I do want Paprika to have friendships with her classmates, and I don't want her to miss out on these types of parties. But bottom line - her friendships with her siblings will last a lifetime, and this party today took up my whole Sunday. I rarely see Mr. M as it is because he works so much - so for me to be away from him, Ginger, and Violet all day today (and spend 90 minutes in the car driving) - it really made me sad.
From now on, I am just going to take these parties on a case by case basis. If something is 45 minutes away and siblings are not invited, then we will not be going to it. It just doesn't work for our family. A drop-off party when Mr. M is working anyway? Well, I think we might be able to do that. Again, it just goes back to what feels right and I have to keep Ginger's feelings especially in mind.
A lot of the kids in Paprika's class have playdates with eachother, and we don't really do that. Part of it is that whenever a child comes to play, either they play with Ginger and leave Paprika out of it. Or they play with Paprika and Ginger is ignored. I know kids will be kids, and that's reality. But, as the parent, that's not okay with me. Sorry.
My kids have really close relationships and are super bonded, and that is not by accident. There is just not room for anything that gets in the way of their love and respect for each other. It's something that is a big priority in our family, and so far it's worked out because my girls love each other, don't fight, and they are one another's greatest advocates and confidants (and co-conspirators - haha). When we pick up Paprika from school every day, Ginger runs to her and they hug and kiss like they haven't seen one another in eons.
I'll step off my soapbox now - haha. I just think you have to know what works for your family - and honestly, if my family dynamics were different, I would probably have loved taking Paprika to these parties today and yesterday.
Part of it is a frustration with myself. I am still learning so much as a mom, and with Paprika as my first child sometimes I falter and make judgment calls and later wish I'd chosen differently. The bright side is that I am learning so much that I will hopefully be able to apply in the future. Maybe I should be less hard on myself - it is the first time I've had a six year old, after all.
I am reminded of that Louisa May Alcott quote: “I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”
I guess figuring all this out goes with the territory of parenthood - and next time something like this comes up, I'll be stronger and know how to handle it better.
In closing, here are a few photos that make me smile. This is what weekends are all about for me. This is what makes my heart sing and lifts my spirits: