Very often, the only way to get a quality in reality is to start behaving as if you had it already. That is why children's games are so important. They are always pretending to be grown-ups - playing soldiers, playing shop. But all the time, they are hardening their muscles and sharpening their wits so that the pretence of being grown-up helps them to grow up in earnest.

~C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A (Very) Belated Happy Birthday, Part 1

A few major events have happened around here since my last post.  I’ll start with the first one: Oliver’s third birthday, which was back in the first week of March.  You’ll recall that in my last post Oliver predicted that his baby brother would come out on his birthday party.  Thankfully, he did not.  But that story is for the next post. 

First, we had a birthday with cake and M&Ms and balloons and presents and games and friends.  Actually, there were two “cakes.”  With just the three of us, I didn’t want to make a whole cake for Oliver’s birthday and then make another one for the party a few days later, so I opted for brownies.  Here is Oliver blowing out the candles on his brownie cake:

You’ll notice that half of the brownie cake has M&Ms and half does not.  That’s because after a little conversation Oliver and I had about cake and brownies I needed to be prepared for anything.  You see, Oliver thinks that a proper birthday cake has M&Ms on it since that is what we put on his cake when he turned two.  He also told me he didn’t want brownies, he wanted cake.  So, I asked him if putting M&Ms on it would make it cake.  He said yes.  But then I was worried that if I put M&Ms on all of it he would decide he wanted brownies, not cake, and then those cheerful little dots all over the brownies would become a source of tears.  So, I made both in the same pan.  In the end, I ended up eating most of the brownies without M&Ms, but that was fine with me since we had a very happy birthday boy.

A few days later we had Oliver’s birthday party, and we had cake again. Here he is blowing out the candles on his chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting and – of course – M&Ms (this may be a kid’s party, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a really good cake!):

We had a few of Oliver’s friends over to chase balloons in the basement, play duck-duck-goose, decorate their own pizzas, and eat cake.  It was the perfect little party for our little boy who likes to be social but gets a tad overwhelmed by big, busy groups. 

And then we enjoyed a few more days as a family of three before there was another birthday.