Somebody had a birthday last month and I would be lax if I didn't post a little something about it. After all, she's a pretty wonderful and important person:
Bethy turned 6, and being 6 year old girl is a lot of work. For one thing, purple, pink, or rainbow? Unicorns or puppies? Which stories and song at bedtime? Sleeping Beauty or The Little Mermaid? Grown-up silverware or colorful IKEA forks and spoons?
She also has kindergarten homework after long days at school (leaves the house at 7:15, back home around 4:30) and continues to miss the Pacific Northwest. Yesterday I asked her "If you could get on a plane to anywhere, where would you go?"
"Seattle!" she replied emphatically. "Dubai is TOO HOT."
Oh dear. However, she's made nice friends and has settled into the life of a expat quite well. Her birthday party was at a lovely place along Beach Road. (on the signs it says Jumeirah Road...no one else calls it that but the maps persist, confusing tourists and newbees alike). The store, Bead Palace, is owned by a Canadian from BC (immediately I latched onto her familiar accent with total joy) and Bethy got all the balloons and bracelet and necklace and bookmark making and shirt painting and eating of unhealthful foods that she and the other kids could stand.
In addition to the cookies and popcorn and juices, colorful cupcakes were made for Bethy as a present from our friend Dalia (tasty) and the pièce de resistance was a chocolate fountain (evil, but it was Hersheys, and even the grown-ups got a piece of that action.)
She was SO excited that Thomas had to stay home. Guess being a big sister is a lot of work too.
Some things about kids' parties are quite different in Dubai. For one thing, the presents are most assuredly NOT opened at the party. Surprisingly, Bethy was OK with that. For another, generally speaking, the parents dump their kids and flee the scene, returning at the appointed time. However, we had a good and caring group and even a couple of Dads were there to help their daughters with the crafts. The parents who fled made sure their kids were OK with it first, and also made sure I had mobile numbers to call in case of need. The store owner commented with approval that it was the most parents she had ever had stay. I was very pleased, especially since I had made it clear that they could stay or go as they pleased.
Bethy came out of her party feeling very, very special. Even though we didn't have the limo come to pick her and her guests and take them out on a yacht with a clown, no less (an option that showed up on our doorstep in a brochure and left us speechless with horror), she was tickled, well, pink.