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Tansy Rayner Roberts

Wonder Woman Turns Six; Batgirl Inhales Watermelon

January 24th, 2011 at 23:14

Raeli had her birthday a few days ago! We’ve had what feels like a whole week of birthday/holiday activities, culminating in the Big Superhero Party which felt like a crazed, sugary blur at the time, but people seemed to enjoy. Raeli informed me that it was even better than last year, largely because of the pinata (which from our POV was a dismal failure redeemed only by the fact that no one was actually hurt during the whole excruciating procedure). At the end, there were lollies, so no complaints from the kids.

Apart from the change in theme, from fairies to superheroes, I had planned to run the party the same as last year: simple food involving opening packets, I don’t make anything myself except the cake and fairy bread, sausages on the barbie for kids & parents alike, my Mum madly running the games (everyone needs a Glammer come birthday season) and no fuss. Naturally it got far more complicated than that, not least because, well, do we remember how last year I had a little 5 month old baby? THIS YEAR she’s a running, jumping, bouncing, psyched up little dynamo, and it took the 15 or so adults at the party to keep track of her. I’m not used to a feisty baby. Raeli was energetic but not one for hurling herself off furniture. Jem topped off the party by eating everything. Seriously. All the things. Once the big kids had abandoned the picnic cloths and gone to play games, she plonked herself down and ate more than her own body weight in chips, cheezels, biscuits, watermelon and… oh, I don’t even know. Hear that? That’s the kind of mother I am. I have no idea what she ate. I just know that she looked really, really smug about it.

(Jem’s costume for the party, incidentally, was a black size 7 t-shirt with the Batman logo on it, which I picked up at Target and Raeli refused to wear because of her sixth sense that it was in fact a boy’s t-shirt. Sigh. Still, it made an awesome mini-dress on my baby)

From my point of view, the highlight and most successful moment was the icecream cake, which I had made with minor help from Raeli. It was topped with a rice paper Justice League picture acquired from eBay, and had two litres of peppermint choc chip icecream and two of vanilla. Awesome. My honey was in charge of cutting the cake in question (in our household he is put in charge of anything I can categorise under “physics” which is a surprising amount actually) and did very well with managing the hungry hordes of children, and the select group among them who had very firm preferences as to which superhero they wanted to take a bite out of.

Raeli got the bit with Wonder Woman on it, which involved quite complicated physics (SEE!) and meant she had to wait nearly to the end, thanks to WW being front and centre on the cake. She was very patient.

I have been delighted by how she has bonded with her rather lovely Wonder Woman costume, since receiving it as a Christmas present. She often wears it just because, and I love that she will happily go off to the shops dressed as a superhero. I had thought all that random dressing up stuff was behind us, as she hadn’t worn a fairy or mermaid outfit out in public for years, except for school events, parties and of course, Mummy’s book launches.

She also got a trampoline for Christmas and I associate the Wonder Woman costume with all the bouncing. I particularly love that when asked to pose for a photograph, she will do a strong superhero stance, gauntlets crossed and biceps flexed.

Oh, I love my girl.

Can’t believe she’s six, really. Obviously we got here by the long route, and her sixness comes as less of a surprise to me than to those of our friends who don’t see her every day. But she’s so big now, and so formed. She has such strong opinions and preferences. She can delight and frustrate me within the span of thirty seconds or so. She has some incredibly powerful fears that have at times proven quite debilitating. But then I turn around, and she is displaying great strength, or caring, or even a little courage here and there.

She is very smart, especially with language, and picks up phrases and words to mull over. She is constantly asking me what things mean, and how things work (if it’s Physics related she gets to wait for Daddy to come home!) and this year, this year is the year she really put together the whole reading thing, to the point that she can actually read whole books by herself. The gift she was most delighted by this year, amongst all the bling and furry animals and sparkly goodness, was a reading light shaped like a penguin, which aids her in her quest to Secretly Read Books After Lights Out. We are pretending to be very disapproving of this, which makes it even better!

Raeli has taken to the whole sister thing like a duck to water. She adores her Jem-Jem, and takes great pleasure in teaching her things, or discovering new things about her. Though she also appreciates the days when Jem goes off to daycare, and Raeli gets Mummy time to herself.

Which is WHY I was so delighted today when I tried to suggest to my editor that I take to the end of February for my Book 3 edits, which would give me a whole fortnight after school goes back to lay into them substantially, and she insisted I should take more time. So my deadline is 15 March, which means I actually get to spend the next few weeks of school holiday not feeling wracked with guilt about balancing work and motherhood. I get to play with my girls!

SCHOOL’S OUT FOR SUMMER!

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