We had a really nice day, and all went according to plan except that M.M. didn't take a nap until we were on the way to dinner tonight, so she got pretty tired. But she didn't fall apart or cry or anything, even though it was her party.
I made the cake, a healthy one that no self-respecting grownup cake eater would appreciate. I got a little nervous because I had to make a couple of substitutions (despite what I thought had been careful shopping) and the batter seemed more like dough than batter. It turned out ok though. A little more like muffins than cake, but tasty enough. And the frosting was great. It looked right pretty if I do say so, decorated with raspberries. I have to admit M.M. liked the ice cream more than the cake, but overall it was a success.
She got to open lots of presents, and got the hang of the loot-getting thing fairly early on in the process. She got a wooden toaster with wooden bread, butter, and a knife (her favorite part), a toddler sized broom and dustpan with which she ran around sweeping for the remainder of the party, a bunch of books, wooden lacing beads, Weebles (she can now say 'they wobble but they don't fall down'), lots of stuff. And her big present was a play stove/sink combo that I'm hoping she'll get years of use out of.
Dave and Linda (my tenant and another singer/songwriter) played guitar and sang songs, both M.M.-oriented and guitar-player-oriented, and there was general low-key merriment, which is my favorite kind.
The hibachi restaurant was fun, but a little traumatic, as M.M. got scared of the chef and the grill we were sitting around. I don't think I adequately prepared her, and when he first made it sizzle she pretty much freaked out. She was very tired and had already had a long, exciting day. Dave and Kathy Jo and I took turns standing away from the table and holding her so she could watch from a distance. She tried like a trouper to watch, but she really didn't enjoy it. The guy's cooking act involves several flaming moments, which is generally exciting and fun, but M.M. did NOT like it. The food was great though, and she got through it without totally falling apart. I felt a little bad about taking her though. I thought she'd like it, and I was too tired and overstimulated by the time we got there to remember to give her a talk about what was going to happen before it was too late. Oh well.