Claire’s second birthday started off with an omelet, which I managed to cook in our torn up kitchen, which is in the middle of being remodeled by Claire’s favorite handyman, Arvydas. I had to work my way through some construction rubbage just to get to the refrigerator and prepare the omelet with paper plates and a plastic spoon, finally cooking it on our one available pan. Among the construction rubbage, I discovered a 3-foot-long section of quarterround with several old nails sticking out at bent angles, laying in the corner. That probably qualifies as a child hazard, and arguably as a regulated weapon.
The first order of business today was, not coincidentally, Claire’s two-year checkup at the doctor. Claire was somewhat scared and suspicious from her previous experiences with ear infection and shots. During the ear prodding, she did some pretty good resisting and crying, and I had to hold her arms and head still. Then afterwards Claire collected herself and declared, “I’m okay” with a sheepish smile. Claire’s height and weight are both now very close to 50% percentile, down from her earlier slightly above normal numbers. Claire was again pretty freaked out, understandably, about being held down and poked with needles for her flu and hep-a vaccinations. She did her best to collect herself again, but it was the lolipop at the checkout line that really calmed her down and kept her quiet in the car all the way to see Grace and Reese.
Grace and Reese greeted her at the door singing “Happy Birthday”, which was a really nice surprise, and very sweet, especially considering that Grace does not speak much English. Reese had a present ready for Claire which he was really dying to “help” her open. Claire was still fully absorbed in her lolipop at that point and was not very interested in the present. So Reese ran off and did Claire the favor of opening the present for her. It turned out to be a new Thomas train; this one was girly and named Rosie, like Calliou’s sister. How nice! (Reese also thought so, and he “helped” Claire play with the new train all day.)
Apparently Claire and Reese each had another lolipop later in the day, and on the drive home Claire suggsted, “I want a lolipop for dinner. Lolipops are gooooood!” Coldly disregarding Claire’s dinner suggestion, we all went to out dinner at Moe’s for Claire’s favorite real food, quesadillas. She got a sticker and a little plastic guy there from Happy, the very friendly Moe’s guy, and she played a fun peekaboo game with a little girl about 5 years old.
Arriving at home, along with cards and phone messages from the grandparents who we had just seen a couple of days before, two new packages were waiting. They were from the Popes next door. They always remember Claire’s birthday because she was born exactly the day old Aubry Pope died, and they seem to be big fans of Claire. One present was a great big Winnie the Pooh “find it” book from Faye. The other was a beautiful doll in a glass display case. We went next door to thank them and have a nice visit. Well, Kit had a nice visit anyways. Claire spent most of the time wandering around their huge, smoky, maze-like house, and I spent most the time shadowing her to make sure she did not break something or fall down the stairs or just get lost. Claire really liked playing with the cat toys. It turns out the Popes hand-made the display case, and they explained that while Claire may be a little too young for the gifts, she could enjoy them in the years to come.
Finally we all split a birthday cupcake and put Claire to bed a little late. It seemed like a pretty nice day for Claire, even if she didn’t really understand what all the lolipops and cupcakes and presents were about. We actually ran out of time to give Claire the presents from us and some of the ones still waiting from her grandparents. So much fun, so little time!