Sunday, October 12, 2008

Eric's Birthday Party

Eric turned 7 last month, but due to scheduling issues, his birthday party was delayed until yesterday.

Eric chose airplanes for his theme this year. I issued simple but fun invitations. The formatting doesn't look as pretty in my blog, but you can get the idea below:

Eric Berry Air


Name of Passenger:

Daniel Berry

Traveling to:


Carrier Flight Date Time

EBA PARTY Oct 11 1:00-3:00 p.m.

*Passengers are allowed carry-on parents,

if desired. Please confirm your reservation

with your travel agent, Gail Berry, at

(***) ***-****. If you need to bring extra

carry-on family (such as siblings), please

alert the airline to make the necessary

arrangements. Boarding begins at

1:00 p.m. from Terminal B Gate 7.

Eric Air is a discount carrier with limited

cargo capability. Please try to limit your

checked baggage. (Translation: you don't

need to bring presents. Really. Of course,

no one is ever required to bring presents,

but you know what I mean.)

The cake was not my fanciest, but it was easy and edible. It contained sufficient sugar and the children seemed content.

Eric Airlines cake. Candle inventory: one candle at the tail and one on each wing (collision lights) and four below (runway lights) make a total of seven. (Yes, the runway should be green. Or black. Don't quibble.)

Eric blowing out the candles. Let's hope he's instrument rated if he's planning to pilot the plane in the dark!

The party went well. We had six kids besides Eric and Danny. The playset was a big hit, as was the wooden castle. Both have more than recouped themselves because they saved me from needing to supervise more structured games. It was a low-key party, really more of a play date, except for the cake and ice cream. And the traditional Homer Happy Birthday song (about death and dismay) that my Dad learned at girl's camp.

Still, my favorite part may well have been several weeks ago, on Eric's actual birthday. He had been asking me for puzzles and challenges for several days, so I obliged him. I sent him on a treasure hunt to find his birthday presents. (A Choose Your Own Adventure book and an excellently-illustrated chemistry dictionary for children.)

The clues run as follows:

Happy birthday, Eric dear!

You'll be seven all this year.

But “Where's my present?” you may ask.

Well, first you must complete a task.

If you can solve this puzzle, then

You'll be the cleverest of men.

What's that you say? You're still a boy?

Oh no! I did not buy a toy!

Instead, I got a book or two.

A special gift from us to you.

Now here's the first clue you must solve:

How can you see the world revolve?

Now, number two. It cannot be:

A rectangle with corners three?

And yet it's so. At night, and oft,

One corner disappears aloft.

You got it. Humph. I'll try again

To bog you down in marsh and fen.

(That was a metaphor, you know

Which means you'll get confused and so

Give up, or pause, or play awhile

Distracted by your Mommy's guile.)

Or, “bogged” may mean, as you might guess,

You've gotten stuck in mud or mess.

Now, where's a messy spot 'round here?

My kitchen? (No!) In Danny's ear?

Where do clothes, books, and toys converge?

(Hint: Place that, presently, we'll purge.)

Just wade through there, and in the rear

You'll see a chasm, grim and drear

Just step inside! Yes, have no fear!

Your present should be somewhere near!

Happy birthday, Eric dear!

I hope my budding engineer

Approves his present; after all--

Aha! Already you're in thrall.

I'll tiptoe softly from the room

And go prepare a different doom.

I must create ('cause I'm depraved)

A dinner daring few have braved.

I am pleased to report that he was quite taken with the book. (Score one for Mommy's fiction campaign.) He was also quick to figure out the clues.

I am holding the answers hostage until I get more comments. (Please! I crave comments!) A few daring souls might even entertain the rest of us by posting their guesses!

All in all, a successful birthday operation. Now I just need to get through Christmas, followed by the January triple crown: Jon's birthday, Danny's birthday, and Grandma Homer's birthday all within fifteen days of each other.

The most terrifying part is that next year, Eric turns 8. I keep trying to convince my boys not to grow up, but they insist upon it. (I also try to convince them that, if they're so keen to grow up, they should take shortcuts and skip certain years, like ages 13-15. Alas, that hasn't worked either.)



Gail, it really was a great party! I have to admit, I am terrible at math, but I can't figure out the FIRST CLUE! A rectangle with three corners? I don't get it. :o)


Carolyn said...

sunrise?... blanket? was in his closet (or, perhaps, the play room closet -- but I didn't think clothes were kept in the playroom. But you tend to purge the play room more frequently?

I don't really know.

Gail said...

Well, its belated, but I'll explain:

Eric sleeps on the top bunk. One corner of his sheet keeps coming off and he calls upon me to fix it. Thus, rectangle, three corners, aloft.

Gail said...

Oh, and it was Eric's closet. In the old, limited, cramped house, we kept some toys, in addition to clothes, in Eric's closet. Books also tended to get pushed under the door.