Last week we celebrated Batman’s actual birthday on Wednesday with his favorite dinner: white chicken enchiladas. He first tasted these wonders at Grandpa Vernon’s, and when he was choosing his birthday meal he asked not only if we could have them for dinner, but could we please have Grandpa Vernon make them, “So they’ll be good.”
Ah, the appreciation of children.
I knew that Grandpa Vernon was very busy during the week with his own (biological) grandchildren, so I convinced Batman to let me make his dinner. It actually turned out pretty well, though Batman was way more focused on his second birthday celebration: a family bounce party scheduled for Sunday.
Ever since I made the mistake of had the fantastic idea of renting a bounce house for Batman’s birthday party last year, and then again for Annabelle’s celebration in September, a birthday is not a birthday around here until we have blown all the circuit breakers on the property trying to get a large plastic house inflated in our front yard. We follow that up with big kids bouncing on little kids until someone is crying and most likely bleeding as well. Then we light off a bunch of rockets in the attempt to keep our small-town firefighters practiced up with a grass fire or two.
Oh, and we usually catch the horses so that Reno can break free from his handler and give some poor toddler the ride of his life running loose like a wild mustang with several adults chasing frantically after him.
Yep, that’s how we do birthdays around here.
Since we had no choice schedule-wise but to hold Batman’s party on a Sunday this year, I decided to scale back the size of the shindig. It really is fun to have tons of kids running around like crazy, but since it was a school night at the end of a very busy week, and the day after Annabelle and I were to be horse-showing all day, I kept the guest list to just family (and a couple of adopted family members).
The result was a smaller, quieter celebration, but the kids still had a blast bouncing, riding the four-wheelers and chasing after a rocket or two.
The day dawned sunny and clear, a perfect day for a birthday party. Of course the highlight of the morning was the arrival of the bouncy.
Which the nice young attendant from the bounce house company efficiently inflated with nary a circuit breaker flicker.
The day was off to a good start.
And it just got better. Cousins slowly trickled in from around the valley.
I admit that I didn’t get many pictures of the party this time. I took advantage of the reduced scale to, well, actually mingle with the guests and enjoy myself. It was divine.
The bounce house was put to good use.
After a couple of hours, Desperate Hubby grilled up some burgers and dogs for an early dinner, then it was cake time.
We decided to sing happy birthday on the back porch, and with the slight breeze it was a challenge to get the big orange “5” candle burning.
And to keep my hair from sticking to my chap stick.
I had taken Batman to Costco earlier in the week so that he could pick out his cake. He was very disappointed that Costco did not have a cake featuring a decoration of worms. Being in the fishing mode right now, Batman is very interested in worms.
But wait…..the people at Costco are nothing if not accommodating. Though they did not have a worm cake, they did have a cake pattern with a cute, smiling caterpillar on it.
After some discussion with a decorator and very specific instructions on the part of Batman, the cake person agreed to make a cake with the caterpillar form, out of all-brown frosting, with no legs and small antennae.
And just like that a Worm Cake was born.
I was pretty excited about this particular birthday development, and couldn’t wait to see the cake when it was finished. On Saturday afternoon, after a warm day spent at the Ontario, Oregon fairgrounds showing at the Gem State Stock Horse Association show, I loaded up Batman and headed over to pick up the cake. We left Annabelle sleeping in her bunk bed, exhausted from awakening at 4:30 am and then riding all day long in the hot sun.
We searched through the cake stand located in the cold produce room for our cake. Though there were a dozen other pastries there waiting to be picked up, we saw no sign of our special-order Worm. We strolled back to the bakery and saw two nice young gentlemen washing the floor with buckets of soapy water and brooms (which Batman found quite fascinating, having never seen a floor washed like that at home before). The closest worker approached me and asked how he could help. I explained about the missing cake, and he said “No worries. It is probably in the cooler.”
Fifteen minutes and three separate searches later revealed no cake. I was disappointed, and hoped that Batman wouldn’t be too emotionally scarred by the failure of his much-anticipated Worm Cake to appear. I looked at him pensively as I explained that they must have lost his cake order, and would it be all right if he chose a cake from the case and the nice young janitor/cake decorator put his name on it?
Batman only sighed, and barely short of rolling his eyes said “It’s just a cake mom.”
So there we were.
After he blew out his candle, with a little help from the wind, Batman sat and enjoyed his cake and ice cream. I’m not sure if he was thinking about the Worm Cake or not.
Anyway, after the cake was finished DH fired off a few rockets. We sent Annabelle and Kampbell into the park next door to retrieve them. One of the them disappeared over the fence into the (locked) baseball field of the school next door. Oops.
Finally the moment all the kids were waiting for arrived: present time.
Batman was spoiled by the largesse spread before him in the gift department.
Some of the gifts were so large they required teamwork to unwrap.
Batman received many wonderful things. He loved all of his gifts, but the present I personally found most creative was a roll of bright green duct tape.
Batman used some leftover pipe cleaners from his sister’s school project to make this “robot” which stands on it’s own legs and measures about 15” high.
Was that a great present or what?
Among the many other cool presents was a little set of real golf clubs from grandma and grandpa. Batman spent most of the evening arranging his golf bag with all the balls, “little sticks that you put in the ground to hold the ball,” and the extra large driver he had gotten from Uncle Mike.
The next evening as soon as DH came home Batman dragged him out in the front yard for some golf lessons.
The next day after that DH signed Batman up for real golf lessons with a pro from one of the courses in Eagle. He starts this Saturday and boy is he ever excited.
So is Batman.
When the party was over even Winston was dog tired, snoozing away on the porch couch.
Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
Thank you to all our family who came over to make Batman’s birthday party so fun.
And by the way, Costco Cake Department called bright and early on Monday morning. “Why didn’t you pick up your Worm Cake?” the nice young lady asked. I just sighed and told her the whole story. She apologized profusely for the lost cake, explaining that it had been in the cooler the whole time.
I just laughed. “It’s OK,” I said. “It’s only a cake.”