Because we believe in sleep, our lives revolve around nap times and bedtime rituals. One of my rituals is to walk around the block with both kids before The Edge's first nap. A reasonable person might assume it would take, oh 10, maybe 15 minutes to walk around one city block, tops. But this activity can kill anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes because The Edge must inspect every sprinkler head, must observe every ant moving a leaf and must point and giggle at every small yapping dog.
Peapod mostly delights in her brother's pokey pace, unless they are tantalizingly close to The Rock Section, which is both kids' favorite part of the block loop. If they are close, she will tug his chubby little hand impatiently and implore him to hurry up until they have arrived at this most magical of destinations. The Rock Section is just the area on somebody's front yard between the sidewalk and the street where they have planted some cactus-type succulent plants and filled the rest of the space in with small rocks. These people have probably done this to save on their water bill. And maybe to get dogs to stop pooping on on their property. Who knows.
But my kids think it is the best thing ever. They stop there every time to pick up little rocks and put them on bigger rocks. Sometimes they put the little rocks on the leaf of what appears to be a yukka plant and pull the leaf down so the rocks can roll off. Whee!
Not unlike the rhythm of my nap-driven days, my years also have a rhythm to them. Every August I rack my brain for unique and fun birthday ideas in preparation for September. You see, September is a double birthday month for Team Mihm: both The Esposo and Peapod celebrate their birthdays in September. And when you have a spouse who gives you the trapeze for your own birthday, and a little girl who has been talking about her birthday for 7 months, you can't just phone it in.
So I think I've got The Esposo's locked down. But I was still working out the details for Peapod's celebration in my head the other day when she solved the whole thing for me. We were on our morning city block loop when Peapod got really excited. "I know, Mommy!" she said, "We can have my birthday party at the Rock Section!"
We cannot do that, as the Rock Section is technically the bottom edge of somebody else's front lawn.
But her excited proclamation was a great reminder not to buy into the over-blown-kidz-birthday-party-bandwagon and realize that if I can deliver on as much fun as a pile of rocks, I should be good to go.
But we should probably have some bubbles, just in case.