Gilbert had about the best birthday in the world for his “golden” one. I hope he remembers it, because it doesn’t get much better than this.
As a Labor Day weekend baby, he’s always going to get more than his share of the fun, since it’s summer’s last hurrah. I have a M/R teaching schedule this year, so I had Friday and Tuesday off teaching (not working, because I already have plenty to do). We took off for the beach to celebrate his birthday.
We took the ferry again. It’s the only way to get there, as it breaks the boredom tremendously. There’s a nice little playground for kids in Lewes DE at the terminal, and they played for half an hour while we waited for the ferry. Patrick and I wanted to sit and have a beer, but we decided to be responsible parents and let the boys do what they wanted. It was much windier this time and the ferry was pitching more. Seamus loved it and Gilbert was a little cranky about it. No nap for him. S got a little nap in the car, even waking at one point to yell at us, “I’m not asleep!” before dropping back off.
Friday we rented bikes and rode on the Boardwalk, played at a park, and had dinner at Tony Luke’s, a sub shop. I had to ration G’s french fries, trading him a fry for every bite of his spinach sub. Seamus looked at his sub and declared that he wasn’t going to eat it, but then he got hungry and finished off the spinach sub, deciding it was delicious. We’re glad we didn’t press him into a corner of defiance, and just let him decide to eat when he got hungry.
Saturday, we spent a glorious morning at the beach. There are airplanes that fly over with ad banners furled out behind them, and G looked up at a red one and yelled, “That says ‘Eat at HORNY Lukes!'” Hilarious, and mildly embarrassing. They played in the waves and then spent an hour digging in the sand right at the edge of the ocean. We did a reboot of that on Sunday, again lovely, but this time, they set up in the sand right next to us. G gave S a facefull of sand, and S was sobbing as I walked him to the water to rinse it off. Turns out, he was afraid the water would hurt, but when he realized it didn’t he was ready to ditch the swim mask he’d been using. He also wanted to know if G was getting a time out for getting sand in his eye. Seamus learned to boogie-board, and G went in to his chest to jump waves, not minding when they smacked him right in the face. All in the name of progress til next year!
Monday, we celebrated G’s birthday with a trip to the zoo. It was our best trip yet, in that G did not completely melt down. They met some older boys on the playground at the zoo, and the conversation went something like this (from what I could hear 30 feet away):
G: Hi! I’m two and a half!
S: Well, his birthday is tomorrow.
G: We’re going to ride some rides on the piers tonight!
S: There are two piers.
Older boys: There are three piers!
S&G: Silent Minds blown.
We’ve talked about that a lot since. The other boys were 9 & 7 and played with them for a little while on the slide. Up and down.
For his birthday, we did go to the pier and G got to ride (almost) to his heart’s content. They tried the airplanes, the kiddie bumper cars, the kiddie swings, boats, and the Giant wheel. S talked G into choosing the pier with the “big belly tickler” so he could get a ride on it with Patrick. G’s too small for it though, but he’s pretty convinced that when he’s three next summer he can go on it. The boats were his favorite, he said. We had a moment on the Ferris wheel where we almost didn’t go because he couldn’t get in his head that he and Seamus weren’t allowed to sit next to each other.
Pizza for dinner, ice cream, and a present. He was pretty happy.
The next day (his actual birthday) we drove five hours home, he had to go to Spanish class by himself, and things were not entirely to his liking. But he got presents from us (one of which I accidentally “returned” to the public library!) which he liked controlling because S wanted to play with them too. Then he had a hot dog for dinner and we walked to the ice cream shop for a little treat. Today, he told us he’s still 2 1/2. Seamus is already planning what he wants for his birthday.
All in all, it’s not so bad being three!
He’s such a cool kid!