Kato turned five the other day. His birthday was Sunday the 11th, but we had a family dinner on the 10th. Just some lasagana and salad.
Of course, it was a jell-o cake. Kato requested that the layers be orange and blue. The visual garishness did not affect the taste.
Nor did it lessen the joy.
After dinner, Alden produced the first present, a hand-made piñata filled with leftover Halloween candy.
We hung it from the same hook that recently held the mistletoe.
Kato took aim—one of the last definitive acts as a four year old.
It surrendered after only a few whacks, but it was a classic case of “less is more.”
The next morning, Kato found a clue beneath his pillow.
Alden helped him follow the scent of mystery.
While August replenished his electrolytes.
Eventually, the trail of clues led to a package hidden in a drawer.
And hidden in the package? A coloring book, handmade by my mom, with chalkboard “paper.”
A group composition ensued. At the conclusion of which, a group photo was demanded.
Later that day was the birthday party proper, a gathering of sturdy young men (and one even sturdier big sister). This time around, we invested in a more formidable pinãta.
As Iggy looked on with her patented blend of terror and indifference, August stepped up to the challenge.
August gave it his best, but the piñata scoffed, its iron sides intact and emboldened.
After which, Bjorn tried his hand. Bjorn packs the punch of two Augusts, or maybe three.
But the piñata was not impressed.
So Kato did his worst.
As it turns out, I’m not sure his best would have been any more effective. The piñata seemed possessed with an unprecedented will to survive. Kato and his band of sluggers cycled through their ranks to the tune of 40-50 enthusiastic strikes before tiny cracks began to appear.
Then larger ones. Eventually, the piñata’s hook gave way before the belly of the beast was sufficiently eroded to give up the bounty inside. And so I summoned my inner MacGyver and figured out a way to see it through.
Another few whacks, and the boys had their victory—a meagre smattering of mini chocolate bars and lollipops. Though I must admit that somebody’s father was not doing his best thinking when buying the lollipops, because each and every one of them was pulverized to the tune of 40-50 not-quite-savage whacks.
Nevertheless, the boys were pleased with their victory. But not yet satisfied that all possible avenues to delight had been exhausted. And so we moved on to the cupcake making station.
Given the abundance of toppings available (mini chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, three types of sprinkles, candied eyeballs, nuts), I am surprised by the relative restraint demonstrated by the birthday boy.
Each guest had his own approach. Quinten stressed marshmallow coverage.
Wyatt went for anthropomorphism
Bjorn devised a clever creature with a marshmallow horn.
…August recognized an opportunity for sanctioned sugar binge and took it. Pleasing design was not his priority.
The guests assembled to display their creations.
And then, after taking a moment to recognize the occasion…
…promptly devoured them.
The upshot: Kato is five. Soon Alden will be seven. As everyone prophesied when we were just setting out on this parenting trek, it is “going so fast.”
But, oh, is it fun.
And we have a few more birthdays to celebrate before all is said and done.