I started Mario’s birthday off right yesterday. I brought him home a chocolate long john donut after my run (of course, I brought me one home, too, which defeats the purpose of the run but how can one resist?!). He was on the living room floor in his boxers playing on the iPad. I serenaded “happy birthday” to him and got a big ol’ Mario grin from him.
I took cupcakes into school for him. The night before, three moms asked if I was making homemade cupcakes as if buying Kroger brand ones was a sin. Sure enough, as soon as we walked in the room, a mom of a little girl in Mario’s class held a box full of homemade goodies with colorful stickers pronouncing “Harriet is 6!” I shot her a look and continued on with my synthetic neon-colored iced cupcakes with my chin up high.
I returned to Mario’s school at 1:30 to help pass out the cupcakes. I juggled three calls and document drafting from 12:30-1:15 to get to the school on time. I swore a while back that when I made a commitment to my kids it would take a major catastrophe for me to not show up. And it was worth the juggling. Mario beamed when I showed up and took me all over the playground.
He even let me get a picture of him with Harriet. It took all my might to explain to him I had to leave and come back to get him but he finally let me go. I ran home to mow the grass so my folks and Patty would not see a jungle, and went straight back to pick him and Quinn and Maria up. Ri ran up to me and asked “did Mario get his name called on the announcements for his birthday?” I told her I didn’t know. Her flippant response:
“No, he didn’t. Do you know who did? Ms. Harriet. That is who. She has the nerve to have the same birthday as Mario and she took all the credit. I marched down to Ms. Bauer’s (the office assistant) office and told her they forgot my brother’s birthday.”
“Will they announce him tomorrow?”
“They better” she replied. Then she added “Harriet may not make it to school on Friday….” My mouth dropped and I started cracking up. She is her father’s child. He is Mr. Protective over his family and she is just like him. Of course, she started laughing too and meant no harm towards sweet Harriet but if you didn’t know her, you might think…!
Mario hugged Quinn like it had been years they were apart and we headed home. I went back into work for a couple hours while Ri and Sophie decked out the house with birthday decorations. Grandma Ionno came to help. We met up with Mama Meg and Peepaw and Sarah and Jorge at Barleys for dinner. We reminisced about the time Mario was in his crib and Jon went in to get him. He asked if I was home and Jon said no. Then he pulled out his binkie and said “well then I want Grandma (Ionno)”. Gotta love him. And the times that Sarah would come in town and Ri would cry “No Sarah” whenever she got near me. Ahh, fun times.
After dinner, Maria had a game “for people age 18 and older” when we got home. It did not involve alcohol unfortunately. But it was precious. She had paper slips in little wine glasses and each couple had to fill out the paper based on the question she gave us. Each question related to Mario’s future. Jon and I got “how many kids will Mario have?” I wrote 5 (Jon wanted 0). Sarah and Jorge got “what kind of pets would Mario have?” They wrote a “guinea pig named Spike, mini pig named Porky, fish named Fluffy, and dog named Pirate.” Pirate is now a leading choice in pup names for us. Meg and dad got “what will Mario do when he gets older?” They wrote “be an acrobat in Circue de Soleil.” Love it, and weirdly perceptive.
Patty got “where will Mario live?” She wrote “in Rome Italy with me.”
After the game wrapped up, Ri quipped “This boy of ours is going to have an interesting life.” Indeed.
Ri asked Mario the same questions we answered and he said he’d have 1 kid, 3 dogs, be an acrobat, and live in Marion with Grandma Ionno. Meg and dad won with Patty a close second!
We ate sheet cake and laughed at these crazy little beings we call our kids. Mario opened his presents and fainted when he got Skylanders from Ri (she used her gift card from Christmas to buy them).
He got a Ninjago t-shirt to go with the Lego set Grandma Ionno got him on Sunday. She spoils him rotten. He about fell over again when he opened Grandma Meg’s and Peepaw’s gift – a Mario Bros. wii game. Sarah and Jorge brought him coins from all over the world (he will appreciate those when he’s a world traveling acrobat) and a bullseye and stand for his target shooting! We got him shoes and undies (definitely a parent gift) and a new bike. He certainly is loved.
The party had to close down at 9 since school was happening in the morning. Jon left with everyone else to pick up a kennel from Sherry. Nothing like stepping from one party to another – Jon brings home our new pup tomorrow night.