We have a long-standing birthday feast policy in our house wherein the birthday boy designs the menu for his special day. I did not think this needed clarification until earlier this week. A glance at the calendar informed me that I needed to get my fourth born (and almost 5-year-old) thinking about his birthday dinner. I asked him to consider what he wanted for his special day. He squinched his eyes, bit the side of his lip and descended deep into thought.
Half an hour or so later, he caught up with me while I was preparing to write this week's column and exclaimed, "Mommy! I know what I want to eat for my birf-day. You wanna get a pencil?" I told him I figured I could keep his menu straight and he could fire away when ready.
-- Leif: I want an ice cream cake with chocolate cake and strawberry ice cream. And I want it covered with chocolate and sprinkles and a dog.
-- Me: No problem!
-- Leif: And I want sticky chicken bones with pizza and lots of fruit.
-- Me: Can do. All right. That's a great meal.
-- Leif: I'm not done, Mommy.
(Stage direction: Me scrambling for pencil and paper)
-- Leif: I also want peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch and a strawberry pie with it. I want peanut butter balls and peanut butter spoons, too.
(Noted to self: Buy more peanut butter!)
-- Leif: And for breakfast I want pumpkin cinnamon rolls wiff lots of icing. Drippy icing, please, Mommy. And some bananas.
-- Me: Leif! I usually just make a special birthday meal. This will have me in the kitchen for two days.
And at this point, my little beloved baby tossed off one of the throwaway lines my kids are so adept at producing. "I'm a big boy now, Mommy. Five year olds need lots of food. One meal just won't do it any more."