Four (Otherwise Known As the Birthday when I Abandoned All of My Principles).

If you ask Buzzy how she's doing, she'll enthuse, "I'm FOUR!"

Four years ago, I asked family and friends to go easy on the pink. I rolled my eyes at the Disney Princess Industrial Franchise. I envisioned wooden toys lovingly hand-carved, and one shelf to contain all of them. I planned to feed her whole foods, with sugar limited to an occasional treat.

Three years ago, Buzzy ate her first piece of home-made cake on her birthday. Her toys still fit on a couple of shelves. Pink crept into her closet, but there was nary a Disney character in our home.

Two years ago, Buzzy chowed down on cake and ice cream, and asked for seconds. We bought more storage for the playroom to contain a variety of plastic toys.

One year ago, Buzzy invited friends to celebrate her birthday with her. She devoured cake and ice cream, and licked the frosting off the candles. Her toys spilled out of the playroom, and we started finding My Little Ponies behind the sofa cushions. She only wore pink and purple.

One week ago, Buzzy invited her entire class, playgroup, and assorted family friends to her fourth Princess Birthday Party, which she'd been planning in detail for over six months. She wore a pink Belle costume, polyester and sparkly. There was a bouncy house, a face painter (who came with the bouncy for thirty bucks), a pinata, a six-foot square plastic sign of Belle, Cinderella, Snow White and one of the new princesses whose name I do not know that read, "Happy Birthday, Princess!" There was a conventional grocery store-bought cake with Crisco frosting and light-up princesses on it. 

And there was one very, very happy little girl. . .

And a mother who realized that it was worth eating a little crow to see the look of absolute joy on her daughter's face.

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