FlutterBug’s Birthday

posted by saltybug.com 22/04/2015 2 Comments

Pink and Pretty

Our FlutterBug has turned three. We are not quite sure how it has happened so fast, but it has. One minute she is our little baby, now she is a little girl who melts us with her hugs and kisses, smiles and giggles.  Her birthday fell last Saturday and the end of the story is this. FB had a great day. It was filled with all the things she loves – presents, pink stuff, cake, honey joys and sausage rolls, a party, friends, fireworks, staying up late and lots of love.

I had been feeling pretty low about the upcoming birthday. You see, BB had his birthday party before we left Australia and since then FB has had her heart set on a big birthday party for herself. The cake, the gifts, the friends – the whole lot. We are only seven weeks into our new life, and we just don’t know enough people yet and we don’t have the space or furniture requirements to cater a party. FB had been talking about it for weeks, asking when her friends were coming. BB keeps asking how their friends from home are going to get here, and when that will be and will the party be at our ‘new special home?’ They are both homesick and missing their friends and it is just breaking my heart. It makes life here that little bit more difficult. A burden I carry in my heart.

The week before her birthday, I went shopping for gifts and aside from the fact I usually over indulge on birthdays; I was also driven by guilt. So it is fair to say that FB’s love of gifts was satisfied on her big day.

FB has also had this recent transformation – she started wearing dresses. I should correct myself here; she

FB in her birthday dress tasting her cake

wears a Sofia the First dress. This child, who would scream if I tried to put a dress near her, one day walked into a shop, saw a purple dress and that was it. Those with three year old children know how obsessive they get with particular items of clothing. So, after a significant number of photo’s were put on my personal Facebook page of FB wearing this dress over the course of a few weeks it was suggested by friends that I buy her a new one. I thought some tee-shirts would suffice; apparently that is not the same as a poofy dress. So I took FB shopping where she was fussed over, dressed up like a doll, paraded around and cooed and clucked over by a number of shop assistants. At the end, we had purchased a lovely pink Sofia the First dress and that was her birthday dress.

On the morning of her birthday, FB woke with a smile and delighted in ripping the paper off her mound of gifts. Her dad, as is our birthday custom, made pancakes and today’s pancakes were purple to celebrate! The children spent the morning playing while I decorated FB’s cake. BB and FB were the official taste testers for the butter cream icing and when FB saw the piping bag in my hand she insisted on helping with the decorating. She said she loved what I had done with the cake, having the icing graduating from pink to white, and piping a love heart on the top edge but she felt the top of the cake needed more love hearts. That was her request after all – to have hearts on her cake to match the heart on her new dress. With her little sticky hands holding mine, together we piped hearts all over the top of the cake until she said it was ‘perfect’.

I came up with a solution to the lack of friends for a big party. It featured a small party and fireworks, and thankfully FB thought it was a fabulous idea. My friend who has two boys kindly offered her place for a get-together so we had a little afternoon tea party with pink pom poms hanging from the ceiling and balloons scattered about. The children played and I made Ivy’s favourite foods. Honey joys and sausage rolls followed by the birthday cake.

Manila Bay has a side show vibe

There was this moment, it was only brief, but it was there just after we arrived at our friend’s house. We had arrived and FB knew we were going to her ‘party’. I guess she had been thinking all her friends would be there, what with this being a ‘party’ after all. She was too little to fully understand. FB walked down the stairs to the play area and looked around, taking it all in. Then after a few minutes she stopped and had a look on her face. It was like she realized her friends from home were not only absent, they were not coming at all. There was sadness and

Captivated by the lights

disappointment in those eyes. This moment was fleeting, passing by unnoticed by anyone else.

But I saw it and in that moment my heart shattered like fine glass. I told FB she could eat the honey joys, and it was over. FB suddenly caught up in the fun of playing with the new friends who were here celebrating with us.
After we finished the cake we packed up and drove down to Manila Bay to watch the fireworks. FB was so excited to have fireworks on her birthday. When I had put this idea to her the week before, every day since she had talked about it. This had helped me feel better about her not having a lot of friends here. Squished into one car we all headed off, the clock ticking down.

Fireworks are every weekend down at Manila Bay

It was so important for us to make it on time, as the highlight of the day for FB was seeing these fireworks. My mind was racing as we were stuck in traffic. What would we do to make up for this if we don’t make it? As the Mall of Asia was in sight, we were pulled over by a police officer. We had 10 minutes left to get to the Bay. Our friend argued with the police officer who had pulled us over as he had seen a ‘westerner’ driving and saw a meal ticket. Sure enough, cash in hand to ‘pay the fine’ the officer smiled and waved us off. Just another of the annoyances over here.

Riding high after a lovely day

At last we made it to the Bay, my friend and I jumped out roadside with the kids and our partners went off to park the car. With four small children in tow we rushed as fast as we could, and we made it to the edge of the Bay just as the fireworks started. Phew! That was close! We made it to where the crowd had gathered in time to catch the finale. FB was happy. We were relieved. FB’s birthday plans had worked. We went on a ride called ‘Barn Stormers’ with little airplane cars, and the children had a great evening looking at the bright lights and bustling activity of the Bay. We finished with a late dinner and headed home with a very delighted FlutterBug. Her birthday was a success. I slept well that night, relief like a wave lulling me into sleep.

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Marie Loerzel 23/04/2015 at 5:04 am

We worry so much as mothers that we have to make everything perfect. And yet, everything goes imperfectly and sometimes just works itself out in it's own way.

SaltyBug 23/04/2015 at 9:39 pm

Very true Marie, I'd love to see the percentage of time we spend worrying about our children, how they are feeling, how they are coping, 'what if'…I am really surprised by how worried I was about FB's birthday, because on Sunday morning I woke up like it was a new beginning. Thanks for checking in xxx


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