Happy Birthday, Pudding!
Pudding’s birthday was on Tuesday, so we had her party on Sunday at an outdoor venue, so Sunday was the coldest and rainiest summer day I’ve known in Johannesburg. Her friends still came, and they frolicked in the mud, but we were missing the bouncy castle and water slide action we’d been hoping for.
Of course, her actual birthday was typically gorgeous and sunny, and we celebrated that indoors in two different classrooms.
The first stop was Pudding’s kindergarten. I’d found a book for Pudding’s birthday that had a female character with the same name. Given that all female characters become Pudding, I knew she’d love it. The story was sweet and tied in with some themes they’d already done at school. I was looking forward to reading it.
But before that, they performed the sweetest ceremony. They sat in a circle with Pudding in the middle in her birthday hat. The each child took it in turns to pay her a compliment. I just about melted, as I listened to boys and girls only 5 or 6 themselves tell Pudding she had beautiful eyes, or they liked the way she made them laugh, or wears HelloKitty clothes all the time. I think all of us could use a compliments circle from time to time.
After story time we ate Hello Kitty cupcakes. Then I watched Pudding watch the other kids dance, get coaxed into a dance by her teacher, then decide to dance along with the other kids. If that doesn’t sum up inclusion in the classroom, I don’t know what does!
Next I collected Cubby from school, and the three of us went to Pudding’s therapy centre to celebrate there, with yet more Hello Kitty cupcakes and lollipops for the GFCF crowd. I loved handing out sweet stuff for free for little ones who normally have to work for it in therapy.
We were never going to let the weather ruin her birthday, but I hope it treats us better next year. After all, it will be the last one for her in South Africa. I find that even harder to believe than the fact my baby is already six years old!