Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Party, the Third

Eli 6.0 had a birthday party at school today. This is his third birthday party in four days, and is all part of the Bataan Birthday Death March.

Gloria made cupcakes for all the kids and teachers, almost forty in all. She made both vanilla and chocolate cupcakes (at five, there's no point in making any other flavor).

We're sitting in tiny chairs eating pizza with the kids when Madeline walks up. Nominally, she's Eli's girlfriend, although that designation can change hourly. "Hi, Eli's Dad!" she said brightly, as she went to the sink to wash her hands.

"Hi, Madeline," I said.

"I got a chocolate cupcake," she said. "It tasted like CARDBOARD."

I almost did a spit take. Gloria was laughing so hard that I thought pizza was going to fall out of her mouth.

A few minutes later, Arjun Z walked up. "The cake was very tasty, thank you," he said, and walked off.

"I guess he got one of the vanilla ones," I said.

Henry, the boy sitting next to me at Eli's table, looked up at me. His mouth was wide open and it was absolutely jammed full of chocolate cupcake. "These are DELICIOUS!" he said, spraying crumps in a wide arc not unlike a rotating lawn sprinker.

Four kids in the class had their last day today, because they were all moving up to first grade. His teacher (Ms. Ali, who is a very kind woman) had each child sit beside her, and all the other kids would take turns saying something nice to the person who was leaving.

Eli got quite a few "I love you" and "you're my best friend" comments, which were very nice, but my favorite was something one of the boys said to a girl who was leaving. "You're my best friend--on Earth," he said.

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