Daffodil celebrated her 5th Birthday today. Her mother gave her a party, inviting about thirty kids. While we waited in the living room to see who would show up, her mother yelled, “What the CRAP!” in the kitchen.
Me: “You do know not to talk like Mama in front of other people, right?”
Mama: “Yes, we’ve had that talk already!”
The first arrival was a new neighbor, a first-grader named Owen. As they went downstairs to the basement room set up for the party, I could hear Daffodil confide in her new friend: “Papa says I shouldn’t talk like Mama. But I do it anyway.”
With the only guest for some time being a boy, a stranger, and someone older, things might have been uncomfortable, but Daffodil, is relentlessly friendly and got along with Owen very well. After a half hour or so, one of Mama’s friends, with two young sons and an infant girl, showed up, completing, as it turned out, the party.
When it came time to open presents, Daffodil struggled somewhat with the unwrapping. Owen, being older and wiser in the ways of the world, assisted her.
Daffodil: “Thank you, Josh.”
Josh’s mom: “His name is Owen. This is Josh.”
Daffodil: “Oh. Is it okay if I call you Josh from now on?”
Josh’s mom: “This is Josh. Owen has his own name.”
Daffodil: “Oh, awwight. Thank you for helping me Owen. Can you help me with this one, Owen? Thank you, OWEN. Just put it here, Owen. Thank you, OWEN.”
As each present was opened, Daffodil would say, “Oh! It’s just what I wanted!” or “I always wanted one of these!” or “It’s perfect!” so earnestly one simply had to believe she had been pining for these particular objects for months, until, later in the proceedings, she would hold one of them up and say, “But what is it?”
After Owen’s dad came and picked him up (“He wasn’t too bossy, was he?” “Ahahaha! No.”) I wrapped up Daffodil and took her away. In the car she was quiet, and when we got home she was quiet, and although she played quietly with some of her new toys, she became increasingly lethargic and started complaining of the cold. At first I thought, “Sugar crash. Post-Birthday Depression.” and tried to cheer her up, then I cuddled with her and noticed she was pretty warm, and sure enough, she had a temperature above 101 and climbing. A dose of acetaminophen improved her mood, but not her temperature, and being without ibuprofen I called her mom to get us some. In the event, she whisked Daffodil away so I can study tonight to be a Licensed Salt Miner for my new job, and instead, for the moment, anyway, I am doing this. At last report Daffodil’s fever is down somewhat, but she’s sneezing snotty sneezes and her neck muscles are starting to ache. Not the Best Birthday Ever, I’m afraid.