Sunday, September 28, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me

It's funny how birthdays change as you get older. When you're a kid it's a magical day filled with presents, cake, and parties. As you get a bit older people use it as an excuse to do a lot of drinking or, in my case, go out to see a movie or something. Once you have kids though there's not as much of that other stuff. Our big birthday outing yesterday was a trip to an orchard to go apple picking. Not exactly the sort of birthday celebration you read about in People but definitely fun.

We met up with some friends and their kids there. I had a lot more fun watching them laugh and play than I would have at any movie that's out now. The idea of watching the kid from Holes running for his life for a couple hours doesn't really peak my interest. Throw in some robot cars and it's a different story but until then I'll take apple picking with the kids. Like I said, they had a blast. The oldest actually went on the tractor ride, thanks for peer pressure. Once she saw her friend jump on she was willing to try it. By the end, we had to go on it again just for her. I think peer pressure gets the short end of the stick. Sure it leads some kids to drink or do drinks but if it means I don't have to worry about getting peed on during a hayride then it's worth the risk in my opinion.

The other big crowd pleaser was the hay jump. Basically, it was just a little barn full of hay for the kids to jump around in. It's what a ball pit would be if Chuck E. Cheese had opened it's first location out in the country. Sounds like the beginning of one of those "you know you're a redneck if" jokes to me. Of course, that advantage ball pits have is I don't recall having to work so hard to get the plastic balls out of my kids' hair when they were done. For that matter, I don't remember finding balls in a diaper when I changed them later on. Wish I could say the same about the hay. Thanks to my two little hay magnets I now have my own haystack at home from the pieces we pulled off them later. All I need to do is toss in a needle and let the fun times roll. That's probably not a good idea judging by how much my kids seemed to enjoy throwing hat at each other, as well as at just about anyone else. Wouldn't it be great if you could do that as an adult? Just out of nowhere dump an arm load of hay on someone. Everyone laughs and suddenly you have a new best friend. Too bad because I've got lots of hay now.

Our other big adventure yesterday was going out for supper. It went pretty well, for a while. The problem with taking kids to eat out is they have a cut off point after which they are only capable of crying and whining. They don't tell you where that point is though so it 's a bit of a gamble. It's like eating with a ticking timebomb, or the game perfection, at the table. You just know at some point there's going to be an explosion. We were pretty much able to finish eating before the clock struck zero. I waited to pay and get the rest wrapped up to go while my wife took the kids to the van. As I was paying the waitress was nice enough to point out on the menu that was stapled to our doggy bag that "you could always call ahead to order and then pick it up." She was just trying to be helpful but it still sounded like a subtle please don't come back. I just about wet myself laughing at it, as did my wife when I told her about it in the van. We chuckled all the way home. Once we got there, the kids gave me the Homer Simpson pajama pants they'd gotten me. According to my wife they went out shopping for them when the questions started.

"Why are we getting daddy these?"

"Daddy likes pants with cartoon pictures on them."

"How about we get him some pants with my picture on them?"

"Well, they don't have pants with your picture on them."

"Why not?"

"Because not everyone knows you."

"Mom, everyone knows me."

Neither one of us is about to tell her she's not as famous as she thinks. Especially since they're both stars to us. Guess it was the sort of birthday you might read about in People, what with the celebrities and all. "Yes sweetie, everyone knows you."

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