I sort of wish I was turning 30 again...
It's my birthday in just over a fortnight (and my dad's two days later) and as such, birthdays have been on my mind, recently. Only Christmas can beat the excitement of a birthday when you're little, so I hope this story captures that birthday count-down and brings a smile to people's faces...
On Monday morning, Becky woke up with a spring in her step and a smile on her face. Her birthday was just around the corner - so close, she could almost touch it. "How many more sleeps?" She asked, as she bounded down the stairs and into the kitchen.
"It's your birthday on Friday," her mum replied. "That means four more sleeps."
Becky frowned. "That's loads," she groaned.
"Well, you'll just have to fill your days with fun things until your birthday comes," her mum told her. "That'll make the days pass much quicker."
So, Becky ate her breakfast and then rushed outside. She made mud pies for her imaginary friends and climbed to the highest branch of the apple tree at the end of the garden. After lunch, she drew lots of little pictures for all of her friends and stuck them into envelopes to be given out as party invitations. Then, she went to the shops with her mum and bought balloons, streamers and bunting to decorate their house with, when the day of her birthday party finally arrived. Once Becky had eaten her dinner, she practised playing musical statues all by herself, so that she'd be really good at it when the time came to play it for real.
By the time Becky went to bed that night, she was very tired indeed. She asked for just two bedtime stories, instead of her usual three and she only spent half an hour playing with her teddy bears once the light had gone out, before she finally closed her eyes and drifted off.
On Tuesday morning, Becky woke up bright and early and skipped down the stairs. Her dad hadn't left for work yet and she jumped into his lap as he finished his breakfast. "How many more sleeps until my birthday?" Becky cried.
Her dad smiled. "Three more," he told her.
"That's still a long time," Becky groaned.
"Well, you know what to do," her dad replied. "Keep yourself busy so that the time passes by faster!"
So, Becky wolfed down a piece of toast, then spent her morning trying on all of her best party dresses, so she could choose one for the party. She practised tying her hair in plaits all by herself and then raided her mum's make up bag and even had a go at putting on lipstick. After lunch, she bounced on her trampoline in the garden, seeing how high she could jump, until she was all out of breath. Once her dad got home from work and they'd had some dinner, Becky showed him a fantastic new dance routine she'd taught herself for the party.
When Becky got into bed that night, she was shattered. She only asked for two stories instead of three and she didn't manage to stay awake long enough to play with her teddy bears once the light had gone out.
On Wednesday, Becky jumped out of bed and hurried downstairs for breakfast. "How many more sleeps?" She asked, as she munched on a piece of toast.
"Only two more," her mum smiled.
"That's not too many," Becky grinned. "But I need to stay busy just in case the time goes slow!"
She swallowed her last mouthful of toast and then ran back upstairs to rearrange her dolls' house. She raided her mum's sewing box and, with the help of some sticky tape, scraps of fabric and lots of glitter, she made party dresses for all of her dolls. After lunch, Becky's mum took her to the park and she rode on the roundabout until she was dizzy, then had lots of tries on the monkey bars until she could almost go all the way along without letting go. After dinner that evening, Becky played a long game of Twister with her mum and dad.
By the time Becky got into bed, she was so tired that she fell asleep during her second bedtime story.
On Thursday, Becky walked slowly down the stairs, rubbing her eyes. "There's only one more sleep, isn't there?" She asked her mum.
"Just one more left," her mum nodded.
"I just need to stay busy for one more day," Becky said.
Her mum smiled. "Are you sure you don't want to save your energy for the party tomorrow?"
Becky shook her head. "No, otherwise today might go really slowly!"
So, after breakfast, Becky built a den in the garden. Afterwards, she made perfume using petals from flowers and water from the outside tap, so that her den would smell beautiful. Once they'd had lunch, her mum took her swimming and Becky went down the flume thirteen times. She ran all the way home and then helped her mum to wrap presents for a game of Pass The Parcel. After dinner, Becky helped to hang bunting in the lounge and she blew up balloons until she was out of breath.
Becky was so tired that night, that she fell asleep before her mum was even halfway through the first bedtime story.
On Friday, Becky's mum and dad waited for her to run down the stairs. They waited and they waited.
Finally, they crept up the stairs and into Becky's room. Her eyes were tightly closed and she was snoring!
"Becky?" Her dad whispered. "There are no more sleeps left. It's your birthday!"
Becky blinked and rubbed her eyes. She let out a tremendous yawn. "How many more sleeps did you say?"
Her mum laughed. "No more sleeps!"
Becky threw back her bed covers and flung her arms around her parents' necks. "Happy birthday to me!"
The day was filled with presents and cake and the most fabulous party Becky had ever been to. She danced, she played games and she smiled all day long.
That night when Becky crawled into her bed, her mum smiled and kissed her forehead. "Did you have a lovely birthday, Becky?" She asked.
Becky let out a long yawn as she nodded her head. "How many sleeps until my next one?"
Her mum laughed. "Three hundred and sixty four!"
Becky smiled. "Oh good," she said. "That gives me time to rest until then."
And with that, Becky closed her eyes and went straight to sleep.