Monday, May 2, 2011
A Farewell to Four (But Definitely Not Arms)
As Allyson, my beleaguered preschool carpool partner, will tell you, Danny has been counting down to his fifth birthday for a really long time. While he was certainly motivated by a desire for new toys, he was also bothered by the fact that all but one of his buddies had turned five before him. Considering the number of morning carpool conversations Danny and Jack have had regarding age, this is a big deal. We've tried to explain that eventually, he'll want to be the younger among his friends, but for now that argument holds no weight.
So at last he has hit the magical age! It was not a party year (hooray, hooray), but the festivities are extensive thanks to the upcoming influx of family and friends for Clare's First Communion and Laura's baptism. For the big day itself, we had been planning a trip to Medieval Times for approximately nine months. Danny was allowed to bring one friend, and as far as he was concerned it was no contest: Parker. More on that later.
Amusingly, for some nine months or so Danny had also been fretting about the fact that his fifth birthday was going to fall on a Sunday. Danny does not care for Sundays, as I have a no TV rule for those mornings, and because he'd rather play than attend church. He enjoys Sunday school, but there are some Sundays when there isn't any Sunday school and so he is forced to attend mass with us. A while back, I had suggested that we could attend Saturday evening mass on this particular weekend, thus preserving his special day. This was agreeable to him until a recent trip to mass, when he was reminded yet again how much he prefers Sunday school. After determining that there was, indeed, Sunday school scheduled for May 1, he decided he would prefer to attend church on that day. He then proceeded to remind us of this plan several times over the next few weeks. (This reminds me that I need to be sure to give his Sunday school teachers a nice gift at the end of the year!)
And so May 1 finally, blessedly arrived. It started off on an interesting note, too. Typically Danny will begin singing (either the theme from Star Wars, Indiana Jones, or LEGO Hero Factory) when he is ready for someone to come release him from his room. He grows increasingly louder the longer is takes us to wake up and hear him. On this day, however, I awoke to voices, both his and Clare's. The next thing we knew, Danny was prancing around the hallway, and when we groggily greeted him from our bed, he proudly announced, "Clare got me up!" Frankly, this was win-win, because the two of them were off playing the indoor-outdoor game that kept them busy all weekend, and Tim and I got to stay in bed until Laura awoke. Parenting really teaches you an appreciation for the little things.
After a feast of cinnamon rolls, the kids went back outside. Barefoot, I later learned, as Danny returned to the house with a splinter. My attempts to extract it were akin to a limb amputation as far as Danny was concerned, so I left it for Tim to deal with after church. This was most certainly the blot on his day, as Danny dramatically and vociferously moaned over and over before and during the removal. Which took about 60 seconds, might I add. Tim and I found this particularly ironic given that Danny is self-proclaimed "obsessed" with the Civil War, and the Magic Tree House book we just finished is all about the grim and gory realities of war. The soldiers' gruesome wounds went right over his head as he pretended to fight with rifles and swords...but the splinter was just. too. much.
We wisely opted to remove the splinter before presents, so his tears quickly dried as we headed downstairs. Given that we are having a separate party with grandparents and Aunt Karen and Uncle Brian on Friday evening, his stash of presents was also separated into two, and this turned out to be fantastic. He opened just the right amount to be thrilled but not overwhelmed, enabling him to happily play for the rest of the afternoon with his Egypt Playmobil items. At this point, splinter momentarily forgotten, he already made his first "best birthday ever" pronouncement - and we hadn't even had cake yet!
Speaking of the cake. Let's just say that his request was tough: Mace Windu. Or, Samuel L. Jackson for those familiar with Star Wars: Episode I. Yeah. Tim's reaction was such that he had to leave the room, he was laughing so hard. Definitely not my best work of art...but may I remind you of last year's cake?? Ever the more chivalrous Seymour male, Danny solemnly told me that I did a "good job" and was very appreciative. I did have a pretty cute helper.
After the cake, the babysitter arrived to keep Laura and we were off to Medieval Times. I don't really need to describe this much, because Danny responded to this exactly as you would imagine he would. He had a blast. He has since professed his love for it multiple times, has requested to return, and has reenacted the joust over and over. Clare loved it, too, and has already asked me if I think it would be an okay place for a girl to have a birthday. Tim is a little less smitten with this idea, but then again he didn't get to sit right next to Danny. That was my privilege, and truly the best seat in the house.
As Danny said this morning, "I can't believe I'm five!" I can't, either, sweet boy.