Birthdays: apart from Christmas, they bring so much pressure. Pressure for the right gift, right cake, right friends, right theme (although my girlfriend just informed me [7.5 years into the parenting GIG] that we aren’t supposed to allow our kids to pick a theme) and then, WHAM!
One kid has diarrhea that won’t quit and the birthday boy has a fever. Even worse, birthday boy has not asked a “why” question all afternoon nor has he jumped off the couch. Sure signs he’s sick.
So for the 2nd time in 5 years (that’s 40% of his birthdays folks) we have had to cancel Elam’s birthday party.
His birthdate is Pear Harbor Day, Dec. 7. It’s smack dab in between the sicky-est season: Thanksgiving and Christmas.
We tried to make the day fun regardless. The big kids stayed home all morning (while Dad drug XS to church – which he hated by the way. He wanted to stay home with the sick-o’s) and stomped the new rocket from said girlfriend who just tuned me into the “no-themed” party memo.
Calista was obviously feeling better already.
We tried to decorate with the SuperMan theme requested by Elam, but he rejected the idea of eating his cake. That cake stayed in the freezer for over a week but held up ok when we finally cracked into it. Then I “had” to make another one (we’re talking rich, decadent fair-trade cocoa brownies with fair-trade chocolate chips. If you’ve never had, then swoon as if you’ve eaten the best chocolate ever with no nasty aftertaste except the impulse to shove your face as deep into that brown pool of amazing…and suck it in baby.). I probably gained 10 pounds from 2 cakes in these past weeks!
Well suffice to say it was sort of a sad day but we made the best of it.
The week after has already been penned: lots of clinic visits and Amoxicillin and whining.
After 2 weeks of feeling crummy around, here this past weekend was going to be a re-do of fun.
First stop: Friday night at Bentleyville. It was a perfect, windless night and at 30 degrees it felt practically balmy for these 5 Askers. After a friends’ birthday party we drove downtown and started changing into snow pants and various layers in the back of the van.
That was when I realized I had forgotten to pack XS’s snow pants. Rats. Totally my fault.
Elam heard and suggested XS wear his.
He pulled up his long, wool socks and trooped around the lights like a rock star. We had a short wait time for Santa and miracle of miracles, did NOT have a meltdown on Santa’s lap!
Elam really did quite well but started to get cold on the way out.
There is something about being downtown, lights all aglow, music blaring into your ears and popcorn stuck in your teeth: it’s a Duluth Christmas Tradition!
It was hard to be frustrated with the kid: he did give up his warm stuff for his little brother!
Saturday we finally had the re-do party.
Brian unfortunately doesn’t have this documented, but he tucked his red shorts inside in such a way to make it look like he had a red diaper on… Why are superhero costumes so strange?!
We had a low-key party complete with fruit I made the kids eat, the Cheetos Elam forced me to buy (why did I let him talk me into these odd things we call snack foods!?) and a moment when we asked the kids what they like about Elam:
“He plays with me.” “He shares his toys with me.” “He’s my brother.”
Incidentally, Brian and I shook things up a little from the super hero, adult dancing lounge wear and cleaned up real good for the Rotary Party a few hours later.
I said we were like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie: superheros during the day, fancy pants at night.
And at church today, at least 10 people called me Wonder Woman. Felt good.
Well, as we drove to do errands for this party almost a month ago now, XS was asking the typical “me too?!” about the birthday stuff. Elam said “Nope. It’s all about me this time, right Momma?”
We did try to make it all about him, but after 2 weeks of birthday talk, even Elam was over it.
XS had some typical responses to not getting presents or wanting to grab every toy, Lego piece and even blow out candles after Elam was finished. But overall he did quite well. He especially liked having cake and ice cream 4-5 times in those 2 weeks.
Now, bring on Christmas!