Hannah's birthday is coming up, and as soon as I can get over the fact that my firstborn is turning 7, (7!), I can pick my jaw up off the floor and proceed with party planning.
We have only done the family thing thus far, which is awesome, because I don't have to worry about protecting the grandfather clock or wood floors or freshly polished sconces when they're around, like you might have to with a house full of 6-7 year olds. Pop-pop won't be chucking toys in the living room and Nani won't be making deep tracks in the floor by pushing down too hard on the vintage Matchbox cars.
You think I'm kidding about protecting things? I'm married to a conservationist. This guy is down at Nemours making things pretty again on a daily basis, or at the Rodin Museum, or gussying up Joan of Arc. Stuff matters to him. So kids, in a lot of ways, are kind of like his nemesis. Well, kids, and time and the elements and such.
But, I can't blame it all on conservation. It kind of makes my insides shrivel up and die simply thinking about planning games for a group of children. Chaos makes my head spin. It's not my thing, and I think it's good that I can admit that to myself. Luckily, both my kids feel exactly the same way about chaos. It's quite convenient.
This is the first year, however, that Hannah has asked about a friend party. Specifically, she wants it at a bowling alley with everyone. EVERYONE. At least I wouldn't have to plan any games, because...hello...bowling, but still....hello...cash money. The kids party business is a racket.
And I'd feel weird about her getting that many presents. We have too much shit as it is. I'm not eager to add to the pile.
Family inquires, and thus we can steer presents in an appropriate direction: clothes, or a Magic Tree House boxed set, a DS game or craft kits. But with friends? Who knows. Suddenly you have a set of iCarly DVDs where there is kissing (kissing!) or a Twilight beach towel that has Edward stalking Bella. I'm like, look at the pretty paper dolls, and everyone else is already letting their kids get a taste of vampire desire. I don't think vampire desire is appropriate until at least 21, right? Nothing has turned me into a prude quite as quickly as parenthood.
I also profess confusion at her particular cake wish. Here's a taste of a conversation we had about it fairly recently:
Me: Hannah, your birthday is coming up...
Hannah: I know, it's in 45 days exactly.
Me: How'd you know that?
Hannah: I'm keeping track with my calendar.
Me: 45 days exactly?
Me: Okay, well, you need to start thinking about what kind of cake you want me to make.
Hannah: I want a dolphin cake.
Me: What? Dolphins?
Hannah: Yeah, I love dolphins.
Me: Well, they're very cool creatures, but.....
Hannah: Why can't I have a dolphin cake?
Me: I didn't say you couldn't have one, I'm just a little confused. I've never heard you speak of dolphins before...
Hannah: I really like dolphins!
Me: ....you have no books on dolphins, no stuffed dolphin toys, no dolphin posters...
Me: ...no dolphin movies, no bookmarked dolphin websites, no dolphin coloring books....
Seriously, the dolphin bit completely came out of left field, and I tried mightily last night to convince her that this Joy the Baker cake would be preferable:
Click on it, it's so pretty! And it has berries, and frosting with a scraped vanilla bean in it. Oh, yum!
But I also realize that kids don't consider a birthday cake a cake unless it has some Blue #40 or Red #20 on it, and also a crapload of sprinkles. And if I'm not going to do a friend party, I should at least find a way to make the dolphin cake a reality.
And I suppose, even if after the last crumb of cake is finished, she never mentions dolphins again, it will have been worth it.