As I explained in this post, I was so ready for today. I had been gone all weekend at this conference so this morning was the first time my daughter had seen me since she ran off to her playground Wednesday morning. (Remember, our weekends are Thursday/Friday.) She poked her head out of her room before it was waking time. I followed her back in, even as she pointed out that her clock was still blue (sleeping time). As we sat down to snuggle she gave me a huge hug. I was thrilled for this tenderly strong embrace. I told her how happy I was to see her. She beamed at me and said, "It's your birthday!"
The day went by and I was exhausted from my weekend and lack of sleep. I really could have come home, taken a hot bath, climbed in bed, and crashed for the night. I didn't think that was a three year olds idea of a birthday evening. When we asked her what needed to happen she chirped, "Cake!"
Neither my husband nor I really like cake so I suggested ice cream with was greeted with a grin. What I really wanted was a big salad, followed (or proceeded) by ice cream. The restaurant that had the salad I was thinking about is across town and G's bed time would be missed by a long shot. Plus we would have to stop somewhere else for the ice cream.
I then remembered an Italian restaurant close to our house that starts with a nice salad and has gelato. Bingo! It is a place my husband and I have been to a couple of times when G is on her monthly playdate. It was introduced to me by a girl friend a year ago in celebration of her March birthday. We knew G would like pasta and ice cream, occasionally she even gets excited about salad. What we had no idea about was the kids' menu.
As with many family restaurants the kids' menu comes with colored pencils. This one was an entire book with stickers and at least a dozen activity pages, very cool! They had pizza, which is always her first choice. They even put her order in as we sat down. Another sign of a great family place. We had barely ordered when they came out with her pizza, but it wasn't piping hot ready for her to eat. This was a premade pizza dough with the toppings for her to make her own pizza! We loved this restaurant before, but now we are enchanted.
After we all enjoyed our salads, bread, and entrees it as time for ice cream. Birthdays are not to be celebrated here and we were in public, but I knew it wasn't going to fly without a candle. I asked the server if he would light the tea candle on the table, which he did. J and G proceeded to sing to me and I successfully blew out the candle. The three-year-old's needs were met and we each grabbed a spoon. We had ordered dulce de leche, chocolate, and coffee (one of J's favorites) to share. G plunged her spoon into the coffee. We warned her that she might not like it so to take a small taste first. After a tentative lick she shoved the spoon into her mouth, smiling, and heading back for more.
Ice cream enjoyed, we headed home. After an emergency potty stop along the way (practicing her camping skills of squatting is important) we arrived at home and zoomed through the bed time routine. I wanted to now have that bath and be in bed shortly, but I still had this post to write.
Between then and now I got to sit on the couch and talk with my best friend for a couple of hours. I love that. Now I am on my way to bed.