Oh, how we love Cholita.
Oh, how Cholita exhausts us.
I never thought I'd say this, but I kind of miss interferon. I don't miss the actual shots of course, I just miss the naps. Cholita has so much energy. She's constantly busy, both physically and mentally. Endlessly entertaining, but busy. I'm convinced that she'll someday move mountains with her zesty determination, but on a smaller scale, she can also wear us to a frazzle.
Case in point: the birthday money. Our children have generous grandparents who send them money on their birthdays. In the past, our kids have never batted an eye when I put the grandparent money in their savings accounts. After all, they were still getting birthday presents, right? Well, Cholita took her money and carried it with her everywhere in a little purple wooden box. There was no way I was putting that money into the bank without the use of physical force. She told me she intended to buy a beautiful party dress with matching shoes and a hair accessory. I reminded her that she wasn't really lacking in the dress department and that she was most certainly not lacking in the shoe department. The hair accessory? O.K., maybe she could buy that, but the rest should go in the bank so she could learn the value of saving. She wouldn't hear of it. Daily, probably hourly, she found ways to work her beautiful party dress and lovely shoes into any conversation:
"Cholita, do you want syrup on your pancakes?"
"Yes, and it's a good thing I'm not wearing my new party dress that I'll buy with my own money because I might drip syrup on it, right, mom?"
"Let's go pick up Lucy from school."
"O.K., but here's an idea. Wouldn't she be surprised if I came to her school wearing a beautiful party dress and shoes? Her friends always say I'm cute and now they would really think I'm cute in a new dress."
I swear, she should be a telephone solicitor. For the sake of my sanity, I carted her and her little purple box to the mall yesterday and gave her free reign. After stops at Gymboree and Gap Kids, it was obvious that she was not interested in practical clothing; she was looking for glamour and bling. She found it a J.C. Penny's. She was, I'll admit, surprisingly savvy. She asked about prices and did pick an item that was on sale. She was giddy when she handed the saleslady one $50 bill and was given lots of bills in return. "You are so nice," she said to the woman, who offered her stickers and came around the counter to give her a birthday hug. As we got on the escalator, Cholita, holding her garment bag high, said, "Sometimes people take all of your money; sometimes they are nice and give you even more, you just never know."
Feeling even more wealthy than before we walked into J.C. Penny's, she led the way to Claire's Boutique where she picked a floral hair adornment. At the checkout, the woman told her that she could buy a second hair bobble for half off. Cholita's mouth hung open. "That is so nice." The woman very helpfully showed her several things located right there at the cash register. Cholita picked the sparkliest and we were on our way to Payless.
This is where things got interesting. In typical Cholita fashion, she was drawn like a magnet to the red shoes. "Cholita, there's no red in your dress, and you already have three pairs of red shoes at home and I just don't think....." Cholita cut me off when she saw the shoes of her dreams: shiny black tap shoes with satiny ribbons. "This is what a want," she said with confidence. "But you know that these are dancing shoes, not shoes to wear with your new party dress, right?" She was already taking off her red sparkly shoes, the shoes that I'd initially told her were just for dress-up and were not to leave the house, but were obviously now being worn out in public. "These will be perfect," she said as she tied the ribbons and danced a jig on the carpet. 'They'll be a lot noisier at home," she reassured me. "Yes, I'm sure they will."
And then, mercifully, she saw another pair of shoes. They matched her dress. They were fancy. They had the tiniest smudge of a heel. She threw off the tap shoes and tried on "the grown up shoes", as she called them. She showed two elderly women how the cream-colored shoes so perfectly matched the cream-colored swirls on her beautiful party dress and they agreed that she had made an excellent choice and would most certainly be a vision.
And she was. She loves the shoes so much in fact that it was hard to catch her looking at the camera.
I have to admit, she picked well, even if the purchase was frivolous, even if she hasn't learned any lessons in frugality.
She did have the birthday of her dreams. She loved all of her presents: a baseball bat (because she's not just a girlie-girl), a princess dress-up set (O.K., she's heavy on the girlie girl), a hula hoop (a requested item), and a jump rope (something that I thought might take the edge off a bit).
I was glad that I'd had her specify when she told me she wanted the hula thing.
I thought she meant a grass skirt.
Even in the dark, I could see she was blushing when we sang to her.
Happy birthday to our sweet, tenacious, well-dressed five year old.
We love you.