Today is Andy's birthday. He is four! That all seems somewhat impossible to believe somehow. Sure, I have lived every one of those 1,200 plus days, but dang, 1,200 plus days? Really?
I am so proud of where he is. He loves to talk and listen to good stories (our new favorites, anything about the Pigeon Driving the Bus, Professor Poopypants or Knuffle Bunny). He loves to notice things, like the full moon or the color of the leaves. He loves playing with his sister (most days) and he totally adores his older brother and sister. He is learning math at a rapid pace, more so than reading actually although he knows all his letters and can even recognize a few words (like Andy, Target, Exit and Home Depot.) He loves to kick balls, do puzzles, play Ninja Warrior and watch television. He's a great kid and I'm lucky he's mine.
We threw a birthday party for him at the bowling alley. We had eight kids, aging from 16 months to 5 1/2, all the kids of my soccer friends plus family. Next year, I'm sure I have to invite his friends, but this year? I just invited our inner circle instead. We had two lanes for eight bowlers, complete with ramp and bumpers. The first game took about 45 minutes for each lane, then we had a hot dog and french fry lunch followed by ice cream and cake. Then I let him open presents, which all the kids helped with (which Andy actually loved). Then one final game and it was over. Andy had a great time, as did most of the kids. And at the end of it? The mess stayed there. Pretty good deal, I thought.
Rather than goody bags of choking hazards, I picked up mylar balloons for each of the kids. I think it went over pretty well with the kids and their parents. I did make a conscious decision to let him open presents. Most parties we go to these days they don't open the presents with the kids there and I know Andy often really wants his friends to see what he gave them (although most kids tell what the present is during opening, "Andy! It's a motorcycle inside!" Cracks me up.)
The only real damper is Meg is sick. Again. Poor thing threw up last night and now has diarrhea and generally wasn't herself all morning. Can someone please tell the well-kid Gods I will pay them whatever they need to please, please give my kids a healthy stretch for a while? Please? I hate to be such a whiner, but it's really killing me.