EIGHT STEPS TO A QUASI-SUCCESSFUL BIRTHDAY:
1. Take birthday child to restaurant of her choice, which is Steak & Shake this year. Make all three children pose for cheesy photos, until birthday girl is totally distracted by arrival of “hottie” at next table.
2. Continue making kids pose for photos, threatening to withhold cake and ice cream if they don’t cooperate.
3. Feel relief that you found a box of candles in the cupboard, since you remembered the cake, icing and sprinkles, but forgot the candles. Laugh when you remember conversation you had with birthday girl’s brother earlier in the week:
Kellen: What kind of cake is Kendrie getting?
Kristie: Chocolate with chocolate frosting. That’s what she picked.
Kellen: But what kind? Spiderman? Superman? What kind?
Kristie: No kind. I’m making it myself. Plain chocolate cake.
Kellen: But WHAT SHAPE is it going to be in???
Kristie: The shape of my 13×9 pan, you doofus.
4. Feel resigned when the birthday child effectively ends family time by insisting she eat her birthday cake in the living room so she can watch her new dvd of “Cheaper by the Dozen 2″ at the same time.
5. Feel happiness as you admire the joy on the face of birthday girl as she poses with new bicycle that she loves more than anything on this earth. Truly, you couldn’t have picked a better, more perfect gift.
6. Feel some concern when you realize you have maybe, just possibly bought the wrong size bike …. considering birthday girl can’t touch the ground or stop herself without falling over or running into the back of Blaine’s truck.
7. Feel relief that you’ve married a relatively handy man who can remove reflector off back of bike and lower the seat another two inches.
8. Feel extreme guilt when you discover even the extra two inches isn’t enough, and you have to face the disappointment from birthday girl that the greatest bike on earth is going to have to go back to the store.
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Spend last hour of the evening at Toys ‘R Us, letting birthday girl ride every bike up and down the aisle until she finds one that is even MORE perfect than the one before. Thank heavens — that was a near disaster, averted.