All the way seven

April 3rd, 2006

Isaiah is seven years old now.

He’s grown into quite a fine young fellow, if I do say so myself. No, he’s not perfect, but neither am I and from all accounts I hear from those there then (both with reputable recollections and otherwise…) he is a better kid than I was. I suppose that is probably true and I attribute it to my proactive parenting style.

See, I remember what it was like to be that age. In fact, in many ways my personality is like that of a little kid, but fortunately I have developed enough adultitude to at least get by. I still procrastinate and whine and don’t like green vegetables. I still struggle with resisting the temptation to push buttons and flip switches on everything that has them. My resistance to this temptation has grown in recent years mainly because I can’t very well yell at Isaiah for fooling with such controls that he shouldn’t be touching if I am fooling with them myself. I still sneak sweets and treats, but now I do it to hide them from Isaiah and Gideon so I won’t have to share, instead of from a parent who would tell me not to spoil my supper.

So most of the time I know what, or at least how, he is thinking. I am one step ahead of him because I not only remember being there, but am kind of still there. So I have the kidmind foresight to be able to predict his shenanigans to some degree. I use this to great effect, too in such ways as:

“Go do A and do not B, C, or D while you are doing it”

Yes, we both drive each other nuts quite frequently, but he is a good boy and we are best friends.

His birthday was last actually the week before last. We didn’t do much on his actual birthday since it was during the week. In the morning before school we gave him a couple of presents and that night we went to one of his favorite restaurants– Lost Tres Amigos. Oddly, despite the name it’s a Chinese joint. Ah, not it isn’t it’s Mexican. The food is good, though, and decently priced.

Friday night was the official big family celebration. Ruth’s dad has a birthday the same week Isaiah does so we always put’em together and have a big eat-out and then go back to someone’s house to open presents and cards. This year, as is frequently the case we went to the Fin Inn— a not-so-hot website, but a really cool restaurant. Most of the booths have what would be full size windows beside them, but instead of looking outside– they look into large aquaria.

Last time we were at Fin Inn (I think it was for my birthday last September– “Where do you want to go, Roger?” “FIN INN!” shouts Isaiah.) we sat in a booth whose aquarium contained a massive old snapping turtle. This fellow had to be three feet in diameter. He was big and that night he was lethargic. The total extent of his activities for the evening was blinking twice.

This time we sat in the same booth but there was a big difference. The turtle was very active the whole time. I must say that watching two-hundred pounds of giant snapping turtle moving around mere inches from your head is an interesting experience. Needless to say both the boys were delighted. The turtle walked around, and several times stood up tall and stretched to stick his pointy, vicious looking snout above the water line to breath. Gideon kept talking to it.

There was one other difference. The last time we were there– the time when the turtle was lethargic– the place was almost empty. This time it was pretty well packed and of course everybody wanted to look at the giant turtle on the other side of our table. The people walking by our table and pointing or even stopping and staring over us were much less irritating than the annoying ankle-biter in the next booth who wouldn’t turn around and sit down, but even he didn’t dampen the enjoyment of the evening.

After dinner we went back to Rupie’s house to open presents. She hadn’t gone with us since she had recently had knee replacement surgery and she wasn’t able to get out and about yet. Isaiah’s favorite present was a toy King Kong. For some reason Isaiah has become fascinated with King Kong. The black and white one from 1936, of course. I’ve been telling him since he first heard of it that the new one is unfortunately not for kids. That’s OK, though, the original is plenty fine with him and the new toys are fine, too. Even though they don’t look quite like the old one, the resemblance is strong and King Kong is King Kong when you are playing.

Isaiah’s birthday this year turned out to be quite a long, drawn-out affair. It was stretched out over about two and a half weeks. We usually have a family party and a friends party for him. The family party was recounted briefly above with dinner in the turtle booth and presents at Rupie’s. He’d had a party at school on his birthday, and we had planned to have his friends party at a local park. Fortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate and it didn’t happen on the day we’d planned.

I say fortunately because pushing it back an extra week enabled us to invite a couple other friends who we hadn’t gotten invited in time– and the day we finally got to hold it the weather could not really have been better.

Every year we have a theme to his parties. Ruth and I work together to make invitations and a cool cake based on the theme. This year he had unsurprisingly decided he wanted a King Kong party. A lot of brainstorming about the cake yielded some ambitious and outlandish plans. Time constraints forced something a little less practical. Saturday morning bright and early Ruth baked a regular rectangular sheet cake. Then she iced it and wrote ‘Happy King Kong Day’ with red and yellow icing and had Isaiah select a King Kong action figure about six inches tall to stand on the cake by the words. He picked the one he wanted (he has two of the right size) and we loaded up the cake, charcoal, hot dogs, hamburgers, drinks, presents and all the rest of the van full of junk we hauled to the park and hauled it all to the park.

As I mentioned above, the weather was perfect and as an added surprise a kid Isaiah played T-ball with last summer just happened to be at the park with his mother. Isaiah and this kid never really clicked, but they played together a little bit before he had to go. Soon after he left, one of Isaiah’s pals from school showed up. Not only is Isaiah friends with A.M. at school, the two of them went to preschool together. That’s where they met. In fact, we owe A.M. a trip to the zoo from a a promise made three years ago. Maybe we’ll pay up this summer. Soon, another pal from school K.G. showed up. Isaiah played T-ball with K.G. last summer. They did click and are in the same class so they are pretty good friends.

I started the charcoal and started cooking not long before the rest of the gang arrived. What can I say? It was a seven year old boys birthday party. They all had a blast and the grown ups had fun too.

So Isaiah is all the way seven now.
I hope we are still best friends when he is seventeen.