Day 6: How four ends

On Saturdays this year Boy plays soccer in the morning and then has Nutcracker practice in the late afternoon. Today the plan was to walk to the grocery store with Girl while Papa had the car, and buy what we needed to make a cake. Then we meant to make the cake so the kids could decorate it tomorrow, and so that we could all go to the Aquarium on Girl’s birthday, before we went to Five Guys for dinner and had cake and presents at home. But as is so often the case, that plan didn’t happen. (And that puts us in a bit of a quandary. We probably can’t make a cake tomorrow AND go to the Aquarium. A choice will have to be made. But it will have to be made tomorrow morning. Ugh. Or maybe it won’t be a problem at all. We’ll see.)

Instead of making a cake, I spent the day trying to catch up on a little housework from a busy week, and the kids spent the hours in between soccer and ballet in the backyard with Nana and the dog. We have a very large magnolia tree and last spring I hung a round swing, the kind you can twist up and let go, and spin like mad. The kids love that swing. I could hear them laughing, spinning together, so fast. And for the life of me I couldn’t call them in to get cleaned up and then hurry to the store. Choices, choices, all the time.

When they did finally come in because the mosquitoes were coming out, Girl asked if Papa would take her to her favorite coffee shop/bakery while Boy was at ballet. Nana and I wrapped Girl’s presents while everyone was gone, walked the dog, made dinner. We let the kids eat hotdogs in the living room while we watched Muppets Most Wanted, but of course that meant that they were up too late, and when we stopped the movie to get jammies on, both kids effectively went off the rails. Girl, in particular, turned into a horrible incoherent drunken sailor, in the way that only Girl can. She fell asleep weeping that she wanted to turn five a different day, because this was no way to end being four. And that’s a lesson for us all, sweetheart, I thought to myself, how rarely things go, or end, or start, the way we mean them to.

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