Monday, May 5, 2008

All Over But the Shoutin'

The big birthday weekend in the big city went off without a hitch. It rained a lot on Saturday, so we were forced to schlep umbrellas wherever we went. Or, umbabrellas, if you prefer. That's what the kid calls them.

It turns out that I needn't have worried about getting access to the indoor water park that was in our hotel. They were more than happy to sell us the overpriced tickets when we got there. We also enjoyed paying the $22.00 fee for parking.

We hit the children's museum first. Basically what we do at this type of joint is to tag-team the kid so that she doesn't get abducted. We chased her from exhibit to exhibit, trying our best to keep an eye on the kid with the bouncing curls and the birthday t-shirt. I think her favorite attraction was a simple little slide . . . kind of like the one we could visit anytime (for free) at the park in our neighborhood. We also fell into the "you have to walk through the gift shop to get out of this place" trap and bought her a plastic piece o' crap from a bin that was conveniently located at a three-year-old's eye level.

Then it was off to lunch. We were right next to a mall so we just went to the food court and hit the Qdoba. I don't know what it was about that place, or maybe it was just that we weren't used to being in a big city, but it was an experience. I ordered a burrito and the lady kept asking, "black or pinto?" So I would say, "black" and then ten seconds later: "Ma'am, do you want black or pinto?" "Um, still black." I could see her lips moving and I could hear sound coming out, but nothing was connecting. We ordered a cheese quesadilla off the kid's menu for the short one. "Would you add black beans to that?" I asked. After conferring with a manager, she informed me that it would cost extra. "That's fine," I said. When we got to the register, there sat a cheese quesadilla with no beans. "Are there beans in this?" I asked as politely as I could. Blank stare. "You wanted beans?" I guess there is something to be said for those glass enclosed make-it-in-front-of-you joints, because I'm pretty sure no one had a chance to spit in my food in retaliation for my unreasonable bean-related requests.

After checking into our hotel, we changed and headed straight down to the water park. As indoor water parks go, I have to say it was pretty nice. All of the pools were generally shallow enough that A was able to stand up in them and not drown. I spent half the afternoon yelling, "Stop running!" and she went careening across one wet pavement after another. I felt like I was a fifth-grade safety patrol all over again.

Eventually we wrung ourselves out and headed back to our hotel room. It seemed as good a time as any to indulge in pink birthday cake (and, as promised, the cake was new and not used). The kid also opened the gifts we bought her: roller skates, safety gear (helmet and pads), and a Leapfrog Word Whammer for the fridge. If you are a parent and have suffered through the Letter Factory and Word Factory DVDs a thousand times like I have, I'm sure you know allllll about the Word Whammer. It has spots for three letters so that you can build small words (I have a theory about why it only has three letters: because all the good cuss words have at least four).

For dinner we headed to Red Robin, the kid-friendliest dining establishment out there. I had signed her up for some sort of birthday club, so she got her meal for free. And they sang to her, which she loved. They brought her a free ice cream sundae. Between the birthday cake (and apparently she did sign the kid contract that requires her to eat just the icing) and the ice cream, we feared that later we would be faced with a sugar buzz like none we had ever seen.

We finished up the evening with another trip to the water park. Actually, I persuaded my other half to take the kid back down there. I came down and took some photos but when I go swimming, I'm not easily put back together. One swimming excursion in a day was enough for me. When they got back to the room, I thought the kid would be wiped out. It was around 9:30 by then. Instead, she stripped off her swimsuit and announced, "I HAVE TO COLOR!" as though national security depended on it. So, she colored in, well, her birthday suit. She finally succumbed at around 10:30 and slept for the next 11 hours.

Sunday morning we continued the healthy eating trend with some grub from Dunkin Donuts. (For the record, we did have egg and cheese sandwiches, but all the kid wanted was a "black donut.") After breakfast, we headed out of town and stopped at Build-a-Bear for the final hurrah of the birthday weekend. She picked out a teddy bear and went through the assembly line of stuffing, fluffing, etc. Then we got to the part I was dreading - the part where you have to sit down at the computer and name the bear. She had already informed us that the bear was a female. "What is her name?" I asked. "Bear," she said. Intense negotiations ensued because she already has a "Bear" and "Monkey" and "Dog." Finally she did come up with a name on her own: Sally.

So, that's about it for the weekend festivities. We're tired and . . . broke. And now we have a three-year-old on our hands, which means we made it through the Terrible Two's! Not that she really knows the difference. When we ask her how old she is she says, "May third."







2 comments:

Beth said...

Sounds like fun! But I'm not about to tell my son about A's birthday party.

We're planning a party at home for our soon-to-be "free"-year-old. It's an Elmo birthday. "You having an Elmo birt-day," says he, with great enthusiasm.

And just when is our big day? "May seventy-fourth," of course. To those of us who are not of the preschool set, that's May twenty-fourth!

Anonymous said...

You would be surprised what you bad words you can make up with only three letters. My older two- in the middle of the rotten teenage years- came up with some doozers to teach their little brother.