A month ago, our sweet Rebecca celebrated her sixth birthday. We had her family party on Thanksgiving, as we have for the past few years, but this year it was not hosted at our house, but at Jim's brother Mike's house. Rebecca was very excited that Uncle Mike and Aunt Missy were going to include her party in their Thanksgiving celebration. And it was a lot of fun.
Since we've hosted the past few Thanksgivings, at first I felt out of sorts that we weren't doing it this year. Then I realized that I *hate* the stress of planning, cleaning, shopping, organizing, etc. that comes at the same time that I am extremely busy at work. All we had to do for this year's party was to bring a cake and some balloons. We also provided dessert plates and napkins. I will be happy to host T-day again in the future, but it was a big deal to me to let go of feeling like I needed to be in control of it.
This year we did not have a "friend" party for Rebecca. Instead, I got tickets for her to go with her cousin Allison and me to see the Cheetah Girls in concert. This was a surprise for Becky; she didn't know where we were going until we picked up Allison. When Allison told her, she slid down in her seat and looked happily stunned. We were expecting a bigger reaction, but she really was thrilled. So the three of us trekked downtown to the concert venue. It was snowing that evening, and so I was a little concerned about driving across icy bridges and whatnot, but my trusty Odyssey kept me safely on the road. I had bought the tickets way back in August, because of an email I got from a local radio station with a "beat the box office" promotion. Turned out to be a good deal... the seats were two rows up from the floor, facing the mixing boards. Great seats! And we didn't have to stand during the show; we did have to turn to our right slightly but it wasn't bad. There was an opening act, three teen girls called the Clique Girlz. Not being Radio Disney listeners, none of us had heard of them prior to the show. They were, uh, not really the type of music I was interested in, nor the type I would want Becky to listen to... It seemed like the songs were all about boy chasing. They were 'tougher' looking, which is okay, but they were too young to carry it off, instead looking like they were dressing up for Halloween maybe? During the intermission between them and Cheetah Girls, Becky commented that "they were loud" and I could see she wasn't a fan.
Then the Cheetah Girls came out... and put on a fun show. Lots of cool stage sets, a number of wardrobe changes, a ton of dancing, and they sounded good too. At one point their (male) dancers were doing a number, as they would while the girls were changing outfits, but then the dancers made their way down the floor to the mixing boards. Suddenly the floor next to the boards comes up and *poof* there were the Cheetahs... very close to where we were sitting! Becky's eyes went very wide at the sight. We all really enjoyed the show; I was wondering if I would be bored, but had listened to their latest CD a couple of times before the show and realized that I like the upbeat music. It's not deep stuff, but I could see where it would be good music to dance to, or just to inspire a good mood.
So that was Rebecca's first real concert experience. She is loving being six, as it feels much older than five to her. She's tall, taller than most of her classmates in Kindergarten though there are a couple who are bigger. She loves school and does her best every day. She's a good reader already, having cracked the code over the spring and summer, but is still getting a lot out of the reading classes. Handwriting was her bane early on; she was frustrated that it didn't come easily to her. As she worked on homework sheets, practicing letter formation, she complained bitterly early in the year. I've explained to her that practice is what will help her to do better, and she's starting to see the truth in my words. Her teacher told us at open house that Rebecca is a joy to have in class, that she stays with the class even when she already understands what is being taught, and that she reads to her classmates.
Finally (to her) some of her teeth are starting to loosen. She can put her tongue between her bottom front teeth, and it looks like they will be the first to go. The top two are a bit loose as well, and our dentist told her earlier this month that it won't be long. As much as Rebecca wants those holes in her mouth, I will miss the baby teeth. Baby teeth smiles are just so charming to me, and seeing the big teeth grow in just brings home that the child is growing up. I know it's inevitable, and really I'm okay with that, but we've had such fun so far.
Rebecca has her challenges too. She is already asking for things because "everyone else has" the items in question, especially Webkinz. Do you know that some of her friends have ten Webkinz? This was news to me, and I assured her that we would not be catching up to her friends... she has more toys than she can play with now. I did have a poignant exchange with her the other night about "stuff". We were in the drugstore waiting for a prescription to be filled. Inevitably we ended up in the toy aisle. She pointed out an e-Pet that she liked and started talking about Littlest Pet Shop toys. Whenever we are at Target, she shows me tiny LPS toys at the register (you know, in the 'impusle buy' area) and begs me to buy them. I never do, because they are collections of tiny pieces of Chinese made plastic junk and I know they will either be scattered throughout the house, or eaten by Trixie. Last night Becky told me that some of the kids at school have LPS toys, and when they are playing, they tell her she can't play with them because they are only playing with LPS and so she's not invited since she doesn't have them. Oh, my poor girl... I didn't know this. I told her that she should have put them on her Christmas list. I remember only too well the pain of exclusion because I was out of step with other kids, so this just hurt my heart.
She is a big American Girl doll fan, since she got a Bitty Baby for Christmas one year. Her dream came true this birthday, when her Aunt Barbie and family gave her money to buy her own AG doll. She picked out a "Just like me" doll that she has named Molly. Just before her birthday, her Grandma Monahan treated Rebecca and me to an AG fashion show. What fun it was... so many girls with their dolls there. It was a benefit for a local children's hospital (shhh, my employer's competition but I won't tell if you won't) and they had a raffle with some nice items. There was a set of Bitty Twins with a stroller, a Bitty Baby 'starter set', Kit and Ruthie dolls, a food concession stand set, etc. Grandma had bought some raffle tickets and I bought some more. We let Becky put tickets in for whichever prizes she wanted. She wanted to put one in for the Bitty Baby set, which I thought was pointless since she already has a BB (named Polly - see the link to above?) but she went ahead and toss a ticket in. Oh, and they had a Kit Kittredge tree house - very cool. They drew the raffle names at the end of the show and as they drew for the first prize, I hear my name being called! I had put my name on the tickets instead of Becky's for some reason. Guess which prize we won... the Bitty Baby starter kit!! Along with the doll, we got a crib, mobile, bouncy seat, and some blankets and clothing. Wow... good thing I had the trusty Odyssey because there were two huge boxes of stuff. Grandma and Becky waited for me to bring the car to the door. While they were waiting Becky told Grandma that she wanted to give the doll to Carly... it only made sense to her that since she already had a Bitty Baby, that her sister could have one too. Grandma and I were both touched and impressed. How easy it would have been for her to keep the second doll, but she definitely wanted Carly to have her. This generosity messed up Grandma's Christmas gift plan for Carly, but she didn't mind at all. Carly was thrilled when we got home with the loot and she learned that she had become a Bitty Babymama. Her BB is Sophia and she enjoys having her. They play with their dolls together and it's fun to listen to.
Rebecca is still a drama queen, very jealous of attention Carly receives, continually telling me that Carly "gets more" "has more" "is loved more", none of which is true, but I haven't figured out a way to convince Becky of this. It's something Jim and I need to keep working on. Her clinginess to me has decreased, which is good. Hopefully as she continues to mature it will recede into memory.
All in all though, she is so very sweet and loving... so good to her little sister most of the time, kind to the dogs, and funny and smart. I continue to be so in love with her.
Here are a few recent photos... from the American Girl show, the Polar Express train ride, and at the top of this post, her birthday celebration. You can see that Rebecca is royalty!