About the time Gemma was born Ellie began the countdown to her own birthday. She was sorely disappointed on Philip’s big day and promptly started telling everyone she met when her birthday was the minute Max’s was over.

“MY birthday is May second!”

At 5 am on May 2nd, just 2 hours short of the third anniversary of her birth, Ellie woke up in tears. The reason she was crying remains unclear – something about the potty or her paci or Tess or something – and she was calmed very quickly. I tucked her in and she closed her eyes, appearing to return to sleep. I tip-toed out and as I softly closed the door I heard her excitedly exclaim, “Tess! TODAY is my birthday!”

I’m not sure she ever got back to sleep.

We visited the pottery painting place so she could finally have her own plate like her siblings. Then we took McDonald’s to the park -her request! – and soaked up the sun. While she napped, we got ready for the Lady and the Tramp extravaganza. Spaghetti and meatballs, a hat box cake, golden wrapped presents. I had asked over and over what she wanted for supper and she just kept saying she wanted her birthday. When she woke up, she wandered bleary eyed into the kitchen and found me icing the cake.

“Is that MY birthday?!”

Oooooohhh. Right. Silly girl after her own mother’s heart just wanted cake. However, there was so much excitement over the treasure hunt and gifts and having Bailey there that she ate maybe a single bite of cake.

We chose Lady and the Tramp because we thought the occurrence of tears might be small ( crying is her thing at the moment. . . ) and she would like the cats. Well. . . Five minutes in she was howling,

“I don’t like this ‘stravaganzaaaaa!!!”

Her sensitive little heart found a lonely puppy so sad. Then the Siamese cats were scary, the pound depressing, dogs mean, muzzles cruel . . . It went on and on. Poor babe.

Tears or no, though, she turned three in the end and went to bed satisfied that her day had finally arrived.