I think I've finally chipped the dried batter from my hair and scrubbed the fudgy frosting from under my nails. I'm so tired of the cakes. Really. I can't imagine ever wanting another one.
At least until next week.
Overall, the birthdays have gone well. Kitty Cat, on her special day, most wanted scrambled eggs–a delicacy since she can only have them when Fruit Bat is in Pre-K. So we went to Patty's Eggnest, and, of course, despite all the Duncan Hines I'd been sampling and the
eyeballs jellybeans I'd been popping, I felt compelled to order a stack of pancakes. This was right after inhaling a giant turkey sandwich for lunch.
Kitty Cat ate eggs and ate eggs and was flexible and sweet and appreciative of her gifts.
Fruit Bat's birthday started out smoothly, but began to fall apart toward the afternoon. I should say HE began to fall apart. In his defense, this was the first full week in his brand new class. He's busy adjusting. He's busy "taking social risks", which is what his teachers, and J. and I, want. He's tired.
So, I wasn't totally surprised that he screamed like the roof was caving in when we asked him for a brief photo op (a quick pic of him in front of one of the many cakes I'd slaved over). I also wasn't too taken aback when he whined (nay, shrieked), later in the evening, because two of his gifts were intended to be shared with his sister. I was mortified by his greed. But the tantrum itself? Not too shocking.
We ended up confiscating the remainder of his presents and lecturing him mercilessly on gratitude.
The next morning, I made him sign five thank you notes before he could open the presents we'd cruelly seized.
For the last 24 hours, I've been cursing the American Birthday Dream. There's SO MUCH. All the gifts and sweets that have pushed our kids' expectations to grander, more decadent plateaus.
I like to think we're fairly modest in our giving. Fruit Bat and Kitty Cat each received two smallish presents from us, a few humble trinkets from our families. And our birthday party tomorrow will consist of four friends. No clowns. No mimes. No bounce house. Not that there's anything wrong with those indulgences. They are just not us.
We'll have some play. Cake (of course). Then a treasure hunt for goody bags.
My relationship with goody bags, as well, is complicated. Bristling. I don't like them. I don't like that, as a kid, we used to get paper cups half filled with M&Ms (and we were satisfied with that. And how old and crotchety do I sound?) and now, if Fruit Bat receives a nifty gifty that is actually a high quality toy rather than a bag filled with a dozen pieces of junk, he feels cheated.
But, still, I partake. Just today I bought several pieces of crap for my child to hand to his best friends tomorrow afternoon.
They will love him for it. And, as long as he's not yelping that I didn't provide sparkly enough swag, I will smile tenderly at his cronies, my heart melty that he has friends as good as these. And we will all feel lucky again.