Since the big kids got home in April Smiles has been looking forward to two things: Snow and his “happy birthday”. He really lucked out because both arrived on the same November weekend! I remember back in spring we would sit down with a calendar, flip the pages to November, and he would just bury his head in his hands and sigh heavily. It seemed like forever away to all of us but the wait was worth it.
We started the celebration with his party a few days before his actual birthday. He invited the whole neighborhood and close to 2 dozen folks invaded our basement. The party was pretty simple. We had Power Ranger balloons, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle tablecloth, Pizza Hut pizza and a store bought cake, cause you know I’m not exactly a Pinterest mom. However, I did organize some very elaborate party games that included musical chairs, pin the tail on the donkey, eat a donut hanging from a string without using your hands, and run around the house carrying a hardboiled egg on a spoon without dropping it (which Wiggles was surprisingly good at). Elaborate or not, the kids loved the games and the winners were happy to collect their dollar store prizes. (I really wish I had some good images to share here, but I just don’t. My mom got some great video but next time I’m putting someone on camera duty as well. I’ve got games to run, yo).
Before the party we practiced with Smiles a dozen times on the etiquette of gift opening. We role played giving him really horrible gifts and were pretty confident he understood to say “thank you” and not make some rude remark, but we were still a little nervous about how it would all go down. He got some nice stuff- Transformers, a remote control car and helicopter, roller blades, and more. But he also got $100. We pay our kids $3 max for the hardest chores they do, so $100 is pretty much the equivalent of winning the Powerball. Smiles was shaking with excitement and counted his money countless times that night.
As I was putting him to bed that night he told me that he was “very sad his party was all done.” I can imagine- after building a day up for seven months it’s got to be a little sad when it’s done.
His actual birthday was during the week. He came downstairs that morning whining because he wasn’t tall and he thought he was going to be tall when he was nine.
We were going to go eat at Blue Nile, a great Ethiopian restaurant here in KC, and the kids (and us) were pumped for this. We ate Ethiopian food somewhat often early in our transition but it’s been way too long. By far, the best thing to get at Blue Nile is the buffet. It allows you to eat (or try) all your favorite dishes and it’s really reasonably priced. But while the kids were at school we discovered that they only offer the buffet during lunch hours, so we made the decision to go next week when the kids are out of school. The kids were disappointed but we bribed them with cupcakes and leftover pizza and all was right with the world.
We got Smiles a Mizzou hoodie and a Lego set. This is how I found him the next morning when I hadn’t even realized he was awake:
Now Legos are my new favorite toy because they occupy my kid for hours AND make him smart!
All in all Smiles’ birthday was a great day for everyone…except for the day after his actual birthday when he said “My birthday all done? How many days my birthday again?” I told him 364 and this was not the answer he wanted to hear.