We managed to ship big brother Dash off to a friend so the girls had a lovely time together, even wearing matching nighties (so sweet).
Come morning they were having such a marvellous time, I phoned Gail and begged for Miss O to stick around a little longer... long enough for a Garden Tea Party, at least.
...a mosquito net hanging in the lilac tree; a picnic rug spread out, with cushions piled up
...a little table spread with white cloth & roses in a glass; juice in a teapot, and special china cups
...pretty cake stand holding watermelon, apricots, marshmallows, mini ham sandwiches and a bowl of strawberries.
When it was all ready I told the kids to get "dressed up nice" for their special tea party... never mind that I was still in my spunky PJ's and Scrag had a pooey bum!
Oh so picturesque, picnicing graciously under my favourite lilac tree.
Oh so genteel and tranquil (in spite of Scrag dipping his grimy fingers in the teapot).
The sun was shining. But storm clouds were gathering. As Dash hosted Miss O in a gentlemanlike fashion, pouring her juice, conversing wittily... Miss Fab got quieter and quieter.
I should have seen it coming. It was the old green-eyed monster raising it's head. Ever since a year ago, when a little girl preferred Dash over his sister, she has been ultra-sensitive about her friends playing with her brother. It sends her into a jealous spin. She comes out with statements like: "I just know what's going to happen! She'll fall in love with him and she won't be my friend any more!" I know. She's five. It's too scary.
So when she finally ran sobbing into the house and buried her head in the couch I quickly figured out what was going on. After much persuasion I wrangled her back outside. By now we had put music on and there was Garden Dancing as well. The sight of Miss O waltzing twirling spinning with Dash only added fuel to the fire.
"Ask your sister to dance!" I whispered urgently to Dash. Bless him, he did. He held out his hand to her, but she ignored him and buried her head - sadly he was not persistent enough and went back to dancing with Miss O (much more fun than begging your sulky sister to dance, aye??)
I was torn between empathy and frustration... we were having such a nice time and Miss Fab was ruining it with her oversensitivity!!
Sitting down on the (freshly painted) garden bench, I pulled her onto my lap, and called Miss O over. I explained to Miss O why her friend was acting that way: she gets a bit sensitive when her friends play with her brother, because she thinks it means they won't want to play with her anymore...
Miss O, bless her, put her arm around my sad little girl and said the magic words: "But Abby, I will always be your friend!"