Thursday, June 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, Ballerina Princess Vi

Miss ViolaMae, aka ViMae, aka Vi, is three years old today, and she's pretty excited about it. To her, it means she's a big girl now.

Some months ago, she decided she'd be potty trained when she was three (but not before, thank you). Over Memorial Day weekend she pretty much made the entire transition. At our house, she's been proudly self-sufficient with only a couple of accidents. As Peter points out, we may have acquired the last diaper we'll ever use in this house...until we need them ourselves.

Almost as big a deal as the potty training, she got to ride the carousel all by herself today. Our safety rules say kids must be 3 or older to ride alone, so until now she's always had a grownup standing next to her. It was a thrill for Peter to take her today (they went while I was driving Augie to preschool), and the nice thing is that she'll be just as excited when she returns with Mom, Dad, and Brother to share her new status.

We like to do a series of pre-birthday presents for both kids, partly as a way to freshen the daycare experience. This week's gifts have included a ballet/princess-style crown of flowers and a wand, more animals for the World's Largest Lego Zoo, and paints and paint brushes. We made cookies with pink sprinkles and held a tea party with the dolls. (Augie got a doll that he named Bob, who apparently plans a career as a Builder and who ViMae thinks she might marry.)

In our first couple of years together, Augie regularly made big demands on my attention. Not that I minded; I was (and am) head-over-heels for the guy. But we had all kinds of activities for which he wanted my undivided attention - and in which Vi didn't seem to care to participate. So instead, she spent lots of time with Pa. It was never all that one-sided; we always made a point of switching off so we could be sure to develop our relationships with both kids. And of course we do lots of things all together.

In the weeks and months, Vi and I have really deepened our relationship and have found all kinds of new things that we love doing together. She spends big parts of each day nestling with me as we read, color, do little crafty things, watch the eagle or loon camera, or just talk.

With no prompting from anyone, she emerged as a girlie-girl who loves pink, fairies, princesses, ballerinas, tutus, butterflies, etc. I never wanted to be guilty of nudging her in that direction, but now that she's gotten there on her own, I'm more than happy to indulge. (I heard a psychologist say that little girls go through a period in which the Princess helps them build their gender identity, and it's not really as insipid or threatening as it may seem)

And all the while, I'm praising her strength (she is an amazing climber and would be a good gymnast, I think) and her courage (she is fearless both physically and socially, so she holds her own even on a playground crowded with bigger kids). I'm not the only one to give her these messages, it's just that she and I seem to be finding more things that we like doing together, so I am finding new opportunities to give positive messages in my own way, in the context of our own relationship.

I find myself thinking of all sorts of new things we can do together to build on her interests. And suddenly I'm realizing, wow, it's about to be summer and we won't see her much, and next year she'll be in preschool three afternoons a week, and omigosh time is going by so quickly.....

I was saying that (about both kids) to my sister's husband yesterday, and he said, "Yes, and the year after that they'll be graduating from college." All I could think was, "I hope I'm around for a good long time yet, because there's so much for us to do together." I love you Viola Mae. Happy Birthday, Princess.

12 comments:

Midlife Jobhunter said...

"we may have acquired the last diaper we'll ever use in this house...until we need them ourselves."


hahahahahahaha - I can appreciate that.

I hope for many, many years for you and Viola Mae.

Teresa Evangeline said...

Yeah, I love that line, too. ViMae is a real sweetie. I'm certain you'll have many years to enjoy each others company. I love that Augie has a doll named Bob... And I can relate to the line from your sister's husband. Time seems to go swiftly. It sounds like you'll enjoy every minute.

DJan said...

What a wonderful time you're having with the grands, and she is definitely more than adorable. It's so true that they grow up incredibly fast while you're not looking... :-)

Jeanie said...

I have just recently thought that it seems like my grandkids are growing up even faster than my own kids did.
Happy birthday to your precious little princess.

Retired English Teacher said...

Viola Mae is just precious. I envy you for being able to spend all of that time with your grandchildren. They are so fortunate to have you, Blissed-out Grandma, in their lives. You are giving them experiences and memories that they will build on for a lifetime. This how life should be. Enjoy the time with them because it will fly by faster than when you had your own children.

Linda Myers said...

What a lovely relationship you have with your granddaughter!

WhisperingWriter said...

Aww.

I hope she has a happy birthday.

#1Nana said...

You are so lucky to be a daily presence in your grandchildren's lives. I'm looking forward to visiting mine in a few weeks and we will do many of the same things. My girls, 3 and 5, both enjoy doing "projects" with nana. I always pack craft projects in my suitcase.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Happy Birthday Beautiful ViMae..three..and she is a big girl now!! She gets to do more big girl stuff with you, I know I enjoyed this time of discovery with my grands when they were at this age. Give me a two or three year old any day..versus a teenager!
Aubrey next door was three last month, I got her a tutu and a princess tiara and some rings..her Grandma bought her some heels..oh she had the best time getting dressed up!
Enjoy you time with her..they grow up so fast:)

gayle said...

She's a little doll! Wishing her a Happy Birthday! You are such a wonderful Grandma!

400 Wakeups said...

Happy Birthday, Vi!! I'm a couple of days late but as any proper princess will tell you, it's perfectly acceptable to make your birthday last ALL month long! Let's not put them in college just yet...I think we may have just a few more tea parties to attend.

Deb Shucka said...

How wonderful that you have each other. She's a beauty for sure!

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