posted by Absinthe | 10:28 PM
Welcome to the fourth year of your life. Actually, that won’t be for a couple of days yet, but I expect we’re going to be very busy until then. Right now I’m sitting in the eye of the pre-modest-birthday-party hurricane; much of the house has been cleaned, food and beverage materials have been obtained, and I swear the next time I go to the hardware store I’m going to get the right goddamn size bulb to replace the burnt-out porch light.
Probably you won’t read this until you’re at least seven. If by some method you’ve tracked this down by Googling yourself and are hunched at a laptop, surrounded by a few friends hoping to find out if your daddy writes with bad words, then tell them this: fucking right he does. Also when you were a baby you once peed in your own eye.
I hope you have a good time at the party we’re planning. I know at your age, we could turn on a sprinkler and buy a few plastic kazoos and call it a party. Unfortunately, we just can’t let ourselves do that. On the other hand, we’re not the sort of people who blow the curve with a massive guest list and passed canapés and firebreathing jugglers. If any clowns show up at your party, know that a) we’re sorry and b) we didn’t hire them. Sometimes clowns just show up like that at parties. Also in public restrooms, in nightmares, and when you think you’re getting away with something.
We’ve tried to keep the party to only people you know and love, though in the case of mommy and daddy you’ll just have to grant the exception. There will be friends both young and old. There will be a lot of food – three (!) kinds of chili, because some people don’t like beef and some people don’t like meat, all sorts of fixings and snacks, and cake designed after your favorite toys, which will probably be the only thing you eat all day. Know how much we love you by this: we built that cake from nothing and used carpentry tools in its assembly.
Technically we haven’t finished the cake yet. But if all goes as planned, everything in the former paragraph will be true. The fondant icing will be trimmed with a pizza cutter and a framing square, and special pieces cut with a ring mold. It’s all true. Except we’re using a mix for the actual cake. It is really hard to make a cake from scratch and not have it come out like either cardboard or soup, and we are still relatively new at this. Scratch cakes are for seven-year-olds. You are only four.
You don’t seem it, though. Your memory and focus are prodigious and irksome things to us. Very few four-year-olds can maintain an argument that cites relevant precedents and refuses to yield when overruled. (Though, word of advice: you might want to reduce your reliance on outright contradiction and be prepared to stipulate every now and then. Your future debate coach will thank me later for that.) So you’re ahead of the game now. Trust me on this one: go to work now preparing arguments for grade school on why someone should not hit you. Or learn to duck without kneeing yourself in the face.
Actually, kneeing yourself in the face will probably end the fight pretty quickly. Go ahead and practice that.
Party, food, cake, gifts. Friends and family. I hope that terrier of a brain of yours lets you remember this. Unless some clowns show up.
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