On the 21st of September Joseph will be three years old. We are celebrating a few days earlier though, so the family can be here together on a sunday. Besides, this is the day he should have been born if he had not been stuborn enough to keep mommy in three days of labour. Not that I will keep that hanging over his heard for the rest of his life of course..... but I just thought I'ld mention it.
Last night, my wonderful Husband spent his evening and part of the night putting together Joseph's birthday gift: an Imaginarium Train table. Joseph, as you may know is utterly insane about trains, particularly Thomas the Tank Engine. Ama (Joseph's name for my mother) and Bill worked together for two hours to get the table done, then I helped the last hour after my mother went to bed putting some of the smaller things together. We applied some magic and wall stickers and.... presto we had a Thomas the Tank Engine traintable!! Hurray! It was well past midnight when both of us saw our bed, but it was worth it.
This morning Mommy, Dadda and Ama gathered around Joseph's bed to sing happy birthday and then he was carried downstairs to discover his birthday surprise. I wish I had words to describe his delight. I have however a video and if I can manage to upload it, you will see what I mean. He was not just happy, he was over the moon. He kept looking, touching, running his trains over the rails. We had serious trouble convincing him of the necessity to actually get dressed to go to mass!
At Church several people wished our boy a happy birthday, but his main interest remained getting back home to play with the traintable. Even the arrival of Aunt Sarah, Mimi and Pa, his aunt and paternal grandparents just meant that there were now more people to drag along to come and admire him as he raced around, pushing trains on the tracks, through tunnels and over bridges.
After everyone had gathered, the trains had been admired we made ready for a birthday tradition: pictures at JCPenny! But even here Thomas the Tank engine could not be excluded.
We skipped naps today, always a big risk, but a present from Mimi while at the restaurant made Joseph behave well and stay on his side: Cranky the Crane, a college of Thomas at the docks and a take along set provided lots of fun while the rest of us played pass the baby with Michael and ate.
Then finally we could go back home to play with the unbeatable train table again. I am convinced Joseph has run more than a mile in small circles around that thing today. Even the Thomas cake and further Thomas presents (Thomas boots, a Thomas rain coat and an umbrella, together with some fun grow along toys) were only sufficient for a break of half an hour, before the race began again.
That cake was a story by itsself. We wanted to order one at our local Publix store and asked for some information. We needed to decide between a pull apart cupcake cake and a cake. When I came back, they informed me, three days before the birthday party that they were out of Thomas the Tank engine kits. And I already had promised my little boy a Thomas cake. Oops. And I have never in my life decorated a cake. Double oops! I decided to be creative. I asked the bakery to make a plain round cake, with happy birthday on it, and red and blue (Thomas' colours) icing around it. Then I had the genius idea (if I say so myself) to use the heads of Thomas the tank engine Pez candy dispensers for decoration. The only thing I needed to add were some tracks.
Reluctantly we said goodbye to Mimi, aunt Sarah and Pa shortly after the cake and presents and played with the trains till it was time for the bedtime rituals to start. Mommy even snuck in a nap!
James received the honour of going with Joseph under the blankies and Ama read a Dutch story about, what else, a train, and then Joseph went off to the land of Dre.... well.. the island of Sodor I am sure, in his Very Thomas Bedroom.