Katya has a Birthday

Katya said she wanted a chocolate sheet cake.  Our conversation was typical of the ones we have with Katya, and went something like this.

Me: “Katya, your birthday is tomorrow! You will be ten years old! Do you want cake?”

Katya: Signs ‘yes’.

Me: “Do you want a chocolate cake or a white cake?”

Katya: Signs ‘yes’ enthusiastically.

Me: Begining slowly, “Do you want chocolate…”

Katya: ‘yes’, enthusiastically.

Me: “Chocolate cake?”

Katya: while signing ‘yes’ enthusiastically, “Heh!” (Translated: “Yes”!)

Me: “Okay, chocolate cake it is. You love chocolate, don’t you?”

Katya: ‘yes’.  Begins to turn away, done with conversation.

Me:  “Wait! Katya, do you want one cake, or cupcakes?”

Katya: Looks confused.

Me: Holding up appropriate fingers, “Do you want one cake,” pauses, “or cupcakes?”

Katya: Wants to take bath. Turns away. 

Me: “Do you want cupcakes?”

Katya: “Hoe.” (Translated: “No”)

Me: Surprised, “Do you want one cake?”

Katya: Briefly holding up a finger, “Hunh!”(Translated: “One”)  Turns away.

Me: “One cake?”

Katya: signs ‘yes’.

Me: “Okay, Katya, one chocolate cake. I’ll make it tomorrow, okay?”


A similar conversation took place after her bath, when we were discussing candles. Katya in years past has had a fear of candles, and so the ones shaped like numbers were best. But when at lunch time the next day it was discovered that we had no “zero” to complete the 10, she was fine with individual candles.

She seemed to be a bit philosophical about her birthday this year. She kept staring thoughtfully at the cake.  I’d pay a great deal more than a penny for her thoughts.


It was a chocolate banana cake, with pink lemon icing and sprinkles. Katya is very fond of sprinkles.  She put the candles in the cake herself.


Katya has recently re-discovered her love for Matryoshkas, after I showed her how to open them without them “squeaking”. Katya has sensitive ears.  But she likes playing with them now.  Keeping that in mind, I spread the table with a white cloth and used one of our colorful Ukrainian Matryoshkas for the center piece. I was careful to not use a doll with a tiny “baby” that could get misplaced or eaten.


Katya’s favorite meal is soup, so to go with the soup I set out crackers, cheese, and tiny sweet peppers. Katya adores pickles–even her name sign is like pickles– so of course we had those. The peppers and pickles went with the color scheme nicely.

Everything was very good. Katya didn’t freak when we had the candles on the cake, and blew them out with gusto.

Katya received a shirt and sweater,


Black boots (not pictured), and 365 piece Lego set, which she put together all by herself!


She had a very good birthday, I think. And our baby girl is ten!


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