Thursday, March 29, 2007

Speaking of Magma

Today we celebrated Sweet Pea's 5th birthday. She's been looking forward to this for weeks. We've been counting down the days. My daughter has enough exuberance for the whole family. She gets excited over the most ordinary things. So when things out of the ordinary happen, she's over the top. Yesterday she says "Tomorrow's my birthday, everybody's going to be there, and I'll get to have CAKE! and ICE CREAM!, and PRESENTS!!!" I didn't think she'd ever get to sleep last night.

Rather than have a large kids party, we went with a fairly sedate celebration with just family (immediate family, aunt, uncle, and one great aunt). She wasn't sure what kind of theme she wanted for her party, but just said "Just so it's not BOY stuff." So we went with butterflies and flowers (all over the walls, with some butterflies hanging from threads from the ceiling), with a sun hanging from the light above the dining room table.

During the day today Liz did Sweet Pea's nails. Sweet Pea has been wanting to have nail polish for some time now, and Liz said she couldn't have it until she was 5. It was the first thing Sweet Pea showed me when I got home. "Look, daddy!" "It's pink, my favorite color!" "First we put on the polish, then we put on some oil, then we had to let it sit for a loooong time."

We had salad and pizza for dinner, then the required cake, ice cream, and presents. Sweet Pea had a great time. Buddy Boy had picked out a birthday card for her (with her favorite on it-Disney princesses). He can be very thoughtful, and does know what his sister likes.

Buddy Boy likes to talk (about things HE likes to talk about). He goes to social skills classes, which we think are helping him in responding appropriately to others, as well as getting his needs across.

We're sitting at the dinner table talking about my sister's dogs. Sweet Pea asks if they are females (they both are), and expresses the wish that they'll have puppies. I try to placate Sweet Pea by saying that they won't have puppies because they're both female dogs, and you need a daddy dog and a mommy dog to make babies. My sister decides to tell her that they both had operations so that they wouldn't have any babies (more information than I would have given, but oh, well). Buddy Boy jumps in with "So they won't have any puppies, Sweet Pea. And speaking of Magma, did you know that it isn't called magma once it's out of the volcano. Then it's lava. And there are 3 different types of volcanoes. You'd know this if you watched my videos, dad. There are cinder cones, composite volcanoes, and shield volcanoes... ." He then went on for about 3 minutes straight talking about volcanoes, the Pacific "ring of fire" where many volcanoes are located, how you can't always tell that a volcano is really dormant, etc. before we finally cut him off.

My wife's aunt (84 years young) loved it. I think she was about to pee her pants. All of us found it fairly amusing. I admired the way Buddy Boy was able to spot a brief lull in the conversation, say something related, and steer the conversation (even if a bit crudely) to a topic he wanted to talk about. It's good to know he's getting our money's worth out of those social skills classes.

So all in all it was a great day. Sweet Pea had a good time, Buddy Boy was able to cope well for most of the party (though he and Sweet Pea did argue a bit about a doll she got with blond hair-he does like blonds, after all). And I didn't have to get into a long description of getting a dog spayed, and why, and answer questions about people getting spayed, etc.

And in checking on the net before I posted, I found out that geologists generally agree that there are 4 different types of volcanoes (how could Buddy Boy have forgotten Lava Domes?). I can't wait to tell him in the morning.

Joe is 211


Anonymous said...

I'm 47 and I still do this, look for a way to steer the conversation to something I'm interested in. I have some control over it, but it's hard. Don't put me in a room with women discussing nail polish. I will steer the conversation to volcanoes... no, to dogs or to autism, or psychology.... or Chinese stuff, or maybe art.

Joeymom said...

Steering conversations to art is just too easy.

Or maybe that's because I'm art art historian. ;)

Maddy said...

I think if more of us had elderly relatives around, as nuclear families did in a bygone era, I think all of us would experience very different pressures and releases.
I'm so glad that you all had such a great day.

mysamiam said...

What a blessed day. Happy Birthday Sweet Pea! So proud of Buddy holding it together and participating in conversation. Wow!! Best to you all!

Daisy said...

Buddy boy is a kid after my own heart. I have a new science curriculum, but I miss teaching volcanoes!

Club 166 said...

I've got a feeling that Buddy Boy will be steering conversations his whole life. I just hope to teach him to take turns every now and then. :)

It is nice to have a few older relatives around. Liz and I are older parents, and our one remaining parent between us is in a nursing home in another state. So it's nice that we have two older uncles and this aunt around. They're too old to help with any childcare, but it's nice that the kids get to relate with people of another generation.

Finally, you've given me an idea, Daisy. A science video series featuring Buddy Boy as the narrator. He's so enthusiastic when he's telling you about something! He'd be a natural.

kristina said...

He can be the Science Buddy (Boy)..... well, the 28th of March is the day: It was Jim's birthday and also the birthday of a student in my Latin class. (We sang felicem natalem tibi to him and then the class wanted me to call my husband and sing to him over my cell phone.....I resisted.)

Then there's the mythology of volcanos...Pompeii.....

Happy, happy belated birthday!