Birthday Number Three Means Three Days of Partying. Right?

04/29/2010 By Shawn Burns

Erin is officially three years old. By “officially” I suppose I mean “in a number-counting” kind of way and not in a “here’s a letter from the mayor” kind of way. Although the mayor did call, and just like I do with every other telemarketer who calls asking for money I gave the phone to Erin. “Hi. Who izzit? Gaow gaow. I love you mommy. Okay bye.”

To celebrate Erin’s third birthday we had, as per ancient Chinese custom, three days of celebration. And Erin’s Disneyland Grandma.


Day the First

Erin’s daycare culture involves parents bringing in treats or snacks or, as we did last year, stickers, and having a little party. In an attempt to ingratiate ourselves with the other parents we made red velvet cake cupcones and brought them in just before naptime on Friday. It wasn’t yet Erin’s birthday, but it was an excuse to eat cupcones.


Nothing says “Remember us as the cool parents,” like giving everyone else red stained laundry and faces like The Joker and hyping the kids up on real sugar right before they need to go to sleep.


Day the Second

On the second day, while God was busy creating the sky, Erin was busy turning three and we were busy taking her to Happy Hollow. What is Happy Hollow, you ask? Well, as Erin so eloquently put it as we were driving there: “It’s a park and zoo.” You see, when you’re three you automatically gain insight, wisdom, and nonchalance. Because it is Happy Hollow Park and Zoo. Happy Hollow just went through a multi-million dollar renovation to turn it from a run-down city theme park for toddlers into a rubberized surface and freshly painted city theme park for toddlers. It looks good. It only has like five rides, though. Whatever, Erin didn’t mind.


Adrian also had fun, in his death-skull safari cap, cruising in his stroller.


Gilroy Gardens kicks Happy Hollow’s ass, but with my San Francisco Zoo membership I get half-price admission, so that’s $6 each, and that is cheaper than an indoor playground/arcade/climber like The Jungle or U-Me. So we’ll be going back.

Day the Third

We saved Erin’s party for Sunday, the day after her official “letter from the mayor” birthday. Like last year we celebrated with her little best friend who is one day older and just as cute.


We had the party at My Gym in Palo Alto, and we cannot say enough nice things about that place. We’ve never done any classes there and we’ve never had a party there before, but the space and the staff were great and really exceeded our expectations. The two women on duty took care of all the entertaining and food service and people-wrangling for the 25 toddlers and 30-something parents that were there. They treated the birthday girls like rock stars with little extras like the Parade-of-Two and the Birthday Swing.


Erin wore her most 80’s ballerina outfit.


Adrian wore his most growing big boy outfit.


Erin tried over and over to grab the high bar.


But, just as she said with respect to the roller coaster at Happy Hollow and why she wouldn’t be riding it: “I’m not seven enough yet.” Maybe next year, kid. But keep trying. Falling only hurts your pride. And sometimes your body. And sometimes your face. But mostly your pride. Nice pants.

The best part of the party was probably the zip line ride accompanied by Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone” over the speakers. (The music throughout the party was targeted at the grown ups rather than the kids. I didn’t hear a single “itsy bitsy” or “if you’re happy and you know it”. ) Where else can your “letter from the mayor” three year old ride a zip line and dream of blowing MIGs from the sky?


Really the only negative about the party was the fact that the broccoli I prepped and washed the night before smelled like dirty diapers because it wasn’t properly refrigerated because I experimented with Garage Fridge and, as it turns out, Garage Fridge keeps popping the reset button on the outlet. Smelly broccoli is smelly.

Night the Bonus

After the party ended we went home for, ha, naps. I don’t remember if naps were had, because the day is kind of blurry, like many of the pictures I took using single-point focus.

After naps we had Erins’ Auntie Anne and her dad over for dinner. I tried to make chicken alfredo, quick and easy, but realized I had no cream to alfredo-ize the parmesan cheese. Note to amateurs like myself: you cannot substitute butter, flour, and milk for cream: that makes batter. Batter is not alfredo sauce, no matter how much parmesan you add to it.

After dinner we opened presents.


Adrian decided he was going to try to steal Erin’s day by standing on his own for the first time ever!


One of Erin’s presents was a pink. princess. scooter.

So, of course dad had to go to the garage and assemble it right away so Erin could ride it around the neighbourhood in the dark.


To finish off the evening we let Erin eat a mountain of chocolate cake and ice cream.


Then we watched her warp space and time with the energy she had acquired until she collapsed like a star and fell into a deep, post-birthday sleep.

The End