10:35 (the night before the party): Mark and I assemble the dollhouse and set it up in her room.
10:55: Mark and I put up the traditional "Happy Birthday" banner in her room and run streamers this way and that across her room. As we are leaving her room, I whisper, "I hope these don't scare her in the morning."
1:20 AM: I wake from a deep sleep to a timid "Mama? Mama?" coming from the monitor. It stops shortly so I go back to sleep.
1:34 AM: I am awakened again by a "Mama? Mama?" It grows quickly into "Mommy?! MOMMY?!" I run upstairs to gather my little girl in my arms. She points to the door indicating that she'd like to leave NOW. I quickly take the streamers down and soothe her back to sleep.
2:10 AM: Again I hear her say "Mama? Mama?" but it's not so insistent. I wonder if her eyes have just readjusted after being flooded by the hallway light and that now she has discovered the treasure of a new dollhouse. But after just two calls, she's quiet.
8:10 AM: I hear her calling me again in the monitor, only the fright in her voice has been replaced by delight. I go upstairs to find her bouncing up and down in her bed, a huge grin on her face, pointing at the new dollhouse. "Silly girl," I tell her, "you can get out of bed and play with it. You don't have to wait for me!"
9:30 AM: The Princess opts to skip breakfast to play with her dollhouse, and we have to pull her away from her play to attend a brunch for about 50 friends from our old church. On the way to our friend's house, she repeats over and over again, "babies", "mommy", "daddy". I wonder what is going through her mind as she ponders her Fisher Price Loving Family with Twins!
2:00 PM: We are back home so the Princess can resume her play.
4:00 PM: Dana and Papa arrive to share in the celebration of the beginning of a third year of life. After some splashing in the pool and dinner, the Princess is absolutely delighted by her Lilo and Stitch cake. she eagerly attempts to blow out the candles on her "Ditch" cake and is equally pleased that there are more presents to open.
8:00 PM: After cake and more playtime, a tired little Princess goes to bed.
As a side note, sometime down the road, I will embarrass the boys by relating to them the hours they spent intrigued in Dollhouse play with their sister. They have in fact named the twins Grace and Jack and play patiently side-by-side with their little sister. For now, however, I shall simply revel in the fact that my children are playing so gloriously well together!