We are not, by any means, extravagant birthday-celebrators. I mean, we like birthdays, we don't have any kind of moral objection to the celebration of dates of birth. It's just that Derek is very, very practical and I am very, very prone to freaking out when forced to spend too much time around my fellow homo sapiens. Or any time at all around large quantities of the same.
The following is why I almost didn't even answer the door for our kindly mailman this afternoon because I just could not do one more interaction with one more person:
- Went for a ten-mile run. Didn't die. In fact, I believe this close to two-hour period of solitude to be the reason no one died by my hands over the weekend.
- Came home. Derek went to gym. Cleaned self. Cleaned house. Cleaned children. Went the tiniest bit ballistic five minutes before our family left the house to begin super-social-time at the thought of prolonged period of super-social-expectations. Derek remained calm while I was losing my mind. This is why crazy people should always trick sane people into marrying them.
|This was me, except for the tiny part about me being one million times less likable than Chris Farley.|
- Met Derek's parents, his sister, and her two girls at the birthday restaurant of Caedmon's choosing.
The above photo shows Caedmon hiding in his Grandma's lap while the restaurant staff sing "Happy Birthday" to him. Unfortunately society frowns upon this kind of practice when you're an adult, or I can think of two very specific occasions when I, too, would have ducked under the table. Soak it up while it's still considered cute, my son. And lest you think we were forcing this upon him, he was okay with the whole thing until it actually started happening. Like surprise parties and Pomeranians, the idea is much better than the reality.
- Went to church carnival. It is possible that I whimpered when I saw the parking lot was full as we were pulling in.
Adelaide and I both enjoy snakes, and this one was a beaut. She had no problem petting the snake, but the thought of hugging the ISU mascot Cy was too much for her:
|Caedmon hugging Cy.|
|Atticus hugging Cy.|
|Derek's dad, the ISU alumnus, going right past a hug and straight for the lap. Caedmon could not get over the sight of his Papa sitting on someone's lap.|
- Attended an Iowa State volleyball game.
After lunch out and two hours at the carnival, the birthday boy was plum tuckered. He still naps every afternoon, so it was less than astonishing when he slept through most of the volleyball game.
|Four years old is still young enough to sleep on my lap. Phew.|
Others in our party were more enthusiastic.
Then we all parted ways, our fivesome returning home to more or less collapse.
That's right. It's not over.
I managed to keep it together most of this day, in no small part because I've been reading the parenting book Fit to Burst, where the author says things like, "You don't get to lose it because you're the adult. Now act like it," except more lovingly. I would, however, like to posit that because the author has six young children she is more than likely completely loony tunes, so why I'm following her advice is beyond me. Except that it has been helpful. I'm really liking the book, Adelaide loves it and is almost done. Because of course she is.
- Church. There were a million people there. Or close to that. Yet I still didn't lose it. Someone get me a medal. And a package of Oreos. STAT.
- Small, tasteful family celebration on Caedmon's actual fourth birthday.
|Come into my loving arms, cake.|
Derek nonchalantly placed Caedmon's birthday gift next to his own plate to see if Caedmon would notice. Batman was on the box. Caedmon noticed.
A glow-in-the-dark Batman watch- just the thing for our budding superhero. We bought it months ago, and Derek really was supremely sneaky about purchasing it as we were all together at the store, but Cade is frighteningly observant and never forgets anything, which spells trouble for me as a mother. Derek commented in half-exasperation that our youngest should be a detective when Caedmon was like, "Oh, yeah, the Batman watch you got me a long time ago and I've known about this whole time." Coupled with his extreme interest in bad guys and jails, I think he could go far in this field. I doubt most police forces would let him wear a cape, though. Bummer.
- Honored my mental promise with myself and registered for the Des Moines half marathon. I'm proud to say I did not vomit immediately after clicking "Confirm," but it was dicey there for a few minutes. Stretching myself is a good, positive thing. Right, friends? Right?
- Derek's parents came over and watched the kiddos so that we could attend a church thing. Well, so that I could attend; Derek was going to be there no matter what, bossing people around. To be fair, he does this in such a way that they believe they enjoy it and like it when he's the one doing the bossing. It's like his magic power or something.
Finally we came home and thanked his parents profusely again for doing almost all of the above plus driving an hour each way twice in one weekend. Then we collapsed. Again.