It all started off well enough: B3 was thrilled to be four. He had anticipated it for weeks, perhaps even months. Countless conversations have begun with, "When I'm four...." on his end, and "Well, four year old boys can...." on my end, trying to inspire some better behavior and habits. He was more than happy to put on his birthday shirt before school on February 4th, and he could barely resist that pile of packages. (And, yes, that is Free-From-The-Mall Christmas paper you see; we ran out of birthday paper.)
He revived enough to insist on going out to his choice of restaurant, but he didn't eat a bite and tried to sleep while the rest of us enjoyed his birthday dinner. When we got home, he managed to open two presents before crashing again.
Shortly thereafter, the cause of his misery became apparent. Stomach virus. Needless to say, the cake was uncut, and the majority of the presents sat, unopened, until another day. The cupcake celebration with his classmates planned for the next day was postponed, so into the freezer they went (the cupcakes - not the classmates).
The next day, we managed to open a few presents. These John Deere pajamas were an instant favorite; "I will wear these pajamas every night!", he announced. I think he's succeeded for 11 of the 13 nights that he's owned them (after I put a 6 inch tuck in the waist). Luckily, we do lots of laundry around here.
He's had his cake planned since July when he saw it on Inga's iPad (thank you, Pinterest) during a breathing treatment in Georgia. He didn't forget; he has talked about his "backhoe cake" weekly for months. We finally cut the cake on the 5th, but he only got to taste a small bite. Still, he was thrilled to have the cake he had anticipated for so long.
Ultimately, it would be five days before he was 100% better, and he missed the remaining four days of school that week. Since the next week included the Chinese New Year holiday, we didn't get to celebrate with his class until the 15th. But, celebrate we did - with yellow cupcakes with green icing and race cars on top, just as he dictated. The race cars were a late edition to the party, but once they were announced, I knew we had to make it happen. At first, I was gathering supplies and courage to attempt these fondant race cars, but then I spotted the plastic ones at the baking store. For only twenty cents apiece, I escaped hours of trial and error, and he was thrilled.
This was the first year that B3 really anticipated his birthday, and despite his illness, he has enjoyed it to the fullest. He's already looking forward to the next one, in fact. When I recently asked him how old he was, trying to prompt a little better behavior, he proudly announced, "Four....almost five!" I know time flies by, but I'm planning to enjoy having a four year old boy in the house!