Birthday Number Three Means Three Days of Partying. Right?

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

Little Boys and Girls, Part One

We try, well, not hard, to be pretty gender-neutral when it comes to the kids. We don’t ignore the fact that the kids are biologically different, but we at least keep the culturally-gendered pseudo-differences in suspicious view, and knowing is half the battle. (Go Joe!)

I introduced both Erin and Adrian to hockey early on, trying to overcome my own sexist cultural upbringing that witnessed all the boys in southeastern Ontario being firmly convinced that girls can’t play hockey unless it’s on grass and if they wanted to skate they could play ringette but leave the boys alone with their solid pucks and sticks with blades. My efforts have proven a bit of a failure. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) Erin barely notices when hockey is on and her dad would like to watch it so please please please stop asking him to put Little Einsteins on the TV; it’s the playoffs. Adrian, on the other hand, cranes his neck around corners to try to see if the Wings can toughen up a bit on the goddamned power play and keep those goals from going in. (They can’t.) I’m not one to conclude dramatic genetic differences between the sexes based on interest in hockey…but it sure seems like the male Y chromosome is doing some work here, doesn’t it? Oh look…there it is….at the end of “H-O-C-K-E-Y”. I knew it. I knew that our Intelligent Designer was working miracles when he programmed that little bit of DNA to evolve into a Y the way He did in monkeys back on the sixth day. It’s meaningful. There’s no X in hockey, so girls don’t like it. They like xylophones and Extra! and Sweet Valley Hixgh books.

Boys also like trains. I have the video evidence to prove it.


Ignore the little girl in the row in front of him who seems to be enjoying the train  as well. That’s just an illusion. Based on the theory that trains are boy-things it is impossible that the little girl is actually having fun. I bet it’s a Hollywood trick. Only boys like trains.

(Editor’s Note: Have you ever just had an adorable video to show off and not known how to intro it so you just keep typing and typing and typing and it stops being funny and slips into weird and then you have to write an explanation about it that also slips into weird as it drags on and you don’t know how to stop and so you just keeping typing and typing but this time all in italics? Look! Bunnies!)


So, a man picks up a baby, checks the baby’s gums, and sees that the four teeth that have been coming in have broken through. The man says “Phew. Now this kid will stop waking up at 5am crying in distress about his teeth. Now he can sleep. Now I can sleep.”

And he was right. The baby did not wake up at 5am crying in distress about his teeth.

The baby woke up at 3:30am.

Because the baby also has a double ear infection.