Monday Minute: James Survives Another Birthday Party
My dear daughter turned four this past weekend. 4! It always amazes me how four years have passed so quickly while one Monday can take forever (seriously, I know it’s Thursday but I started this on Monday). And apparently James had the same feelings about Margaret’s birthday party. While we would never dare decorate with balloons, this year’s festivities included a homemade pinata (which once upon a time contained a balloon and is therefore on the list of phobias) and the ever-endearing-but-just-out-of-tune-enough-to-make-James-hide-and-cry-somewhere birthday song.
And James doesn’t just hide and cry during Happy Birthday. He’s been around the block enough times by now to fret in anticipation of the tune for the entire day leading up to the big event, and then during the party until the song is over. He also made himself scarce when everyone went downstairs to gleefully beat the crap out of the pinata – you know, the one it took a week to build and ten minutes to destroy. His nervous behavior is expected by now, and we let him deal with it how he sees fit on a party-by-party basis – some go more smoothly than others. We let him know when it’s time for each event and invite him to join us, but don’t make him. And in general he doesn’t. But this year, James’s mood didn’t automatically improve after the song was over.
When I went up to tuck him into bed I found him pretending to browse through his favorite Sonic the Hedgehog comic with an almost comically worried look on his face.
Me: what’s up?
James: So is the party over?
Me: Yep, it’s all done.
James: And the pinata?
James: And everyone sang to Margaret?
Me: Yep, and the cake’s put away too.
James (tearing up): Oh, good.
Me: What’s the problem? You don’t need to worry, it’s all over.
James: But I didn’t eat any pizza.
Me: What? I offered it to you like 10 times and you said no!
James: And I missed the pinata.
James: And the candy.
Me: You can have some of Margaret’s.
James: And I didn’t get any cake.
Me: There’s a ton left – like I said.
James: What kind of pinata are you going to make me for my birthday?
Me: You… want a pinata?
James: I can smash all of it up in the basement because the balloon disappears.
Me (looking around his room): How about a Yoshi egg?
James: How about Mario?
Me: Hmmm, that might be tricky. What about Mario’s hat? or head?
James: How about Bowser?
Me: You’re moving in the wrong direction. What about Bullet Bill?
James: Yeah, and I can paint him all black with two big eyes.
Me: Okay, sounds like a plan for September.
James: Can I have cake and pizza before bed?
Me: You’re in bed.
James: But I’m so hungry.
Me: You should’ve eaten when everyone else was all day.
James: Mom, pleeeaaassssee. I’m. Hungry.
Me (sighing, loudly): If you can eat super fast you can come back down for a quick bite.
James: And presents?
Me: Now you’re pushing it.