For birthdays, the kids get to pick dinner and dessert. As long as the request is reasonable, I will accommodate it. Billy asked for, and got, pancakes for his birthday dinner. Cake seems to be the traditional choice, but perhaps as they get older they might consider pie or cobbler or hot fudge sundaes.
Fritz asked for Church's chicken. I suppose I could be offended that he wants fast food fried chicken instead of my own homemade version. But I don't actually fry my chicken - I bake it in the oven. And I'll be the first to admit that deep fried chicken is really really yummy. Childhood obesity does not generally occur in children who visit fast food joints an average of once a month, even if those 12 annual visits tend to be concentrated around family vacations, cross-country moves and birthdays.
And since it's not only a ball game night, but also a Scout Pack Meeting night, I've got to squeeze dinner and birthday cake and presents all in by 530 pm. To have no dinner clean up to worry about saves me one more headache on a busy night.
And this is why I felt okay about cutting Fritz's Dairy Queen ice cream cake a night early. We'll sing again, and even light candles on the leftovers if he wants, but I won't feel badly about following up the serving of the cake with an urging to hurry up!
I do feel badly that my husband wasn't around when we cut the cake. He's rarely home before 7 pm and didn't expect tonight to be any different. But when I told him we cut the cake, he told me he would be able to come home early tonight and was disappointed we had already done that. Have you given him his presents yet? he asked. No, I said. But I was planning to, I thought. I think it's a bit cruel to give a kid a gift right before bedtime or right before he has to walk out the door for a game. Fortunately, Nana and Grandpa's gift arrived via FedEx earlier, and he had plenty of Legos to assemble today. I don't think he'll mind too much about having to wait until tomorrow to dig into the set we got him.
And now, it's time for me to wipe down kitchen counters and crack the whip on house-straightening. Hurry up! We've got to go go go!