My baby turned six today. Can you believe it?!
Yesterday morning, on his last day of being 5 years old, I hugged Edmund on my lap and we had a heart-to-heart chat about what to expect for his sixth year. I told him that possibly as a six-year-old, some of his baby teeth would fall out, and adult teeth would begin to sprout. He was fine with that because he was looking forward to “growing up” to be bigger and be more mature like his older siblings. I suggested that perhaps this year he could set goals on learning how to read, working on articulating his words, and definitely working on a better attitude when it came to doing his chores. Edmund sounded pretty agreeable with that. He also added that he wanted to learn how to cook healthy foods, now that he was going to be a big boy of 6 years. He’s seen me teach his older siblings how to make pancakes and eggs, and I always call them in to help me peel and chop veggies for supper, so I think he’s equated the cooking over the stove to be a big kid privilege.
Later that afternoon, Edmund surprised the heck out of us. He decided that he wanted to make us supper, which to him was a large bowl of salad. He was inspired by his older sister Lucy who made us a creative tossed salad (which included bananas and apples) the day before. Edmund washed and chopped his own lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, apples, and peaches, then threw them into our large salad dish. He further took the initiative to clean the table and set it, then called us all in for supper…..at 6 pm. The older kids were still in the pool swimming, as we just had our gouter (snack in French) an hour earlier. We’ve been following the French way of having our supper later, at around 8 pm. So Brian and I were the only ones who showed excitement with Edmund’s early supper.
We oohed and aahed over his salad. It was actually pretty good, so we ate everything in the bowl, and made sure to edify his efforts and accomplishments to his siblings. Our older ones were impressed and very encouraging with Ed. It’s amazing how praise and taking the time to express goals and communicate expectations can motivate a little child to take initiative.
So today, on Ed’s 6th birthday, we brought our “Canadian” Jello dessert to celebrate his birthday with his teacher, teacher’s helper, and classmates. We gave one to the principal too. I filled several clear cups with lime and raspberry Jello (brought lovingly by our family and friends during their visit with us), and topped it up with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles. It was cute to see the children look at it curiously and smell the tiny cups before tasting them. Some of the children didn’t like it and thought it was “bizarre” (weird in French). But Ed’s teacher Madame Patricia said it was nice and refreshing, as the day was another scorcher of 30 degrees Celsius. Madame Patricia also mentioned that there was a French dish which was their version of jello, made with agar agar (a seaweed based gelatine), chevre (goat cheese), and legumes.
It was neat to hear the difference in just singing the Happy Birthday song in French. Brian and I sang our French Canadian version of Happy Birthday as “Bonne fête a toi”. The kids just stared and listened to us sing, then they sang their Happy Birthday song to Edmund with “Bon Anniversaire” in the same happy birthday tune we sing in English. They further surprised us by singing the Happy Birthday song in English and Spanish. I was impressed.
After school, the kids basically stayed in the pool until supper time. Edmund made us another family bowl of salad. This time it was with strawberries and bananas tossed in with lettuce and carrots. We had French beet salad, cheesy spinach with eggs (yum), and baguette garlic bread served with Ed’s salad; then a black forest birthday cake for dessert. Before blowing out his candles, Edmund told us his birthday wish was that his older brother Peter would be a better brother. Our two boys have been annoying each other lately. So looking gravely at Peter, I replied, “I’m sure Peter will be able to help make that birthday wish come true.”
We’re planning to celebrate Edmund’s birthday at Puy du Fou in two weeks when we leave Agde. Puy du Fou is a popular and very high quality theme park. At first Edmund wasn’t happy about waiting 2 whole weeks to do something for his birthday, until I showed him the video of Puy du Fou. Ed got so excited that he asked me if he could watch it a few more times. I have to admit, I’m pretty excited to go too. Ed wants me to buy him a gladiator sword for his birthday present. I told him, “we’ll see.”