Friday, October 13, 2006

No, Honestly, We Really Do Rock Birthday Parties

I intended to go on with The Story at this point, but yesterday's post made me start thinking about other birthday parties and... well, in justification I'm going to say that telling this is an important part of telling about Kirk.

Two of our children are female, which since Kirk spent his adolescence in a male-only household, did cause a bit of confusion for him. One of the girls, for example, was exceptionally pretty-princessy when very small. She wanted to dress in fluffy, twirly things at all times. Her favorite movie was Mary Poppins, and she would skip exultantly through the house singing 'Yet's go Fyie a Kite!' at the top of her piercing little voice. She slept at night with her hands classically tucked beneath one cheek, and woke up in the morning with a stretch, and a Cindy-Loo-Who type girly little sigh (Mmmmmm-aaaaah!). She was obsessed with her own reflection ('Oh! I have tears! I go see....') to the point where we honestly considered strictly limiting her mirror time. At one point Kirk turned to me with confusion and said, quite seriously, 'I think there's something wrong - look at her!' pointing to our prancing, dancing, ruffly pink child. 'She's not broken, Kirk, she's a girl.'

The latter girl birthdays were, therefore, something of a trial to him. He loved parties, loved having the kids over and getting into the fun, but.... ew... He listened patiently, if a little glumly, while I planned one: 'And then we'll have a maze and the girls will have to rescue these little unicorns from the center of the maze...' then brightened up - 'well, what if there's a dragon? And they have to kill it or something? We could do spears maybe...' Even worse was the teenager one with really horrible music, and truth-or-dare make overs. He listened to those plans and then just announced that his only role in all of this would be to mock them all. And he did.

But in Alaska the male child did have a birthday that let Kirk really shine. It was pirate themed. We started with a treasure hunt (great way to deal with the piece-meal arrival of guests btw) and the handful of small boys ransacked the garden looking for their loot - in this case a make-yourself-a-pirate kit with eye patch, cutlass, and cut out felt to glue up into a nice pirate hat.

Then Kirk lined them up and gave them pirate lessons.

'Right! Backs straight! Let's see your sneeeeeer.'

Five-year-old grimaces were inspected.

'Oh come on now, that wouldn't frighten a rowboat full of grandmothers! Think scary men, think terrifying, what do you look like when your mom says you have to kiss your sister? That's it!'

Then he taught them a piratical vocabulary (edited for age of course) including a classic 'AAARRRRRRGGGHHHHH' and a growled 'Scurvey Scallawag!'

At the end of the day one blond pirate came solemnly up to Kirk. 'Mister [Child]? I don't want to be a piwate.'

Kirk smiled down at him, 'that's okay, it was pretty fun just to be one for an afternoon though, wasn't it?'

'Well.... I guess. But I don't want to be a piwate anymore.'

'What do you want to be?'

'I want to be what you are. I want to be a King Piwate!' and he hugged Kirk around the knees, stabbed him with his cutlass, and ran home.

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