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Tanis_5th_Bday_20041124_035.jpgThe Boy Makes it to Five





Darwin Still Trying to Catch Up




Bend, Oregon

November 26, 2004


Tanis spent roughly eight months picking through birthday packages, changing his mind with his underwear, and chose a classic: Spiderman.  So, of course, Linda had to make a Spiderman cake.



She did a pretty good job for someone who doesn't really make cakes.  Her red was a, but the action figures up on top...yeeeah.  Tanis loved it.


Tanis, in his spare time in those eight months preparing the theme, also frequently changed where he wanted to have his birthday.  After narrowing it down to a top twenty, he chose a gymnastics center close to our house.  This is a good thing!  You pay for the facilities, but you avoid the expense of the pizza parlor or "fun" restaurant.  You get to run 'em around, playing on every fun thing they can find in a gymnasium that is padded wall-to-wall. 


You get to run them ragged for an hour, fill 'em full of sugar with ice cream, sickeningly sweet fruit punch and heavily frosted cake, then pitch them back into the jungle gym and throw them in piles of foam cubes until they throw up bright, fruity punch all over everything.  And at an exact time, you must vacate the premises.  So it's like a timed date!


The grandparents sat ono foam pads kicking the children.  It was dizzying watching the little ones flying around from bars to hoops and ropes.  There was a trampoline running strip that you ran down and jumped off into a pit of foam cubes.  Those were the best.  In the upper pit was a monster throwing the children everywhere.  It was pure and utter chaos controlled in a sphere of pads.


It soon became sugar blast time.  They all filed into the room and sat down like good little children.  There was a great eating of chocolate cake and festive merry things floating around the room.  A lot of the parents had stayed and played with the kids in the gymnasium.


We brought the presents out and they uniformly formed a three-quarters ring around the anxious birthday boy.  He ripped through the presents, but found each one of them a delight.  I love children's enthusiasm, repetition doesn't phase them.  He was as equally excited with the last one as the first one.  He always puncuated each present with "Oh!  I always wanted one of these!"  His voice always filled with awe and profound disbelief that someone besides himself had telepathic ablilites to find out exactly what it was he wanted.


We packed the kids off with party packs of Spiderman toys.  My brother ended up getting him a Spiderman glove.  The glove has a gadget that attaches and shoots out fun, gooey stuff and water and other really fun, messy things.  I think we got him a doorbell that plays the "Yellow Rose of Texas" whenever someone rings.


He is five now.  He didn't used to be five.  And it wasn't that long ago he wasn't four.  But time moves ever forward, not to be stopped by any force in the known world.  So I best take advantage of it.