Let me just start right off my saying that I would like to come back in another life as Jack. This kid picked the right two suckers for parents. Let's just say there isn't a playmobil rescue vehicle to be found in the tri-state area. Oh and we're *ahem, Roberto* is building him a tree house (with a fire pole and a zip line!). I can't help myself. It started before he was even born. "Oh no, I don't need anything new, when I can buy this super soft organic onesie with teensy tiny green stripes for my fetus!" "Who needs to go to the gym when you can burn calories shopping for star wars legos, and superhero I Can Read books?" I overdo it. I know this. He's spoiled. But he's not rotten. Not yet. I swear.
We had his birthday party on Sunday. It was awesome. Toddler mayhem. Wait, are they still toddlers at 3? He seems like a kid now. I guess I have to stop calling him the baby. I have to stop saying: "SSHHH! The baby's sleeping!" And: "It's in the baby's room, I'll get it." sniff, sniff.
I told Jack on his birthday that the day we brought him home from the hospital, I took him right upstairs where we both fell asleep, him on my chest. It was sunny and warm in the room. Because we had just moved in we didn't have curtains yet. I had hung sarongs in the window for privacy and so the light was warm and pink. The short drive home had tired us both out and we slept like that for a good hour or two, neither one of us used to him being outside. I think about that nap all the time when I see his powerful little legs running down the sidewalk in front of me, or watch him "breakdancing" in the living room with Nipper Knapp." That little man was the size of a loaf of bread, and he napped right on me."
Jack likes to hear about how he cried when he was a little baby, "boo hoo hoo", but he's not interested in how small he was. My dad used to tell a story about the way my butt would leave a little wet mark on the seat of his truck after we'd drive home from Lucy Lachance's pool when I was a kid. And the little butt mark would only be "this big" and he'd hold out his thumb and index finger to indicate an impossibly small space, like he couldn't believe it. I can't believe Jack isn't that my little rump roast anymore. He's a small boy who keeps telling me, that soon "he's going to grow into a big man".
Ok, enough weepy mess making. The party. Pizza was consumed, presents were opened, a Darth Vader piñata was smashed to pieces. But one guest sadly did not make it out alive. Weeks ago, Jack told me he wanted a pink R2D2 cake. I was all for it. But then the hate mail began. How could I do that to Jack? How could I do that to R2? I would never be forgiven! The shame would be unending! I caved. It would be blue. It would be funfetti. The head would be silver, and OH MY GOD WE DON'T HAVE ANY SILVER FROSTING OR SPRINKLES OR ANYTHING! Nipper did a last minute Williams Sonoma run on Saturday night. He's an enabler. I decorated all the pieces after Jack went to bed Saturday night and then put it together a few hours before the party.
Everyone ooh'd and aah'd the cake when they came in. I had done it! Baby Big 3 wants an R2D2 cake? Hush little baby don't say a word, mama's gonna buy you a...
Did I mention it was kind of a hot day?
The kids decorated Star Wars cookies, and raced around the house. The tidy ones neatly lining up Jack's trucks like a car show. The messy ones dripping icing on the rug. All of them high on sugar and the sound of their own voices. It was great.
We were outside enjoying the post piñata melee, when my neighbor Anna came out with a soft but mournful look on her face. "I have something I regret to inform you. R2D2 is dead. Well, not dead entirely. Your mother sacrificed her shirt, and propped him back up, but, well, you'll see".
I raced into the house to do damage control. NOT THE CAKE! He had warmed up and his buttercream frosting had gotten slicker than gulf of mexico (too soon?). I should have put him in the fridge, but he was four layers high and on the cake tower it would have meant taking out a shelf, and people, I'm just not much for that kind of you, know, planning.
I examined the "blood on the wall" that Smacksy described as "very Peckinpah". I thanked my mom for putting him back together. And just as we were laughing about the whole thing, I heard a sickening wet sucking sound from the kitchen. I turned to see through the dining room door just as R2D2 LAUNCHED himself off the counter onto the floor. It was just too much for him to go on like that. His life was never going to be the same. We've ruled it a suicide. No way it was an accident with the trajectory of the fall of the counter, and the distance he covered, landing miraculously in the middle of the kitchen floor. R2D2 quit on us. We ate him anyway.
French Skinny suggested next time I use a dowel, then later sent me an email apologizing for suggesting a dowel while poor Artoo lay bloody on the floor. Love her! I was worried that Jack was going to be upset when he saw this sad cake coming at him with a frosted up 3 candle lit. But he grinned like a fool as everyone sang Happy Birthday, and happily told his Nana it was the best cake ever as he shoveled sugar spoonfuls into his mouth.