Tuesday, July 12, 2011

happy half-birthday, J

J's birthday is around Christmas, when it's impossible to get any kids to come because they're all doing Christmas things. So he manages to have several birthday parties, and this is the big one when we invite whichever friends from school, plus his lifelong friend S who's the son of one of Anna's college friends.

There were ponies, and Anna made a pretty awesome scavenger hunt for the kids to work on: there were two ponies and six kids, so they went scavenging for cool stuff like "a blackberry leaf" and "a Y-shaped stick" when they weren't riding, and then using their combined results to solve a puzzle at the end.

J's dad did extremely well with having me around: he seemed pretty relaxed, and looked me in the eye and called me by name several times. I have every hope that someday we will have an actual conversation, although maybe not on a day where a kid looks at him and says "I didn't know J had two dads!".

Unusually for a social event J was glowing with joy when everyone was standing around singing "Happy Birthday". It's a lot of fun to watch him grow. A lot of my contribution comes indirectly, from giving Anna hugs and ideas when J isn't around.

For example: J had a special drama-queen week where on four or five different days I came home and Anna explained that J had declared today "the worst day of my life". Growing up in a family of mostly-loving mockery, I thought the obvious thing to do was to write on the calendar every day it was the worst day of his life, and eventually point out to him the clear evidence that he was being ridiculous.

It worked! Once Anna showed him the calendar, he started switching to "the worst day of my life this week" or "the worst day of my life recently," with finer distinctions like "second/third worst day of my life this week." Anna has also been progressively demoted:
  • Worst Mama In the World
  • Worst Mama In the State of California
  • Worst Mama In the State of California This Month
  • Worst Mama J Has Known In the State of California This Month
Luckily her friend Lupin has been granted the superlative position by her son.

At any rate, it's pretty awesome to see J loosen up his thinking a bit and start to acknowledge the world's complexity.

1 comment:

  1. Too funny! I just hope I'm the Coolest Virginian This Week. Happy Belated Half-Birthday, J! :)