Happy Birthday, Minime!
Minime turned 8 last week. 8! She wants to thank everyone for all the phone calls and cards. Of course, it makes her miss her family more, but all the same she is pleased to be remembered on her birthday.
Thanks, Tito Frank, for the box of packing peanuts!
Tito Frank sent her a coin sorter with wrappers. Minime has no idea what it’s for, but she knows it has something to do with the mini-ATM he gave her for Christmas. However, she and Minimike really love the hundreds of packing peanuts that accompanied the gift. She and Minimike really love packing peanuts. So you see, Tito MBA, your capitalist bourgeois toys have no effect on my daughters.*
On her birthday we went to the pet store to choose her pet, which I stipulated could not have fur or feathers and could not be a frog or a snake. Which leaves turtles and fish. Bettas are reputedly the easiest fish to own but as I added up the cost and care of everything a $3.50 fish requires I suggested to Minime that maybe we should consider something else.** Too late. By that time she had already picked her fish and named him Blendy so we were irrevocably committed.
We haven’t had a home party in years because it’s just as easy and doesn’t cost much more to pay someone else to plan the activities, set up and clean up. This year I totally forgot to reserve a place early so we had a house party instead.
The only activity we had planned for the 4-hour affair was Sculpey, which is a polymer clay that comes in different colors and you can bake it to hardness. It’s easy and fun with minimal mess. The rest of the time they danced and hung out. Mike made two kinds of yummy cupcakes because, in the spirit of Mike’s Grandma Florence, Minime pointed out that some people don’t like chocolate cupcakes.*** Minimike spent the first half hour hiding behind the recliner until she decided the big girls were okay to play with.
Mike and I had developed tinnitus from all the noise but it was good to get to know Minime’s friends and observe their behaviors as a kind of sociological study of developing Queen Bees and Wannabes. (Scary!) Minime said it was the best party ever.
*I am humbly contradicted by this House Party picture, in which Minime demonstrates her need of a reliable ATM and coin counter. Clearly she is your niece.
**Mike and I laugh about this because my father would have thought it completely ridiculous to keep a fish as a pet. I can only imagine him dismissing the idea, then telling us to go to Galveston and hang off the side of the dingy to look at the fish in the water. Instead of a little betta in an aquarium he’d have a baby shark or a pair of croaker flopping around in a cooler with water.
***One of the family’s favorite Grandma Florence stories is that she would always make two kinds of stuffing for Thanksgiving and explain, every year, that “Some people don’t like sage.” Every year.