|Rapunzel on the stepping stones|
The day before she matter-of-factly told me: 'Mum, you didn't hide my shiny balloons in a very sensible place did you?' And then casually sauntered off, singing Emeli Sande's latest song.
She was absolutely right. In a fluster, I had absent-mindedly hid her birthday balloons in the toy cupboard.
She spent the day itself in a Rapunzel dress and long plait, a present from Grandpa, which she proudly wore all day.
Her outfit was very in keeping with the castle that we visited to celebrate her birthday. And when we came across a Rapunzel-type tower that you could actually climb, it was just the best thing in the world. She dangled her plait through the bars of the window and yelled to her prince (me) below.
After a very action-packed day, that night, while I was putting her to bed, I went through all the things we had done; a smoked salmon breakfast, a picnic lunch in the grounds of a 'fairytale' castle, a visit to granny, party games, a birthday tea, and lots of presents.
I asked her what her favourite part of the day was, and she replied: 'Seeing my chickens.' (Tom told me later that watching Rapunzel carefully carrying a chicken around the garden 'made him redefine cute'.)
And the fabulous personalised book I had got made for her: 'Dolly The Pirate Princess' lay unwanted and cast aside in the corner of her bedroom: 'I hate pirates Mum, why did you get me this?'
Living with Dolly, one has to develop a hard shell and have nerves of steel.
Our wonderful daughter Dolly, is a strong-willed, hilarious, generous, sometimes very naughty, and gorgeous, four-year-old.
Dolly, you continue to rock our world, and we love you so very very much. Happy fourth birthday!