Our oldest daughter, who's now 6 years old, was so excited that my birthday had finally arrived. She started to give me clues the day before as to what I was getting - without telling me what it was of course. Over my left shoulder, I could sense my wife trying to use the Jedi mind trick to persuade our daughter not to reveal anything, but she failed miserably. My daughter either completely ignored the gestures or didn't fall for the feeble mind trick. By the time the kids had gone to bed, I had some ideas as to what I might expect to see underneath the wrapping paper;
- A goodie bag from a party my daughter was at two days earlier
- Something to do with a light saber
- An outdoor toy on a string
- A tissue with dried nostril fluids
- Several kisses and hugs from all members of my hobbit family
As usual, I was off to bed around 21.30 (9.30pm), to catch a bit of shut-eye before the big day. I'm on the early feeding shift, so I need my beauty sleep. Well, beauty sleep is wasted on me, as I can't get any prettier. I'm not 20 anymore and I need at least 6 hours sleep. To my absolute surprise and delight, my 2 month old daughter, who has been waking up at 4am every morning, decided to wake up at 6am this morning. It was fantastic. She allowed me to sleep in. What a little star. We went down stairs, where she had her bottle and I had mine, all while watching the first series of CSI Las Vegas.
Shortly before 7am, I was summoned by my daughter to come back to my bed, so they could wake me up singing, and give me my presents. I went upstairs and pretended to sleep while the family prepared the birthday morning ritual. My daughter is the only person who can actually hold a note and sing. She was singing Happy Birthday in three languages; English, Spanish and Irish - amazing or what? Both my wife and I are strong contenders for the X-factor outtakes, so the missus was merely humming something that sounded like the theme song from "Sound of Music"(out of tune), and gave me a big kiss. Our son completely disengaged after the first few words of the song and handed me the remote for the TV. I love these little rituals that we have. They make you realise that you have a loving and caring family.
Anyway, that day I was the king, the president, the dictator and the ruler of mi casa, all rolled up into one person. Heck, that's a deal we have all agreed to in my little family. Whoever has a birthday can decide everything ... well, sort of. I was delighted that it was finally my day to decide what to do, eat and watch.
Hang on, who am I kidding?
I'm the lowest step on the family ladder. Even my 2 month old daughter decides more than I do. Let me be clear, that is not necessarily a bad thing. I'm more than delighted to serve my family, as long as I get a bit of loving in return, which I do. Besides, I can still pretend to be king, in my mind. Nothing wrong ever came of developing a fantasy and playing. That was why I went off to play with Lego to build my own kingdom.
Later in the day the in/out-laws stopped by to see us, mainly to see the kids of course. We had a lovely birthday chocolate cake (with cream and strawberries in the middle) that my wife had made. Shortly after the cake had been eradicated (no traces left), it was decided that we watch Avatar - all while I did the dishes and started to prepare dinner.
I had a nice and relaxed day. I had the day off work. We were stuck inside due to torrential rain. I got some nice presents, especially the three day old goodie back from my daughter and her drawing saying "I luv yuo dad".
Just because you are one year older doesn't mean that you are wiser - at least not in my case.