Sunday, March 13, 2011

Happy Happy Birthday

Hyrum is now as old as everyone thinks he is: 3.

"He's very happy to be three," Joy agrees. "He already updated the song from 'I am two going on three' to 'I am three going on four' without prompting. He did suggest today that he was four, just to see what reaction he would get. No no, you're not 4."

The plan was for me to return from Nebraska Thursday night, wake him up Friday, and take him to school. I would get home from work early so we could have birthday fun. Then La Guardia airport got inundated with rain, flights were arriving two hours late, and I was cordially invited to have a sleepover. The hardest part of it was knowing I would miss Hyrum's wake up call.

"Speaking of wake up call, I go into his room singing Happy Birthday. And throughout the whole song he's saying 'Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!' Nonplussed, I keep singing. I made my explanations after the song was over. I told him that Daddy was supposed to be here cause his plane was going to come in the night before but that his plane got stuck. So now there was a New Plan! And I told him we would pick Daddy up right after school. Somehow he seemed to be happy about having a new plan and that Daddy still wasn't going to miss his birthday."

His fellow classmates celebrated with Joy's cupcakes, gave Hyrum a few cards, and some even gave him hugs. This was very exciting for him. He is making friends who he comes home to talk about.

"They've tried to give him hugs before, but I think because he was seeking for attention for his birthday he was more accepting of the attention, and more thrilled by it."

Once they picked me up, we went to a park, at his spur of the moment request. The park is surrounded by feet of snow. I managed to get his snow pants on over his boots in the car and we trudged over to the slide and jungle gym. He was very happy traipsing around on it with me. Then we finished going home to have lunch and put him down for a nap. Cruel parents.

Hy napped, Daddy finished some work and napped (first sleep that day - 20 minutes) while Mommy finished preparations for the party and planned with her poor addled husband.

"The night before I put up streamers and balloons in green and red (Mario and Luigi colors), a small table with presents, and decorated the bottom half of three doors in our house with Mario pictures and Happy Birthday signs." Balloons dangled from the streamers so Hyrum could play kitty cat and bat them around. "Like at my birthday!" I DID do that, didn't I?

"He changes what he wants to do and be so often, and said he wanted to be Flick (Bug's Life) and Animal Crossing, and I was like, I'm not decorating with Animal Crossing - I wouldn't even know what to do! But one day Hyrum was kind of playing around and I was looking around online for pictures of Mario and Luigi and Peach and Hyrum started paying attention, so he was telling me what pictures he liked the best. So the decorations on the doors came from printing off those pictures."

"I was not disappointed in how excited he was about the decorations. I mean, he was really excited, a lot more excited about the decorations than I took time to do them, so I was not disappointed. He was still gushing about them when Daddy came home. When he saw the first door in the morning, he was all excited and he said 'Where's Toad?' I said, He's not on this door. We'll have to look at another door."

Sorry, Mario, your decoration is not in this castle....

"So it became a little bit of a treasure hunt to find out who was on each door. It was fun. And the last thing that he noticed (cause he really liked the streamers and balloons) was the helium balloon that I got him with Mickey, Donald, and Goofy. He thought that was awesome too."

Once he woke up, it was time for presents!

I got him a plush Luigi doll to match his Mario, which brought squeals of delight once he got through Joy's wrapping job. Joy got him a game Cranium Cariboo he loved/s. We both got him some magnetic stickers of Toy Story and Bob the Builder. Then it was time for the party!

We had Hyrum choose the boardgames he wanted to play in advance. We dressed him in a red shirt and blue pants, and Joy had sewn a red letter M onto a hat of mine. He was Mario! When Margaret showed up, all pretty in pink to be crowned Princess Peach, and I donned green and blue, we were ready for some real fun.

"I was the only one not in character."

While Joy directed the kids in playing Candyland, Hi Ho Cherry-o, and Book of Mormon Challenge, I cleaned dishes and otherwise made my green self useful. One of the cuter parts is that in the BoM Challenge game you are supposed to sing a hymn at a certain point. When we did, Margaret stood up to twirl, saying 'Let's dance!' Hy watched her for a second and followed suit, less gracefully. That's what ballet classes'll do ya. Then it was time for cake!

"I made Hyrum a castle out of Moosewood vegan chocolate cake [same recipe as the cupcakes], chocolate coins, Mario fruit snacks, and dots to serve as Mario's pipes. They both seemed to think it looked like a castle, so that's good."

M was mostly interested in eating coins, Hy in eating the castle with his hands. So the ice cream slowly melted, he objected whenever I cut one of the adults a slice, and they had a blast! She gave him a couple children's magazines for a present and then they played a few minutes of MarioParty before returning her home. Not that either of them ate dinner as a result. Sorry, parents.

"We hadn't planned on subjecting her to MarioParty. But we were all still together and it was time to let Hyrum play with his Mario friend and she didn't seem to mind."

Looking over the decorations, she saw Princess Daisy and took a liking to her. She wondered why the game didn't have Princess Daisy too?? "Hyrum just usually chooses Peach. So if we ever play it again together, she'll probably choose Princess Daisy."

Once that was done, Hyrum got to talk to Pop and Boo online, who had sent him more presents. He managed to divine the Big Gift to open first: a plush Peach. He is so over-the-top thrilled about having Peach to go with the plumbers. He talks about Mario and Peach mostly. "Plastic Luigi has gone to the wayside" though he did talk to me about 'the other Luigi' today, asking where he was. They also got him a new white shirt, which he happily declared today didn't hurt him because it was big enough,

"and looked good on him. It had a great green, black and white striped tie."

He also got Toy Story Mania, which he was over-the-top thrilled about and two videos he didn't know much about... until I introduced them to him properly. They were clearly my additions to his wish list. The Backyardigans: Robin Hood the Clean became an instant favorite. He has spent most of the last 24 hours as Pablo the Penguin (when he wasn't being Flick, Margaret, or his nursery leader 'with the orange shoes and colored legs'). He has not yet been introduced to the Sesame Street counting and alphabet videos, but I have no doubt of their favorable reception.

"Boy, Backyardigans sure took off fast. They just have music often enough that the poor boy couldn't help himself, I'm sure."

That night his prayers were very thankful and happy, unable to even contain so much happiness in his little growing body. I asked him how his birthday was. He reported that it was great: 'There were presents!'

"There were a couple times during the day that he said things were 'beautiful' and 'fun.'" Yes, he was eager to express his approval of the decorations and cake and everything Joy had worked on so diligently while I was unavailable to do anything. Joy is to be highly commended for a most successful birthday.

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