Sunday, April 27, 2008

Birthday Girl

The last weekend in April was bursting, both with Missy's second birthday and the first real warm weekend of Spring.

The dogwood and the cherry are heavy with bloom, the lawn is at the perfect Spring equinox between winter's hoar and summer's sere, all the borders are bursting out and the house looks its best.

(Okay, except for the hideous freaking Christmas lights STILL above the door. I'm going to get them down next weekend. I swear. screw one sheep...)

The point still remains: the weekend was lovely.So of course, everyone wanted to get outside and play.

Missy and The Peeper got out in the yard or on the porch at various times all weekend. Although they both enjoyed the mild days, their styles of play are very different.

Little Miss is still in the "if I can pick it up it can be thrown/I can hit something with it/I can use it to hit something. Occasionally this is ever appropriate - she certainly went after everything that didn't move and several cats that did move (but slowly) with Shea's plastic hammer. Her aim is erratic but her style is consistent.

Peeper has moved to the "line up all the trucks" phase. He doesn't actually come up with much in the way of scenarios. He just likes to get them ALL out and...ummm...line them up. I've tried to work with this but there's not much to start from. He has a hard time understanding Daddy's rapid boredom with lining up the trucks.

When lining up trucks finally palled, Peep and I went to the Zoo and Children's Museum Saturday:
First stop, the Children's Museum. Peep had made some money cleaning and vacuuming the cars and it was burning a hole in his pocket. He searched for, and found, the backpack-and-truck set he'd thrown such a tantrum over when we didn't buy it for him, oh, say, six months ago. Child has a memory like freaking Rain Man for a toy half-glimpsed in the middle of a maelstrom yet has no idea where his shoes are ten seconds after he's taken them off. Wassupwitdat?

After a quick dig in the Dig Pit and a fast splash in the Splash Tank it was off to the Zoo.

Peeper loves the zoo, and I was pleasantly surprised that, though crowded, Portland's wild animal jail wasn't the mad crush we'd experienced for Zoolights. So we zipped through the "members" line and headed off down the hill to the train station.Peeper loves the little steam train he calls "Old Smokey", and by good luck we got there at the right time and caught the Wabash Cannonball around the zoo, waving with equal and indifferent enthusiasm at patrons, elk and elephants alike.The train ride was followed by an entertaining visit with the sea lions, who were going through their feeding-time performance with the effortlessly polished mushin of a Republican appointee lying to Congress. A brief visit to the sea otter and it was a Peeper-skip and a dash to the sandbox, where we had a lovely dig (for the Peep) and half-doze (for the Daddy) before ankling along to the "Africafe" for some tuck-in.

Here's where I give the Peeper his big boy props. All the way down to the bottom of the hill he's talked about getting some animal-cookie-shaped french fries. But the moment we walk in the door we see a sign that tells us the animal fries are gone, lost, verloren, verkakt, verraten. Pining for the fjords.

I wait with some trepidation for the resulting meltdown, but the Peep just shrugs and says; "Well, let's share some popcorn, instead..."

Hurray for grown-up almost-five-year-olds!! We did get our poppy and a yellow elephant-shaped water bottle before sauntering all the way back up the hill and home. What a lovely day!I should add that we also enjoyed a very pleasant evening with our friends at the Timbers game - terrific game! - and then a stop for sweets at "Saint Cupcake" afterwards.
A warm, sunny day, good kid fun, hellacious good soccer (some of the best I've seen at any level),with the Timbers Army giving us a little taste of Champions League spirit (a special shoutout to the guy in the TA who brought the best banner of the night: a Suzuki-tribute, Kyokujitsu-ki battleflag [only in yellow and green Timbers colors]); and then home to a quiet house and sleepy children.

Today was Missy's actual birthday - at least, it's the best guess the orphanage people in Dongguan could come up with. Two years ago (plus or minus) a woman we will probably never know brought our little Miss into the world. We don't know why she couldn't keep her, although we might guess that poverty and a cleft lip may have had an effect. And we don't know why she chose to leave her rather than foster her, or, even more frightful, expose her or do away with her. We know that for every happy adoption story there is a grief, and though we cannot know yours, we are grateful, 生母, for your gift of our little girl.


But before the cake and prezzies - the first panel of drywall went up in Missy's future bedroom! Insulation, cutouts for window and outlets, and finally the drywall itself! Yay! Now it's just some fine finish work before we get the corner windows and we can really start to finish the room. We feel like the thing may actually be coming together

So Mojo and I measured and cut, drilled and nailed, stapled and screwed. Hey, hey, drywall screws, getcher mind out of the gutter. Besides, we're parents of preschoolers. We only get to do that on the random occasion that the children are more tired than we are. Do the math. God knows how these fundamentalist families manage to pop out fourteen or more of the little grunions. They must have exterior locks on the kids' room doors or something.

Not that we are looking for anything like that level of fecundity. The Fourth Rule of Fire Direction: Your Vagina Is Not A Clown Car.

So at the insistence of the Peeper we had cake with an inexplicable four candles (two in base one?).

And we blew them out, since Missy was utterly clueless.

But she did like the cake.

And then we all went out for dinner where both kids bounced around like total maniacs and ate gravel (OK, she ate it, he just threw it) and raced around the Blockbuster and came home and watched "Air Bud" which is like torture only with torture if you get lucky you eventually die.

And then she went to bed, a two-year-old.

Good night, my little daughter. Good night. Happy Birthday, my little girl.

May we share many more together.

And the red leaf looks to the hard gray stone
To each other, they know what they mean
Somewhere, their future is still yet to come
In ways that are yet as of now unforeseen


atomic mama said...

Happy birthday, Missy!!! Also glad to see you had some quality big boy time with the Peeper. Y'all take care!

mike said...

I love the part when I get to hang the drywall. But nothing is worse IMHO than doing the taping and then applying the drywall mud evenly. And I never could get the knack of putting on the final finish coat. It is like an artform that I am clueless about. So when I could not get it perfect, I tried the splatter technique to cover up my imperfect seams. That ended up looking scabrous and uneven. So I put on more gallons of spatter and used a mop-head and trowel to do a knockdown effect. It did not come out perfect like a pro had done it, but it is kind of rustic looking so I was finally a happy camper after a month of frustration. Good luck with yours.

You Know Where You Are With said...

Happy Birthday to the lovely two-year-old!!!

walternatives said...

Happy belated birthday to the cutie-patootie! And congrats x 2: for Big Boy Peeper and his shrug-off of those fries + getting the backpack AND on getting up the drywall - major accomplishments all around!