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The Squirrelly just turned one (as I mentioned), so we had a birthday party for him last weekend. In anticipation, The Queen went to the store to buy decorations. I didn't think we really needed them since only a few family members would be attending, but she somehow got it in her head that they were mandatory.

She returned with a bag full of construction paper, markers, glue sticks, glitter and the like. Apparently the only decorations the store sold featured proprietary characters -- Thomas The Tank Engine, Spongebob Squarepants, etc. -- and The Queen, determined not to give any money to The Man, resolved to make her own. This came as a surprise to me since my wife is probably the least crafty person I know, but she was adamant that there would be decorations and they would be handmade.

Of course the day of the party arrives and of course we've made pretty much no effort to clean our house or do anything else to prepare. So we spend all morning running around, throwing baby toys into the closet and scrubbing squash off the walls. Fifteen minutes before the scheduled start time The Queen suddenly realizes that she's forgotten to decorate. At that same moment my cousin arrives a bit early, is handed a bag of art supplies, and told whip up something to make the place more festive.

She made this and stuck it on the wall moments before the rest of the family arrived. It was our only decoration.

Posted on March 10, 2005 to Storytelling


Rats. She got the number of candles wrong.

Posted by: Chris Corrigan on March 10, 2005 10:16 PM

I've always been opposed to a correspondence between age and number of candles, in cases like this particularly. To my mind, a cake with only one candle is like a duct tape tuxedo; despite a superficial resemblance to what looks good, it's clearly not on the same level.

Posted by: Scoots on March 10, 2005 10:42 PM

One already? Wasn't Squirrelly just born like three months ago? Man, time flies.

Posted by: chasmyn on March 11, 2005 12:27 AM

Party problems? Panic clean ups just before someone arrives at your house? Wiping grime off the walls and picking junk off the floor at the last minute?

Remember this well Matt…….

Because it is exactly what the Squirrely is going to be doing when he’s sixteen years old, just woken up from yesterday’s party and you and the Queen are about to return from your first weekend vacation together in ages.

Posted by: Lung the Younger on March 11, 2005 12:42 AM

the candles aren't wrong -- he's five in dog years.

Posted by: sweetney on March 11, 2005 4:09 AM

That is the absolute best!!!

Posted by: Anita on March 11, 2005 5:58 AM

Simple, minimalist, clean design.... it’s really quite chic. Definitely better than any Thomas the Tank Engine swag.

Hope the party went well and you didn't wind up with real cake on the walls....

Posted by: Mary on March 11, 2005 6:54 AM

So...is the house still decorated?

Posted by: Jen on March 11, 2005 7:14 AM

Honestly, very unique decorations. The Squirrelly will be very pleased that the effort was made for his first.

Posted by: lola on March 11, 2005 8:04 AM

Buy yourself a new ipod and give Squirrelly the box to play with - that's my philosophy on 1st birthdays and Christmas.

Posted by: Duane on March 11, 2005 8:12 AM

Wow, I am so glad that I wasn't the only mother of a soon to be one year old who just *had* to have decorations for a small family birthday party. Maybe it is some sort of weird hormonal thing. I lucked out though, because my daughter was born on Valentine's day, so it was easy to find some heart themed schwag to stick up in the dining room. Of course, I too forgot all about it until a few minutes before my family started coming over, and I enlisted the first person through the door (who, thankfully, was about 6'5") to put up the heart streamers.

Posted by: Amber on March 11, 2005 8:24 AM

I like that the candles look like lit matches stuck in the cake. Pretty!

Posted by: laura on March 11, 2005 9:38 AM

hard to describe how awesome that is.
happy 1st

Posted by: Anonymous on March 11, 2005 10:26 AM

I think that is brilliant.

Posted by: Cee on March 11, 2005 10:41 AM

Happy Birthday Squirrelly! Please tell me that's not a post-it :)

Posted by: Sheryl on March 11, 2005 12:22 PM

Fantastic! I hope the party was a big success, and that the Squirrely got lots of cake everywhere. :)

Posted by: Esther on March 11, 2005 7:48 PM

That is an excellent poster. You have to keep that so the Squirrelly can truly appreciate it when he's older.

Posted by: David Way on March 12, 2005 8:16 AM

That's a Post-It™ right?

Posted by: Marc LaFoy on March 13, 2005 9:12 AM

A cake, sans plate, floating in mid-air? Was David Blaine anywhere in the vicinity? I believe this may rate higher than ponies and clowns. Definitely less scary.

Posted by: MJ on March 14, 2005 2:36 PM


"Apparently the only decorations the store sold featured proprietary characters -- Thomas The Tank Engine, Spongebob Squarepants, etc. -- and The Queen, determined not to give any money to The Man, resolved to make her own."


When I read that I was like: Is that us? No, wait. We wouldn't even have a party 'til like 3 weeks after her birthday.

Posted by: Miel on March 17, 2005 1:04 AM

so what is it you all on these blogs? I just saw it on cnn news and find it interesting

Posted by: dawn on March 18, 2005 7:52 PM