Miriam’s Birthday

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Birthday photo before school.

Miriam turned FIVE on December 3.  She begged for a braid in her hair and she wanted it so badly she even sat still.  I do not excel in hair styling so I was really pleased that it looked nice, and it even stayed in all day.  I took a few pictures of her and I don’t often see resemblances in my children, but I think she definitely looks like me in the photo on the bottom right.  

That night when we went to dinner our friends were shocked that we made her wait all day to open her presents.  I know that a lot of people open birthday gifts in the morning, but it always feels too rushed, and until we moved to London, Richard was never around in the mornings.   

I’m a bit of a dead-beat mother when it comes to birthday celebrations at school.  But it’s hard to know how teachers feel about it, it seems like each class is different.  Not to mention the food allergies and preferences of parents about their children receiving treats at school.  AND providing goodie-bags or even cupcakes for all four of my kids in their classes could get expensive.  So I didn’t do anything for Mim at school, and she was disappointed, but I didn’t feel too badly about it.  My kids are not deprived.  

At first I let Miriam choose which restaurant she wanted to eat her birthday dinner at, but then I over-rode her decision. Poor girl. I had heard of a double-decker bus that had been converted into a pizza restaurant so I suggested that, and she was sold.  We invited our friends Mike and Cindy to come too.  (With Kayden and Tyler.) 

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All of the kids. They were so wild and crazy that some other restaurant guests went to the upper level of the bus to get out of ear-shot. Miriam loves Tyler, she dotes on him like he is a baby.

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Eli looking silly, Kayden looking fierce, and Cameron looking like he is in a pizza coma.

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Simon driving the pizza bus.

After dinner we went home for cake and ice cream and to open Miriam’s gifts.  Mike and Cindy were joking about how cruel it is to let her open her gifts and then send her straight to bed.  Which is exactly what ended up happening. 

“Here are some lovely toys to look at but you can’t play with them! Goodnight!”

From Mom & Dad,  Mim got a jump-rope, the Playmobil she picked out from Hamley’s, and a dress from Chinatown. 
From Kayden & Tyler she got a My Little Pony and a Melissa & Doug craft. 
From Baca & Grandpa Hall an Elsa cape. 
From Baca & Grandpa Bird a French fan.
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I love this picture. She is on the North Mountain in that little head of hers, I am sure of it.

Miriam is such a paradox.  I know I’ve written about her contradictory personality traits before, and I smile when I read through them again.  They all remain perfectly true.  Tough and tender. Sensitive and sassy.  Mild and wild. 

She will be physical and tough with her brothers, and nestled in her dad’s lap minutes later.  She will be mouthy and snarky at the boys, but devastated when they are mouthy and snarky at her.  She can be so hyper I want to lock her up and then a few minutes later she’ll be sucking her thumb and dozing off on the couch.  

Miriam is intense.  She feels things deeply, like her mom.  She loves with loyalty and feels betrayal painfully.  If you’re familiar with the color codes, Miriam would be best described as YELLOW with a splash of blue.  At school she is friendly and outgoing.  It is hard for her to sit still and hard for her when kids don’t like her, but most kids do.  The older kids at the school love to chat and play with her and she loves to be nurturing and playful with the younger siblings of her friends in the mornings at drop-off and on the bus.  At home, Mim loves her alone time.  She will play quietly in her room for long periods of time and she has a colorful imagination.  But she can also be a couch potato.  She loves cartoons and movies.  Miriam loves attending social activities! Birthday parties, church activities, play dates; keep this girl’s calendar booked!  

She has learned to read, which is one of my favorite milestones as a parent.  The delight and discovery and satisfaction that she expresses when she reads a street sign or a word or a book is so fulfilling.  

She has picked up on a few English words and phrases like “paster” instead of pasta, “tell him off” instead of tattle-taling, and she uses the word “proper” all the time, but in different context than American’s do.  I like to think of “proper” as real, or legitimate.  A “proper” birthday cake must have sprinkles.  

And she also says “Mummy.”  Boy does she say it.  She says it in a high-pitched shrieky kind of whine. “Mummy mummy mummy!!!” 

We love her dearly.  She is such a spicy addition to our family dynamic and when we are dragging our feet through the city streets, we can always count on Mim to be skipping and humming, making life a little more upbeat.  

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