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This year for the girl’s birthdays I did something else that will go on their Things to Discuss with My Therapist When I Grow Up list: I didn’t throw them a birthday party. GASP. I’ll give you a second to recover from the horror of it. I don’t like kids birthday parties. Even my own kids. So I gently floated the idea of a non party birthday to Grace and waited for the backlash. To my surprise, she went for it. She choose the activities for the whole day. My folks came over from the Big Island. Kirk, who was headed to the East Coast for their actual birthdays rearranged his travel to be here for the whole event (it ended up taking him almost 24 hours to get there instead of a more reasonable amount of time. What a good daddy). The itinerary: Children’s Discovery Center, Wahoo’s for lunch, naps, Benihana for dinner and then gifts and cake.

I’m pretty sure we all had fun at the children’s museum. Where else can you crawl through a giant stomach that has beanbags for the food? Or blow enormous bubbles? By the third floor of the museum though, the grown ups had grown weary. “Grace, are you sure you aren’t ready for lunch? No, seriously, it’s lunch time”. We had to drag her out of there kicking and screaming. Jane liked it . . .I guess. Judge for yourself from the picture below.

For dinner we went to Benihana. Grace is a big fan of watching the onion ring volcano and all the crazy tricks they do with knives and spatulas. Jane  . . . well she was less impressed. Grace had a fantastic time, and my parents, who had never been to Benihana, enjoyed it as well.

Back at the house though, that was Janie’s big moment. The first bite of cake. You never know how a kid is going to react to cake the first time. But Jane went for it. Stuck her hand in and shoved a fistful of frosting in her mouth. Her eyes lit right up. “Ahhhhh, this is what I’ve been waiting for. This is what I’ve been missing. I’m NEVER going back to Cheerios!” She was a happy camper until her chubby little hand became too full of frosting to even close. Then she freaked out.

I think the non birthday party birthday worked out well. I wasn’t stressed out over whether 20 kids were having fun or if they’d like the junk in the gift bag or if I had enough juice boxes.  I think Grace felt really, really special. She even thanked each of us for coming. So that’s it, the girls turned 1 and 5 a little before the calendar said they should. What’s a few days here and there, right?

Jane really loved the discovery center. Can't you tell?

Jane really loved the discovery center. Can't you tell?

Benihana brought Grace her own special plate. Then they sang her "If you're happy and you know it" in Japanese.

Jane was quiet twice the whole meal. Once to suck broth off this spoon and once to dip a chopstick in soy sauce, fling some on Kirk's pants and suck off the rest.

She got all the candles on the first try!