Tuesday, April 9, 2013

5

Dear Son,
I wanted to document your 5th birthday (almost a month late, I knooooow), not because we did anything particularly crazy or expensive or ambitious, but because it was just a good good day. It was mostly a normal day, just peppered with fun things we don't do very often. 
I had every intention to tape some bright green crepe paper I bought across your bedroom door, so you'd get to bust out in the morning. But then I thought 1. you'd probably be like WHAT THE WHAT and be more annoyed at having to put forth such effort upon waking, than think it was actually fun and 2. I really needed your sister to sleep as late as possible (every minute past 7am makes a difference!), so the less noise, the better. So, that plan was scrapped. Maybe next year. 
Your usual routine when you get up, is you coming into our room. I'm usually on the computer, drinking coffee, and your father is usually on the laptop in bed, or getting dressed for work. You ALWAYS request to play Go Fish in the mornings, and we always have you check the monitor first. If Avery is asleep, we're a go.. if she's awake, then it's time to start the day. Yes, before the day even begins, your sister dictates our day. Life with a young toddler, all round the world! But this day, your 5th birthday, we had some presents set up in the living room. Some wrapped, some not. You made a bee-line, of course. You very sleepily ripped into them. Full disclosure: one of them was a Christmas-surplus gift, set aside in the closet with the intent to give to you on your birthday. You never even knew. You got a tool-kit set, a REAL tee for t-ball practice outside (which weighs about 20 lbs, no lie), some doodle-pads (which was the biggest hit, go fig) and markers and other misc things. I think my excitement in taking pictures had the opposite effect on you though. The more happy I appeared, the crabbier you got. You just DID NOT want the camera around that early. Asking you to hold up 5 fingers for photos resulted in a very annoyed snarl and a limp-wristed hand. Fun! We did breakfast as usual, (I think I had donuts for you, I'll tell my memory to believe that..) and you got dressed and did your 'morning responsibilities'. (yes, in days past they would have been called 'chores', but I enjoy hearing you say things in very grown-up complicated ways..) You made your bed, you opened the blinds and turned on the lamp. And then you got to play some wii. Usually 2 racing games, sometimes 3. Each game lasts about 4 minutes, so it's not a huge chunk of time, but enough for you, for now. You start rubbing your non-blinking laserbeam eyes sometimes after 2 games, so I know it's enough for now. 
You never even asked what we were doing for the day, or if we had plans at all. I loved this. You had NO expectations. How many more years of that will there be? Not many, I am certain. You'll become better friends with much much more spoiled kids, you'll watch more TV & commercials, you'll get more ideas.. and this time of having no expectations will be history. I didn't even tell you what we had planned until about 5 minutes before we were to leave. I asked you if you wanted to go watch the planes take off and land, and you started jumping up and down, saying 'Oh yes! Oh boy oh boy!!!!' I didn't tell you that your father had plans to meet us there - which was the ultimate in surprises for you, Ultimate Daddy's Boy lately. We went and picked up Chick Fil A (your choice), and planned to eat it while we watched the planes. We get there and you go running for a picnic bench, climb on the very top and start yelling one thing after another 'Do ya see that one?! Hey Mommy! Hey Mommy! That's an American EAGLE, not American Airlines. That's a triple-7!! And that's a Super 80! Oh look over  there!!' and so on and so on. Endless commentating. All this while I'm still getting Avery unbuckled and putting her jacket on. You are a mile a minute, from the very start. Our plan is that your Dad is to text me when he's at the stop-light to turn in, so I can distract you while he parks, and get it on video. Amazingly and surprisingly, the plan works perfectly and I get a cool video of him creeping up behind you, and you turning and saying 'Hiiiiii!!!!!' Super surprised. You jumped in his arms and gave him the happiest hug. And you didn't even know yet he was going to eat with us, you were just genuinely giddy to see him in the middle of the day. A rare special treat. We told you he was going to eat with us and you kept saying 'really???!' We let you all play for a bit, and then it was time to eat. It was crazy windy, so eating with paper-wrappers/napkins wouldn't have been easy, so it's a good thing your Daddy drives a boat!! The Avalon provided more than enough space in the backseat (me in the front, distributing food/napkins/etc) for a car-picnic. :) You got to play after, then it was time for him to go back to work. We left at about the same time and WHOA nelly was your sister crabby. It is completely NOT her routine to be out and about right before naptime (12:00), so she was extremely overtired and pissed. She was inconsolable for about half the drive home. You had your hands over your ears because you said it was hurting your ears. Me too. Eventually she was consoled by playing peekaboo with you, a favorite standby. We came home, I put her to bed, and you and I started our playtime. Of course I didn't enforce a naptime for you on your birthday, I'm no monster. We tried to play Uno, but as I read the instructions, I soon realized my brain has slowly atrophied (so we're clear, I blame you & Avery, 100%), so I suggested we wait for your father to get home to explain the directions better than I could. Sad sad sad. I DO possess a Bachelors! But years of staying at home, armpit deep in the often-odorous requirements of raising children makes your brain leak. Then I tried to open a Domino Rally set you got, and those instructions practically made me comatose. You were all too happy to play Go fish though, thankfully. You got to play some more Wii, then we watched Peter Pan on the iPad, in bed cuddling. It was a fun chunk of our day.
Avery was up, we had snacks at the picnic table in the kitchen, as usual. Then we went outside to play, as it was pretty nice weather. We were just playing around in the front when I had the idea to go get snow-cones. Why not?! You flipped over this idea. So off we went. Avery was, again, crabbin' it up. Not too content to be back in the carseat. We got our snow-cones (you smiled SO big when the lady put 4 gummi-bears on yours, when you told her it was your birthday, completely unprompted) and sat out in the sun for a bit, and then came back home to play some more. 
We had told you that you could pick wherever you wanted to go for dinner, and I knew before you even spoke that it was 1 of 2 places..  'Old' McDonalds or Joe's pizza. I was really crossing my fingers for the latter. (sidenote: Joe's is where your father and I ate, when we were researching where to build our home/start our family. We visited the neighborhood and after seeing the models/getting the sales pitch, we ate at Joes and talked about if this area was the best fit for us.) So anyways, you picked Joe's. Their plain cheese pizza is as authentic New York as you can get, this far South, and you & your sis just love it. Avery was being a ham the entire time, dramatically turning in her highchair every time the door opened, so that she could wave and say HIIIII! to everyone who walked inside. We had a good family dinner. I thought it'd be fun, as a special treat, to go to the park on the way home, because it was a gorgeous day outside still. We went to the 'yellow park', in the neighborhood just south of us. We had it all to ourselves. We played hide & seek and had a really good time. We reminded you that we still had brownies at home for dessert and you grabbed your belly and very responsibly stated that you'd have to wait and see, that you were very full.
We came home and cut you a little brownie, and put 5 candles in it. The night of your birthday party, the Saturday before, we asked you what your BEST favorite moment of your party was, and you said when everyone sang to you. I thought that was so sweet. We sang Happy Birthday to you and you beamed the entire time, just soaking up the attention. You didn't eat the brownie, as you were still too full.
We had a great day, just being. It's so wonderful that you put such a high value in just spending time together. The simple act of reading you books sometime, breaking from the household chores and whatnot, just means so much to you it's palpable.
At dinnertimes lately, we do this thing called 'High and Lows'..  we each (most of the time me and you, as dinnertime during the week with your father has become rare, and Avery's language is limited!) say the High (the best) part of the day and the Low (worst) part. If it's a day that you didn't take a nap, and we spent that time playing and doing things, just the two of us (while Avery slept), you will ALWAYS say that was the High - spending time with me. Even if you got to do other super fun things, in this stage of your life, I actually win over them. I know it's a short stage. You'll usually say your Low was a time of the day when you got in trouble over something. You are a super sensitive little dude, and getting in trouble stays with you. You talk about it for weeks sometimes. I am grateful it's all minor offenses, because if you had a penchant for truly naughty doings, well, I just think you'd emotionally crumble with the consequences (which, before I forget, is an instant tension melter. You think this word is hilarious beyond reason, so sometimes all I have to do is say the word CONSEQUENCES and the tension melts into ridiculous laughter.) Sometimes, in the middle of being verbally disciplined for something that you think is not worthy of discipline, you'll very clearly tell me that you are in the middle of your low for the day. You'll say 'Mommy. This is my low. Right now. My low for today.' It's so hard to not laugh to your face.
Kid, you are something else. The best big brother a little sis could ask for. The best son a set of parents could dream of. Sweet. Smart. Kind. Funny. Clever. Silly. Joyful. Sensitive. And about a thousand other things, some I don't even know about yet. But I'm so very excited. Happy 5th birthday, loves.





1 comment:

  1. You are the coolest mom! I love reading your blogs.

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