Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Who's another year older?

G isn't just having a birthday this year -- she's having an entire birthday week.

On her actual birthday, which was last Thursday, we went to Rainforest Café for an evening of dinner, crazy balloon hats and singing waiters. ("This is the best birthday ever!" said G, as she prepared to dig into her massive Volcano sundae cake.) Then, on Saturday, we had her party. There were nine kids altogether, including G and her toddler cousin, and they had a great time playing Pin the Lid on the Teapot and running relay races with sugar cubes and teaspoons. We're supposed to go to my mother's house for one more celebration this weekend, and then we're done until next year.

In other news, my plans to take G to a planetarium are being thwarted. The nearest big planetarium is closed for renovations until sometime later this year, and the next-closest one only offers shows on the first Wednesday night of each month. Since it's a good two-hour drive, it would be impossible to get there and come back at a decent hour. There's a smaller planetarium in our immediate area, but as far as I can tell, they only do daytime shows for groups, which is useless if you have one kid and are trapped at work all day. Grrr, arrgh.

Anyway, I made the mistake of telling G that we were going to see a star show sometime soon -- and after seven years of this parenting gig, I really ought to have known better -- so of course when she got up this morning she thought we were going today, and was miffed that we weren't. Luckily, she's a kid with a lot of interests, and by the time we arrived at school, she was too busy talking about Egypt to think about the sky. She said that next year, she wants to have a backpack with hieroglyphics on it so no one but her will know what it says. I don't know if I'm up to stitching hieroglyphics on a Jansport, but I told her we might be able to get some fabric paint and make a T-shirt that spells out her name. She also said she wants her room decorated in Egyptian style. That isn't going to happen, because we've been slowly redecorating her room in purple for the last few months and we're almost finished, but it reminded me of when I was 8 and wanted a Japanese bedroom with mats and sliding screens. (I had just read James Clavell's Shogun.) I guess that sort of thing runs in the family.

One thing that does not run in the family, unfortunately, is a love of math. G has done well enough in math so far, but she says it's hard, and approaches it with a martyred attitude. Since P and I aren't math people either, we have trouble explaining it in a way she can understand. I dread the day when she gets to volume and area. I still remember sitting at the kitchen table, big tears rolling down my face and plopping onto diagrams of cylinders and cubes, while my dad said through gritted teeth, "If you'd just calm down and pay attention, you'd be able to do this!" But I never could. Woe.

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