We've had birthdays here. A couple of them, actually. The first one was Thomas' on Saturday, but it really began on Friday and, according to him, is still in season today.
Friday was treat day at school. Thomas and I slaved over some really gorgeous blue and red cupcakes on Thursday evening, that were frosted in white, in preparation for the big KU game on Friday night. He was delighted to take these to share with his "triends" and the report from school was that the kids sang Rock Chalk while they ate them. When I mention that Thomas helped with their preparation, I of course mean that he was really excited about the project up until the time we put them in the oven. He then lost interest, leaving me to frost and package a couple dozen red and blue beauties.
Saturday ushered in a lovely winter storm that pelted us with sleet and freezing rain all day long. The boys and I baked Thomas' "real" cake that morning. I had white cake mix already but he informed me on Friday afternoon that his "real" birthday cake would be chocolate so I did what any softy mom would do and went to Dillons to get more cake mix. This time I had literally more help than my kitchen can hold. Picture me, Andrew, Thomas two step stools plus the mixing and baking accoutrements in approximately six square feet of countertop. It's a little tight but we got it done. Because chocolate cake with chocolate frosting wasn't quite chocolatey enough for the birthday boy, we stirred in some chocolate chips for good measure. Hey, it was a snow day.
While Thomas napped with his new truck from Aunt Steph and Uncle Jeff, I frosted and assembled the cake and he decorated it with sprinkles when he woke. That brought us to about 4 p.m. and he wanted to know if we could eat it RIGHT NOW, so we did. It was a snow day.
We opened presents, sang to him and all ate cake in the late-afternoon, with sleet still pelting the windows and the neighbors' trees beginning to wave their arms in slow-motion like trees do that are getting oh, so, heavy. We ventured out for a late birthday dinner and by then the rain had stopped and Great Grandma agreed to join us. The boys thought it was hilarious that daddy pulled the gold truck clear up on the sidewalk at Great Grandma's so the trek to the car would be shorter! Shockingly enough, Thomas announced he didn't want us to order him any food at dinner because he thought he'd had too much cake at home. He's so wise now that he's three.
We wound down that evening with more playing, baths and a late bedtime because it's not like we had used any energy just sitting around eating cake. As I rocked Thomas that night he asked me to sing Happy Birthday to him one more time. He wanted me to sing it like the Pre 2 kids do - complete with "cha, cha, cha" after each verse. Me thinks he liked being the center of it all around the house.
So, here I sit with my baby a three-year-old and his big brother nearly six. How did that happen? I wonder who stole all this time from us and how to slow the clock just a bit. How do I best remember to not sweat the small stuff? How do I best teach these boys to go out and be good people? How do we keep them talking to us instead of about us? How do we make the absolute most of everyday? It makes my head spin. I'm sure I'm the first parent to ever feel that way.
For today, I choose to concentrate on the fact that Thomas is perfect for us.
He loves to read books, he can imagine anything into a vehicle, he colors and play-dohs for hours a week and he loves his brother unabashedly. He remains basically scared of our dog, he still ends up in my lap at the end of most meals but he's not one bit scared to traverse the house in the dark of night. He is riding a bike with training wheels as if he's done it all his life and he steadfastly refuses to be interested in the toilet. He has a laugh that can warm me for hours but he saves it for the really important stuff. He's kind of a tough audience. He has gamely worked on perfecting difficult sounds for the last year and can now get a /w/ worked into conversation with the best of them. He loves to get his own water from the refrigerator and open all doors himself, but he's still the best handholder I know. He is delighted by the broom and dustpan that we gave him for his birthday and he remains convinced his birthday is still happening because we still have chocolate cake. He is not perfect, but is perfect for us.
Long live the triple chocolate cake!