Our little girl is 3 today.
Last night, she helped Al and Dilly wrap a couple of presents for Pugsley, so that he would not feel left out (and not try to help open hers). This morning, she was up bright and early at her parents' bedside, wanting to give them to him. They went into the sitting room. She was chattering happily "Look, Pugsley, here are some presents for you because it's my birthday, come on and open them." "What about your presents, Squiffany?" said her father. She looked around. A chair was adorned with balloons and piled with parcels. "What's that? Has Father Christmas come?"
It had slipped her mind that you receive rather than give presents for your birthday. She soon adjusted to the idea though, and started unwrapping.
"Oh! That's lovely! It's just what I've always wanted - is it a game, Mummy?" Everything she opened was 'just what she'd always wanted'.
She's having a succession of small parties - one at toddler group this morning, another in the early afternoon and a third later on, when another friend is home from school. We're going at about 3 o'clock, when I get home from lunch.
I decided to buy art & craft-y things and some books. I went to both the toy and the art department of the only large family-owned department store left in the centre of Norwich. Everything aimed at small children was emblazoned "No Mess!", being designed to offer as little creativity and fun as possible. I put together some glittery paint, coloured paper and card, coloured pipe cleaners, tissue and crepe papers, some templates, pens and coloured pencils, playdough with cutters, glitter, confetti, cotton wool balls, a sponge and some brightly coloured brushes, wooden lolly sticks, a book on craft ideas (aimed at a rather older child, but there just wasn't anything and her mother can simplify it), a couple of story books and a cook book and have wrapped them all in bright paper with no sticky tape (so she can reuse it) and arranged them in a box.
A little book (The Owl and the Pussycat) and some coloured pencils and a colouring book for Pugsley.
And I'll offer my services for when they want to get messy. Fortunately, their mother and father are all in favour of creative mess.