Charting your child's leaps in maturity is often no different than trying to assess his or her physical growth: You see them so often that the gradual changes are rarely noticeable. While that's definitely the case for the physical side of the equation, Jasmine's swings in the realm of behavior and emotional maturation have been so drastic that it would be impossible not to take notice. To put it plainly, she has come a long way.
Man, it was a push to get through those fours (and threes and twos and...) but if the last six months or so are any indication, then I'm hopeful for five. Most of the time, a birthday is no more than a highlighted date on the calendar... but I don't think that's the case this time around. I think that five means something that four didn't. Yes, she is still struggling to find her place (as most middle children do)... and yes, the drama has not ceased. She's certainly not conflict-free, and her passive aggressive emotionally charged demeanor may never allow her to be pegged in that category. Yet, I think we've made some leaps and bounds in the right direction. She's growing up. And it's awesome. Here's to maturation and the evolution of strong-willed child. Happy birthday, Jasmine.
As far as birthday parties go, Jasmine could not be more afraid of Chuck E. Cheese. In fact, she has never been fond of anyone in a full body costume. Sheer panic is probably the best way to describe her reaction to such characters... which I guess (on the bright side) rules Disney out for the next five years or so. But yet, Chuck E. Cheese was top choice once again; and so off we went to drop golden coins and collect paper tickets. Somehow it never gets old.