Thursday, November 7, 2013

Birthday: Awesome

I will say, as humbly as possible, that I am really good at birthdays.  I’ve come to understand that Tony doesn’t like birthday celebrations so much, and I don’t have the unlimited resources (money and time, primarily, because I am never out of ideas) to fete my friends on their birthdays as much as I would like, but regardless of circumstance, my children will have happy birthdays.  They will be busy, they will know they are loved, and they will have extraordinary days.


Charles had an extraordinary day yesterday.  Of course, it’s pretty easy to please a five-year-old; he thinks that taking the afternoon off to go to Chuck E. Cheese and watch The Little Mermaid with mom is just about the best treat ever.


First, there was his party at school.  Perhaps I haven’t mentioned how much I love my boys’ preschool.  Not only are they teaching my sons all sorts of important things, but also the teachers are some of the most loving and nurturing people I have ever met.  We really got lucky.  They throw a party for every kid’s birthday, so Charles got pizza with his friends and a piñata!  Fortuitously, they chose a Superman piñata.


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Jamie got to join his brother for lunch, and Charles could not have been happier about it.


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In addition to the piñata, I gave the entire class kazoos.  Children + noisemakers = fun


I did suffer through almost two hours of Chuck E. Cheese.  I must be getting old because all I could think at the end was, wow, it’s really LOUD in here.  My favorite was the skee-ball, but Charles preferred the driving and shooting monsters games.


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Given the way he drives, he’s NEVER getting a license


Exciting thing to note: my parents have a skee-ball machine in their storage unit.  My grandparents used to have a coin-op business and some of the machines have been kept.  My cousin has a really nice jukebox.  My dad has a jukebox, too, but I’ve never seen it working.  My hope is that Tony and I will be able to move before my parents get tired of storing the skee-ball machine so that I can have it in my garage.  Ahh, dreams.


Charles and I watched The Little Mermaid, which he enjoyed, but not as much as I did.  I love that movie, I can sing every song word-for-word (not that Charles lets me; he hates it when I sing), but I was unable to suspend disbelief in the way that I did as a child (or maybe I didn’t know any better).  This must be a consequence of having children, because I found myself biting my tongue not to point out to Charles that you can’t sing like that underwater, the physics of sound don’t work like that.  Or when Ariel sighs underwater, that is impossible: there’s no air to make that noise!  Or that you shouldn’t throw your entire identity away for someone else… why can’t Eric become a merman for her?  Why is their relationship so one-sided?  God, I can’t stand myself right now.  It’s a great movie and I love it and I’m shutting up about it.

Charles wanted cheeseburgers and corn on the cob for dinner, which we had, and then he went to a “science night” at a local elementary school with Tony.  It was geared toward five- to eight-year-olds and he had a blast.  He came home with a new toothbrush, a baggy full of cornstarch and water (gross), a robot he had made from boxes and toilet paper tubes, a new book about weather, and a magnet.  He refused to let the magnet go even to get into bed; all he wanted was to see what it would stick to in our house (answer: doorknobs, front door, drawer pulls, towel rods, belt buckles).  He fell asleep nearly the instant his head hit the pillow.


I love him so much.  He’s a smart little guy with an amazing vocabulary and command of language.  He recently started adding and subtracting out loud for us.  He helps me cook.  He (still) runs headlong into any physical challenge he meets, but his extreme physicality is juxtaposed by a sensitive, caring soul.  For all he loves to wrestle, he is a lover, not a fighter.  I’m so glad to leave age four behind and move on to age five.  I think this is going to be a good year.


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