In this picture, Gladys is hugging a naked Kewpie doll that was given to me by Kawa-san's mother. The pictures of her after she was asked to put down the naked doll and look at the camera didn't capture her raw joy in quite the same way - although, they are much better pictures in the usual sense.
I let Gladys plan her own birthday. She just turned five. It is a very big deal.
"Do you remember what you told me when I turned five, Mom?" Andrew asked when we talking about it and making paper snowflake decorations - we had weeks of preparation.
"No, Andrew, what did I tell you?"
"I can't believe you are a whole hand!" I laughed.
I do remember telling him that now. And, frankly, I still can't believe it.
Gladys wanted a "sledding birthday." I had never heard of anyone doing that before, although I suspect it isn't that terribly original - perhaps just a little old fashioned. She also wanted to play 'pin the carrot nose on the snowman.' She explained that she played a similar game with a jack-o-lantern at Halloween and it was sooo fun.
I wish I could take credit for the idea, but I would have never suggested it. The kids, however, loved it. I had trouble bribing them off the hill with hot chocolate. Even Gladys took three or four "last runs."
"After sledding," Gladys explained. "We have to have hot chocolate."
I thought when I took this picture, that George was checking to see how many marshmallows his friend had in her cup. I found out a second later that she was actually spoon feeding him her hot chocolate - in trade for his marshmallows. They both seemed happy with the deal.
Gladys also required that the cake have a sledding hill on top of it with kids sledding. At Andrews birthday, he had a camping party and a campsite on his cake, so I am assuming that this is analogous in her mind.
Of course, I keep an unusually well-stocked cabinet. I never really know for sure what might come out of it. It really depends on the kids. My favorite part of this picture is my MIL sitting calmly at the table amidst my carnival of activity.
Happy Birthday, Sweet Gladys!