emma grace at 3

Emma grace celebrated her 3rd birthday this past weekend with a big group of her friends and special guests Grandma and Grandpa Mandel. All told we had about a dozen people over for dinner and cake.

She and Marla looked at the calendar each day and Emma was absolutely shaking with excitement as Saturday approached.

This year, unlike the first or second birthday parties, Emma understood what was going on. She understood she was moving from two to three, there would be a party and, most importantly, that there would be cake!

(I expect that next year she’ll understand that there will be presents. Not only that, but that she’ll have expectations around what she’ll get rather than joyfully accepting anything that comes her way.)

There was a noticable difference in the way that the kids interacted with one another when compared to the previous birthday party. Last year they played pretty independently, each focused on their own toy or activity. None of them paid much attention to the other children around them.

The kids interacted with one another muc more this year. They played Playdoh together, they crowded around the table together, they shared cars and other toys. It was pretty amazing to see the difference. (Marla, of course, gets to see this every week with Emma’s playgroup but it was new to me.)

As Jamie noted, that many toddlers in a small space can certainly be overwhelming. After the presents were opened and the sugar had started to wear off there was a palpable change in the atmosphere of the room. The kids were spent – and the adults were, too!

We had an absolute blast putting the party together and hope that everyone who was able to come enjoyed themselves. We and, more importantly, Emma certainly did.

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