Three years ago my little girl came into the world and brought so much love and joy to our family. She was a ray of sunshine in a very dark time, born two months after her daddy had been taken into hospital and we were told we might lose him.
Of course we didn’t know then that on her third birthday her daddy would no longer be here – and thank goodness we didn’t. Florence was the little girl who came to give me love, cuddles and hope at one of the worst times in my life. You can read a bit more about that in the post I wrote for her second birthday if you don’t already know, although this time last year Flo was lucky enough to still have her dad.
Rog passed away six days after her birthday, after putting in a spacial appearance at her bbq party and making sure he was always remembered as the daddy who helped blow out the candles on her big pink cake. Florence talks about him all the time. Just today we came home and she saw the free newspaper poking out of the letterbox, and said it was daddy’s paper, as she remembers how we used to do the school run then call to buy Rog a paper on the way home; when we talk about our new house she asks if daddy will be there; and when she says who lives in our house and who loves her, daddy is always involved.
She’s my little doll who I really think was sent to help me get through this time in my life. Without her to hug me, make me laugh and remind me to go on, I don’t know what I would have done to be honest. She’s not only been a joy for me, but the close bond she has with Sam is just so special and although of course they sometimes squabble, they’re partners in crime and very loving with one another.
I quite often walk into the living room to find them watching TV together hugging under a blanket, or holding hands while Sam reads her a book. More recently they like to sit on the sofa with Flo on Sam’s shoulders, which cracks me up every time. Flo wasn’t only a ray of light for me, she was for Sam too.
This year I wanted to throw a party for her which she’d love as she remembers the one she had last year so well. Being three she doesn’t really have a huge social network but we invited the friends who go to the same childminder as her and a few others, and had a party at home for 12 little ones.
Florence is into every little girl stereotype going – she loves Barbies, My Little Ponies, princesses and Frozen. Before you judge me, please don’t! She has been surrounded by all sorts of toys as she has grown up, having a lively big brother has made sure of that. She just loves all the pink, sparkly stuff much more appealing, and I’m not knocking it. I was a big fan of my Sindy house when I was little, and spent many happy hours making my dolls go up and down in its lift, go horse riding and rock out to Madonna.
Flo can play for hours with her dolls and sits making them talk to each other, setting up some hilarious situations. Yesterday it was from one rather wild-haired Rapunzel doll to a Barbie: ‘Oh hello, are you wearing knickers? Yes so am I, let’s be friends!’
Whenever I asked her what kind of party she would like she said ‘a princess party!’ so that’s what she got.
A friend had told me about two lovely drama teachers – R’Marnies Princess Parties – who come to your house dressed as princesses and sing and play games with the guests. Rent-a-princess! This sounded perfect, so I booked Anna and Elsa to come and make an appearance on the day of her party. I have to say I was probably just as excited about it as Flo was, and they didn’t disappoint.
They were fantastic, arriving at the house in a whirlwind of colour, American accents and Disney-esque fun, within minutes they had set up their music in the living room and the party was in full swing. The kids loved it, apart from a few of the boys they all got into the dance routines, singing and games of musical statues and ‘hunt the glass slipper’.
It kind of blew my idea of just buying a princess outfit and dressing up myself out of the water! It was well worth it though, and Sam and Flo have been talking about it ever since. Sam did amuse me that evening when he looked at me and said: ‘Elsa’s wig was a bit out of control, wasn’t it mum?’ Funny.
We also did some glitter tattoos, which is something I’ve been dying to try out for ages. I bought a kit from eBay and it’s surprisingly easy. You just pick a stencil, paint on some special glue and add glitter. No drying time required, perfect. I still haven’t had time to do one for myself but I’m seriously eyeing up the little hearts and stars.
It was lovely having my parents over to help and see her happy little face too. Parties are so much easier with a higher adult to child ratio aren’t they? The following day, on Flo’s actual birthday, we had another day of excitement with a day out at Liverpool’s Mattel Play on the Albert Dock and a family party at teatime.
It’s been a busy week for us all!
When I wrote about Flo turning two I talked about the things she liked to do, and reading it back now it amused me so much I’m going to do it again. So, now she is three, Flo likes to:
– Accessorise madly with as many plastic necklaces, bracelets, hair clips and bags as she can get her hands on.
– Sing a song she has made up which goes ‘It’s Friday, it’s Friday – no sleeves!’ while showing off her bare arms.
– Play with her dolls and make them talk to one another.
– Cuddle up on the sofa under a blanket with her brother.
– Go swimming, as it’s something we have only just really started to do as a family.
– Spend time with her best friend Eliza.
– I can’t believe I’m writing this but she still sleeps in a cot and has a bottle at night.
Yes, I know she is three but she’s still my baby! I have delayed the move to a bed until we move house, so only a few more weeks to go.
Happy Birthday, gorgeous Flo!