I haven't really mastered the "hold the camera at a distance and take a picture of yourselves" thing but here's our attempt.
I had a huge king-sized bed in the room but she wanted to sleep on the couch. Go figure! We read books and she drew some pictures before bedtime.
After a good night's sleep, we went to Starbucks for a little breakfast treat of "happy birthday mini donuts" (and some iced tea for Gigi). We then went to Books a Million in the mall where we browsed for the longest time and finally settled on an awesome princess paper doll book with all kinds of clothes and accessories. :) From there, we were glad to meet our friend Karen for lunch, played with the paper dolls and talked and talked.
After lunch, back to the mall to check out the indoor play area and run off some energy.
And we ran into some old friends! Linda Connally and I were "dance moms" together for umpteen years when our kids were growing up. Her daughter Holly and my Susan are close to the same age, were in the same classes and on the same dance team. Now Linda and I are grandmothers and our girls are mommies--how did that happen? Here are two of Holly's three kids--Sadie and Beckett. She also has an older daughter, Kaylee. Of course, I remember her when she was Sadie's age.
Then it was time for Susan to get off work so we picked her up and the three of us went for pedicures. Susan had never had a pedicure before, since she doesn't like anyone touching her feet and she's very ticklish. But she decided to go for it. I thought Ally might like to get one, too, rather than just sit there patiently and wait for us. I know, it's probably a little indulgent to get a 4 year old a pedicure, but what the heck.
We were all enjoying ourselves and Ally was doing great till she squirmed a little bit and the nail technician called her a "bad girl." She had already kinda huffed and puffed and made a bit of an angry face a couple of times but honestly, Ally was not misbehaving at all and I've seen adults more squirmy than she was. Susan and I raised our eyebrows at each other and widened our eyes while we sat there in our chairs. Before I could stop myself (and why should I?), I said, "NOOOO, do NOT call her a bad girl. She is only 4 and she's never had a pedicure before and she's doing fine." (And lest you think that they felt put-upon having to give a child a pedicure, I had called in advance to ask about it and was told "SURE!") Besides, I firmly believe that no one should call names or say that anyone is BAD. Can't you think of 10 other ways she could have handled this?!
Oh, it was actually here, when she was painting Ally's nails, that she called her a BAD GIRL. I think she was surprised that I confronted her and she sorta backpedaled..."oh, it's her first time, oh, she's only four..." but did not really apologize.
But she did offer to paint flowers on the big toes and gave us a discount for the 4 year old, so I suppose she was appropriately contrite. Ally loved her nails, Susan is now a converted fan of the pedi. (*And she was not called a bad girl, even though her feet were ticklish and she squirmed a little. This just reminds me of the fact that there are many things we are willing to say to children that we would never say to an adult. Why is that?)
It was lovely getting to spend time with Ally for the day and I hope we get to do it again another time! She is so much fun! Even though Gigi and Ally time was done, we still had more going on, starting with a drive out to Clyde with Susan to pick Aidan up from the school bus.
To be continued....