Tuesday, June 10th, 2008
Five Random Thoughts on a Fourth Birthday
1. It’s the evening before your daughter’s fourth birthday and you’re at the store to buy a container of brownie bites… You know, because you need a quick solution for the treat your daughter will share at her preschool’s snack time. You’ve visited your fifth store when you realize there’s been a run on brownie bites.
You find yourself in the neighboring college town where the last brownies within 200 miles are discovered. By now it’s 10 p.m. on Sunday and the cashier gives you a knowing look. You feel like telling him they’re really for a preschool party, but know he wouldn’t believe you because there’s only one reason people buy munchies in a college town at 10 p.m. on a Sunday. Why else would this brownie guy’s eyeballs be bloodshot and dilated? I mean, besides from having a newborn at home.
2. So the wife is talking to our newly branded
4-year-old on their way home from preschool when my wife asks how her
daughter liked the parade the family attended two days earlier. It was a
typical small town community parade tied to a spring festival, no big
deal, but exciting for a toddler.
My wife: “What was your favorite part from the parade?”
My daughter in a dismissive tone, “Oh, that’s back when I was three.”
3. That afternoon my wife noticed a full body rash on our daughter at bath time. It’s faint, but it’s there.
“Do you itch?”
“Yes, on my chest and my tummy and my arms.”
“When did that start?”
“Months ago when I was three.”
4. We’re glad we picked a pediatric group that is open until 8 p.m.
on birthdays so we could conclude the day with a diagnosis of Scarlet
Fever. Yipee! We’re now on Scarlet Watch hoping our 2-month-old
doesn’t get it, or it could mean a hospital stay.
5. Oh, but hey, what about the birthday party? Well, we haven’t held
one, yet. Our daughter had a normal day, then her choice of dinner
(pancakes and broccoli). Afterward, we opened presents from immediate
and distant family members. Cake and ice cream were planned, but
instead she went to the doctor.
Bonus outcome: Now she has a paper hospital gown for pretend play.
For a party, we considered:
- An inflatable bounce-o-rama fun zone type of facility â€” Too noisy for the baby.
- Bowling with gutter bumpers â€”Â€Â” Good, but unmanageable for the number of kids involved.
- The zoo â€”Â€Â” Great, our daughter could even feed a bear, but not for $340
for the feeding, a room rental and two led party games. (Believe it or not, the bulk of the cost is the room rental. The bear feeding is just $40.)
- Roller skating â€”Â€Â” It’s more like slow shuffling for 4-year-olds. Ugh, no thanks.
- Park and playground â€”Â€Â” Totally doable, but the weather is unpredictable.
Yep, 55 degrees, cloudy and breezy is common for our summers.
- Massive cardboard fort at home â€”Â€Â” This will happen. Oh yes it will happen. But not until our baby boy is a little older.
So… we proposed an idea to our daughter that requires a delay. In
early July we will hold a proper party at an organic pick-your-own
blueberry farm (when the crops are ripe). The farm supplies the tables.
We bring everything else. It’s free, except for the blueberries of
course. My fiendish plan is to rid the world of plastic trinket party
favors. The kids will eat the party favors.
See previously: The third birthday party never be repeated again. Who has the time?
Update: So we are sitting here the next day
wondering why our daughter doesn’t have any of the nastier symptoms of
Scarlet Fever… just a light rash, some itchiness, and a light
temperature. One call to the doctor later… Ohhhh, she has a viral
infection with symptoms similar to Scarlet Fever. Well, thank you for including that alarm word in your diagnosis. She can return to school once her fever breaks… except, there are now a couple dozen parents who won’t been too keen on seeing our daughter this week.