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A Barbie Cake & A Battered Nose

If you are on the fence about whether to have kids, and do not want to be decidedly pushed off (into no kids pasture), quit reading now. Deal?

I kid. Kind of. Of course I'm kidding. Kind of. Okay, not really.

Friday was quite the day. It was Middle Girl's third birthday party at the carousel in Central Park. The weather was just perfect; chilly but plenty mild. And that promised Barbie cake? It was a show-stopper. (See above.) But. Yes, there is a but. Several.

11:44am. I am at Preschool waiting outside Middle Girl's classroom. A lovely teacher from the school pulls me aside. Come with me, she says. It is quite the dramatic moment. I follow her.

Big Girl just threw up. In her lunch, she whispers to me. Can you please take her home?

Of course.

I retrieve my little sicky from her classroom and shuttle both girls home. I explain to Big Girl that she will not be able to go to the party. She is sad. Very. But she is also surprisingly mature about this. I hug her tight and promise her a toy the next day. (Why? I have no idea. I am prone to making these gratuitous offers.)

Middle Girl and I proceed to run around the Upper West Side, picking up party favors and juice boxes and princess party plates. Grammy and Dad-Dad drive into town and mercifully pick up the enormous cake from the East Side. Around 3pm, Husband walks in from work and we are ready to go. We load up the double stroller with endless party paraphernalia. We plop Middle Girl in a second stroller. I strap Little Girl into the Bjorn. Off we go to the park.

All is well. We make our way there, relishing the beautiful fall weather. We arrive at the carousel a little early, set up our things, unveil the cake. Friends start arriving. The carousel is spinning and the music drifts out the circular gates. I pull Little Girl from the Bjorn to feed her.

She will not eat.

Hmmm.

She starts to fuss. Not typical for this easy-breezy tot, but perhaps she's a bit overwhelmed. I pick her up, rock her, try to make her giggle. I am a pro at making her giggle. I am.

She screams. And I mean screams.

I try some other tricks. To no avail. The screaming? It lasts, well, the whole freaking party. 'Tis true.

I try to be a good sport about this. Everyone tries to help me out, to take the screamer, to give me a break, but I resist. I feel compelled to try to soothe this little creature, this little creature who rarely cries.

Is she sick? Is she tired? Starving? Mortally fearful of rotating horses?

No idea. But we survive. We do. The kids at the party seem to have a blast. The cake is not only gorgeous, but delicious. And we make it home with all of Middle Girl's birthday loot, an extra pizza for dinner, and a big chunk of Barbie car cake for my poor Big Girl who is sick at home. As fate would have it, Little Girl settles into my chest and snoozes the whole way home. Of course.

At home, we unload our things and said hi to Big Girl. She is in good spirits. We let Middle Girl open a few gifts. Little Girl? She wakes up, sucks down a bottle and is totally fine. Happy. Waving. Squealing. Decidedly not sick.

Bedtime is smooth. Little Girl downs another bottle and goes right to bed. The big girls are more wound up, begging for books and songs per usual. But they too oblige and settle in reasonably quickly. I lean over Middle Girl's bed, ask her if she had a good party and she says she did. She is a happy camper. I ask her whether her little sister cried during the party and she thinks about it and says no. Well, I'm glad she didn't notice.

I give my birthday girl one last kiss good night and she shoots up in bed and head-butts me squarely in the nose. In all of my years playing competitive quasi-contact sports, I have never been hit this hard. I hear a sinister crunch. I say to Husband, in a hushed-bedtime-appropriate tone, I think she just broke my nose.

So. I spend the rest of the evening eating cold pizza and icing my nose and trying not to pierce the soles of my bare feet on newly-acquired itty-bitty Barbie parts.

{I was pretty happy to go to bed on Friday night. And I don't think my nose is broken. Just swollen and sore.}

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When is the last time you had one of those days? Do your kiddos like the carousel or scream in its proximity? Ever been head-butted by a three-year-old? Is the cake amazing or what? Do you ever promise your kids presents for no reason at all?

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