This is another post from my “Daddy Daze” series, an anecdotal exploration of my odd little adventures in parenting in bite-sized chunks (for your reading enjoyment) and because the last thing this world needs is yet another doting parent blog.
It’s my daughter’s mother’s birthday today… figure THAT one out.
On Cake Shoppping
… but Karin was out last night, performing at her year-end dance recital for the highland dancing group she belongs to, so Claire and I were home alone for pretty much most of the evening. That was fine, of course, because with a nearly-five-year-old pysched about her mom’s birthday, as much information that can be withheld from a little girl bubbling to let out every little secret the moment she is able, a night without the birthday girl nearby means a night devoted to some preparation: like, buying cake. Now, the birthday girl is not extremely particular, but over the years I’ve discovered, learned, and memorized that her all-time favourite cake is something called a “tuxedo cake” that is thankfully readily available at the nearby grocery store. Convincing Claire that this particular variety of cake was the ideal birthday for her mom was a completely different matter. Why? Because a few days prior she had (apparently) spotted and picked out the cake SHE wanted to get at the local ice cream place. I’m sure either would have been fine, and — given the stupid-level of road construction around the grocery store — the ice cream store might have been easier to get to, but I was forced to perform an epic con-job and convince one little girl that we were going with the (significantly cheaper) tuxedo model.
On Epic Bike Rides
Of course, part of that deception involved a bike ride. She loves her bike rides. And I think she loves her bike rides mainly for the reason that — somehow — we always end up biking past a playground and before I can figure out what’s going on, she’s raced ahead, parked, removed her helmet and shoes, and is off-and-playing. Last night we took a slightly different neighborhood tour, the cycling skills maturing enough to venture out on an alternate path system near our house. She still managed to find a playground, but as something less standard, we also had a short break near a local neighborhood pond to watch the ducks and geese. This was well and good, and unlike so-called normal kids who would have been content to throw rocks in the pond, or pick dandelion flowers, Claire was far more interested in “making a movie” with the camera which we’d — of course — brought along. By a strange coincidence we also happened to cross paths with the fifteen or so members of my running clinic (which I was skipping due to my fatherly duties) as they were setting off on some kind of training run. Boy, did I get razzed for that. We pedalled home shortly after, mostly to get ready for bed, but first to…
On Gifts and Wrapping Paper
… wrap gifts. Well… gift. Singular. And Claire, in her non-conformist originality decided that the best wrapping paper for such a job — mid-June birthday gift — was the elegant green-red-and-golden poinsettia-laden one from the Christmas paper stash. In fact, she insisted upon it because it was “beautiful” and “mom likes flowers.” Of course, had she her own way moreso than that, wrapping the smallish-box containing the gift would have required (likely) the entire roll of wrap and a few meters worth of tape. But we managed to bundle it fairly neatly for two untalented wrappers, and you-know-who scurried off to hide it somewhere only she knew about, which on reflection probably wasn’t the smartest plan — or wouldn’t have been if we — or more specifically, SHE — hadn’t been retrieving it at five-fourty-five this morning in bubbling anticipation of an in-bed unwrapping.