A Texas family refused to let the COVID-19 pandemic get in the way of celebrating their daughter’s fifth birthday.
Brittney Bush-Rudd said she was bummed about having to cancel her daughter Jacey Rudd’s birthday plans amid social distancing guidelines enacted to help slow the fast-spreading virus. Rather than a shindig at the arcade near her Dallas-area home, followed by a trip to Legoland and the store to pick out Barbie dolls as planned, Jacey had to party at home with her imaginary friends — and she had a blast.
Mom said the tiny tot was gifted a few Barbie dolls and her very own can of Lysol disinfectant spray.
“She was able to get some dolls and she was excited because we let her spray the Lysol cans to show her how to clean,” Bush-Rudd told the New York Post, adding: “She was so excited to hold the can like an adult.”
Jacey celebrated alongside her sister Jillian and imaginary friend, “Wendy.” The trio even enjoyed a cake from the store and some homemade chicken from grandma, according to the girl’s mother.
Bush-Rudd said she thinks “Wendy,” who shares the name of a classmate at her daughter’s now shuttered pre-school, is partly inspired by daytime talk show host Wendy Williams.
“She and the imaginary Wendy watch ‘The Wendy Williams Show’ before going on the bus to school to see the real Wendy,” she explained to the Post. “But I think the invisible Wendy is named after the show because she tries saying her ‘How you doing’ catchphrase.”
The spread of the virus, which has infected more than 35,000 Americans nationwide, has forced restaurants, schools and several businesses to close, with public health officials urging the public to stay home and practice social distancing.
Jacey’s mother made sure her daughter’s birthday was one to remember, and said living in quarantine has made their family realize what’s most important.
“It really made our whole family realize that life is about the small stuff,” Bush-Rudd said. “Everything we did wasn’t much, but she liked it anyway. A kid is thanking you for Lysol and a doll.”
The family said it hopes to throw Jacey a proper celebration once the social distancing guidelines are lifted.