July 27, 2003 – 5:55 pm
Liam turned one last Friday. The most exciting thing for me was that he now gets to ride facing forward in his car seat. I was thinking he would be much happier being able to see us as we drove. Not the case. His first ride facing forward he had absolutely no expression. I turned around and smiled at him and asked him if he thought it was cool being able to see mommy and daddy rather than the sky out the rear window. He just stared at me. No smile, nothing. I looked back again a bit later and he was asleep. I think it might be dangerous having him facing forward, I keep wanting to turn around to look at him.
From the time we woke up Friday morning I was trying to teach Liam to hold up his index finger when I would ask him “How old are you?” He never quite got it though. I figure by the time he’s about two he’ll have it down pat.
He had a well baby appointment on his birthday. It was kind of a lame birthday because he got three shots. It’s hard to stand and watch when your child gets stuck with a needle and starts screaming. You’re torn between wanting to comfort your child and sock the nurse in the nose. Seriously though, I don’t think the nurse enjoyed it any more than we did. She was very nice and very apologetic, and I’m almost certain that Liam forgave her before we left, so I did too.
His birthday was Friday but we had a party for him in the park on Saturday. The party theme was “Veggie Tales”:http://www.bigidea.com/, at least that was the plan. Jen had a really cool idea of making a Bob the Tomato round cake and cupcakes with green frosting that would look like the French Peas. Well, in case you’re not a culinary expert, it turns out that it’s really quite difficult to make frosting a very dark color using food coloring. It takes about a gallon of red food color to get frosting the color of Bob the Tomato and when you use that much food coloring it changes the consistency of the frosting. So we had a big pink cake. Until Jen’s mom went to the supermarket and got some kind of cake spray paint. No, it’s real. It’s some kind of color spray that you spray on cakes. So we had a nice tomato-red cake that looked very much like Bob the Tomato. That brings up a whole different issue of kids eating cakes that look like their heroes. Bob was a carrot cake and all in all he tasted pretty darn good. (Sorry Bob)
Planning a birthday for a one year old is a fairly stressful ordeal. The only experience I can compare it to is planning a wedding. You have to think of a place and a time. If you do it outside you have to be very conscious of the weather. You have to buy and send invitations and hope that people will actually RSVP. You have to get table cloths and napkins and silverware and drinks and cake and ice cream. You’ll need chairs and tables, balloons and ribbons. You’ll make lists and lose them. You’ll have boxes and bags full of stuff you never would think you would need for a child’s birthday party. It is really and truly absolutely insane. And after all that planning, all that stress, the argument in front of a hundred people at the church rummage sale, after all that the child sleeps through the first half of his own party. On some blankets, under a tree, the child did not stir for over an hour. And now our already overcrowded house has a dozen more toys to contain.
To be honest, I’m not sure who the party is for. Liam not only slept through most of it, the part he was awake for he was grumpy and won’t remember when he grows up. I don’t know if the wife and I enjoyed it or not. I know we were running around even during the party and it was at least a hundred degrees Saturday. I brought the video camera and never got a chance to even get it out. I’m pretty sure Jen took some pictures with the digital camera. At least I hope she did. So was the party for the guests? I’m sure they would have been just as happy at home basking in the air-conditioning. For the 45 minutes I actually got to sit down, it was a nice gathering. Maybe we do it more because it’s tradition. Some day we can look back and laugh at all that went wrong. Not today, probably not tomorrow, but some day.