For me, one of the unexpected joys of having a busy toddler has been going to other children’s birthday parties. I know it sounds funny, but I love watching my crazy, curious little lady interact with other kids — and do new activities like sports, art, and Gymboree. Emma Vance is not shy at all and (especially in large group settings) rather undisciplined. The whole “undisciplined” thing is my fault to an extent; I actually enjoy watching her explore freely, although it does make for some awkward moments since she loves to be front and center — even at other kid’s birthdays! ;)
Emma Vance’s friend, Emery, just turned two, and we celebrated with her at her fabulous, bunny-themed birthday soiree (adorable and so sweet) this weekend. Ashley, Emery’s mom, hired a music teacher to entertain the kids (and moms!), and it was a huge hit! I’ve been meaning to sign E.V. up for a music class, but it seems that there’s always some sort of scheduling conflict (like swim lessons, preschool or , oh, you know, having a newborn baby to care for). I was thrilled, of course, for E.V. to get a taste of what music class would be like (and to test it out before committing), and so was she. There was drum-banging, scarf-dancing, singing along to “Let It Go” (of course) and piano-banging (her favorite). Emma Vance has always loved anything music-related, so for Christmas we got her a guitar and ukele, but we hadn’t yet introduced a piano…until this party! She was fascinated with the keyboard (and a bit rough with it, although the teacher said it was okay), banging away with her hands…and toys…and other musical instruments…and pretty much anything she could get her hands on. After a wonderful afternoon of destroying my poor friend’s house (Sorry, she’s a toddler tornado!), E.V. came home and (after a looooong nap) ran to our garage and immediately hopped on top of some boxes to reach the piano we have stored in the corner. She’s never really taken an interest in it before, but she tinkered away on that old clunker for 30 minutes, making me so happy. What an awesome impact a birthday party can have!
On a side note, at the same party I had one of the scariest and funniest moments with E.V. yet: Toward the end, everyone was outside in the front yard blowing bubbles. I turned my back on Emma Vance for about two seconds, and when I turned back around, she was gone. Gone. I panicked for a moment. Was she in the street with cars driving by?!?! I couldn’t find her outside, so I ran back inside, but the house was silent and pretty empty. I heard a little rustling in the kitchen, and as I walked into the room, E.V. came into view, someone’s random, used fork in her hand, gobbling up leftover cake. She grinned at me, then moved onto the next deserted/desserted plate. (See what I did there? ;) ) My sweet-toothed little lady was so excited about the “cake” that one cupcake wasn’t enough apparently! She had snuck back inside to indulge a bit more. Ha! All I could do was laugh…and let her have her cake (and everyone else’s) and eat it, too!