August 5 was D’s golden birthday!
Because it’s such a big birthday, we’ll be celebrating all month. His birthday party, a group affair (5 August birthdays), comes at the tail of the month, to be held on school grounds.
In the meantime, we have received some very special gifts, and experienced 2 major milestones…more on those later.
Since we spotted a ride-on scooter at Toys R Us in May, Dashiell had begged for it to be his birthday present, even offering to save his allowance money to support the expense (we have just started to pay him an allowance for doing his chores. One of his chores is making his bed, which he does by kneeling at the head of the bed, in bed, and straightening the bedclothes. It is pretty funny to see!).
We knew the scooter was too small for him and might not get used for very long, but still, the thought of him zooming around on the stylish Vespa-like machine, albeit with training wheels, was too much to resist,
There was a lot of buildup and anticipation around the arrival of the scooter: was in it in our (virtual) shopping cart, how and when it was being ordered, what kind of box it would arrive in, whether it would arrive via UPS or FedEx, etc. When the day finally came, we made sure it was charged and ready, and Jeff put a ribbon on it. D came downstairs, still sleepy from a nap, and feigned surprise when he saw it…still, I think he does enjoy riding it. Or will for the next two weeks; I imagine by the end of the summer we’ll be giving it to another boy.
Here he is, riding it for the first time:
With that thrill over, we then received a birthday gift that far eclipsed the scooter…all the way from Germany, too. “Schwester” (sister) Lisa sent an outstanding soccer shirt from the local Stuttgart team, personalized with his name, and bearing his age as his player number. Really, it was the best gift he could have received. Thank you schwester Lisa!
He’ll only be wearing this nice clean white shirt to indoor soccer (here is D above with school friend Stelios at indoor soccer).
Continuing on the soccer theme, many thanks to G’Ma Beverly for the Playskool soccer figures. These keep D busy for great lengths of time; he really enjoys naming the different nationalities of the players, changing their jersey numbers, and pitting them against each other for matches.
For me, the best gifts were all the books we received from D’s Amazon Wish List. Thanks to G’Ma Lori, G’Pa Don and Aunt Amanda for the really nice Phaidon editions of books by our new favorite author Tomi Ungerer. I can’t tell you what a relief it is to have new material to read at bedtime!
In this same vein, D also received the original Paddington chapter books by way of a Amazon gift card from Uncle Chris (thank you!). Every night, Jef reads from the “grown up” books and D listens intently; we are practicing forming pictures in our mind from the words we hear. I often translate the UK English words to American English and we stop and review scenes in which the language is a bit confusing. But still, he listens. We all enjoy hearing these hilarious and gentle books read aloud.
Another excellent gift came from Shelli (wrapped beautifully, with a crafty hand-made card as well), the game of Zingo, which is a bingo-like game for early readers. The designers of this game were very smart; they gave the child something to move and click — the bingo tiles get “dealt” via a clever slider. This alone keeps D interested, but he also likes identifying the words using the pictures (house, bird, worm, etc.). Like the serious Bingo players, we quickly graduated to playing with more than 1 card each. He loves the competition! Before you know it we’ll be headed down to the Moose Lodge for Bingo nights…he does have a lucky streak (remember when he won that free turkey at the firefighter’s ball?)
Thanks to all for the cards and gifts. It was (and continues!) to be an extra special birthday.