Doilies are placed on the plates, and the ladies dress up with jewelry, hats and purses. A vase with flowers is carried in ceremoniously as the centerpiece. The tea is apple juice, the cream is Sprite (and they always pour their own.) Afterwards, they wash the dishes by hand, with lots of bubbles, and put everything away. We're practicing for bigger things.
Katy (10) and Lauren (8) came to town for Thanksgiving and I decided it was time to go to a real tea shop for our party, and have a sleepover that night. We invited Chloe, who just turned 6 and is an official big girl. (Opa stayed home and had a root beer float party with the boys.)
The tea shop was a funky little place, with an eclectic mix of Chinese lantern light fixtures, Victorian furniture and bookshelves filled with books about weddings. It was perfect. Each girl got her own silver tea set. The teapot was filled with hot chocolate, and topped with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles. Individual creamers with milk, and little plates with tuna sandwiches and sugar cookies came with each serving. (Strangely, we also got broccoli soup.)
"Hold your pinkies up," said Chloe. Katy declared me Duchess Oma, and they became princesses. We discussed being royalty and having servants bring us breakfast in bed every morning, and a carriage lined with fur blankets to take us to all our balls. When we left, the sidewalk was lit by the moon and sparkled with "the diamonds we must have dropped when we came in."
Later we watched Wizard of Oz, and read Fancy Nancy. I thought everyone was asleep when
I heard someone go into the bathroom. After a few minutes I went to check. All three girls were whispering excitedly--Lauren's tooth was loose, and they were examining it in my magnifying mirror.
Chloe and Katy stood in the tub, hiding their eyes behind the shower curtain (so they wouldn't see any blood) while Lauren wiggled and worked. Pretty soon she asked us all to leave.
She emerged a minute later, humming a triumphant song, bearing her tiny tooth on a washcloth like a glass slipper on a pillow.