This invitation didn't specifically ban presents, so I consulted with Brandon. "Do you think I could get away with not bringing a present? After all, the child is only three, right? They probably wouldn't even notice. After all, it's not like anybody needs a present."
Brandon gave me his patented did-you-really-just-ask-that-question look. "Bring a present. Don't be tacky."
Around here, birthday presents are hard to get - no Target, remember - gaudy, and very expensive. A knock-off mini-Rapunzel doll cost Kathleen $10, and stuffed animals don't cost any less than $25. And I'm cheap, especially when it is a birthday present for a three year-old. So I decided to go with my standard thee-to-ten year-old female present: a homemade apron. They never fail to disappoint.
I had Friday morning free, so I planned to get it knocked out in an hour or so and get a few other things done during the rest of the morning. On Wednesday night, however, I had a change of plans. A friend had shown me a cloth-doll book she had gotten in Japan awhile back and the dolls and clothes looked pretty simple. Why not make that instead? It would be so much more fun than an apron. I could show off my awesome sewing skills. And what little girl wouldn't love a doll with clothes to take off and put on and take off and put on and take off and put on?
So I borrowed the book and told Brandon my Brilliant Idea. After I explained to him that if an apron is nice, a cloth doll with it's own set of clothes is nicer, he fixed me with another look and sighed. "Do you really think that this is a good idea? Maybe you've forgotten the Marine ball dress debacle and how you spent all week finishing that dress. Do you really think it's a good idea to start a doll on Friday that you intend to give as a gift on Saturday? You always say that these projects will be quick, but they never are."
I looked back at him. "I'll finish it. Don't worry. It will be easy."
One day, I'll start to listen the the Voice of Reason that doubles as my husband and save myself a lot of trouble. Unfortunately for the children and Brandon, Friday wasn't that day.
By the time I sent Kathleen off to fix lunch for her siblings (this will be great! We'll eat it by the light of the moon!) and only had a head and two legs stuffed, I knew that I was in trouble and that Brandon was right. Again. But I also knew that it was too late to stop now, and I just had a little more of the hard stuff left before it was all downhill from there and it would waiting for Brandon when he came home.
And it was - just in its underwear.
Saturday morning started a little late and so I didn't start on the dress until 10:30. A few minutes later, Brandon came downstairs. "It's 2:00. We'd better get ready to go." Thankfully I only had a few snaps left to sew on or the doll would just have to live out the rest of it's life without anything but some underwear to keep it warm.
And just in case any of you have three year-old daughters, don't get any ideas. I'm doing aprons from now on. Probably.