As befits someone with his larger than life personality, he made his demands clear - and he made them early: a lemon-poppyseed muffin for breakfast (at 'a coffeeshop' I might add), followed by a croissant, followed by a whole bag of chocolate coins in front of the telly for lunch. (Come to think of it, that sounds like my ideal day too....)
As unbeknownst to me, huge quantities of chocolates and sweeties were being consumed in the front room (THANKS grandma for the care package of chocolate miniatures - each morsel being lovingly handled before being gobbled or hidden away for a future pig-out), I was coming to grips with the enormous task I had set myself.
Singlehandedly cleaning the home from top to bottom (our cleaner is 5 months pregnant and her visits these days are sporadic at best), constructing a painfully time-consuming mandarin cake from scratch (homemade buttercream icing included) and preparing for a small gathering of friends for dinner was clearly not enough of a challenge.
No, I had to send out email invitations declaring that homemade pizza's were on the menu. Have I ever made homemade pizza before? Do I have even the slightest affinity with the process of molding and shaping raw dough? Was I aware that the cost of procuring all the ingredients needed would easily be double that of merely picking up the phone and dialing our local Domino's? No, No, and No.
(INSERT giant SIGH)
Stubborn bugger that I am, I persisted, even though I sacrificed a shower and spent most of the afternoon and early evening muttering and swearing to myself like a 200 lb Italian chef in the kitchen. However, triumphantly, at approximately 8:28pm the first of four large pizza's emerged from our humble oven, and were greedily consumed by all. Of course by that time, most of the assembled were onto their third or fourth glasses of wine, so I imagine even trumped up dog food might have garnered the same sort of reaction....nonetheless....
Dumps for his part seemed mildly dismayed at the lack of presents. We had instructed friends to just 'bring themselves' given that great swathes of our home more often than not resemble the rear end of an unsuccessful car boot sale. (Possibly, Dumps was recalling Egg's recent birthday and the plethora of brightly coloured packages which accompanied the festivities.)
Clearly preferring his own company to the raucous gathering of now fairly inebriated adults having a singalong in the dining room with a stylaphone, an out of tune guitar, and some tone deaf participants, Dumpie hid himself and a big tupperware box of sweeties behind the large sofa in the front room.
He was only persuaded out when I started making noises about birthday cake and dozens of candles needing to be blown out. It did the trick. Insisting that Eggie bring the cake in and sing a solo 'Happy Birthday' to him, we watched the choral tribute with a mixture of amusement and anxiety as the cake slipped dangerously on the expensive heavy ceramic platter during the performance...culminating in a giant bear hug between the brothers and even a 'lip kiss' at the end. Ah, bless.
Now three, my little Dumps is not so little anymore. Though remaining resolutely UN-POTTY TRAINED, and despite likely being more clever than the average McDonald's employee (former midwife excluded of course), Dumpie has decided that he will continue to soil himself on a daily basis for the ongoing future.
So be it. For now, I'll let the little guy be. Though naughtiness incarnate, he is also outrageously cute...and funny...and adorable...and...well...this family would just be 'normal' without him. Three years ago yesterday, as Dumpie slithered unceremoniously out onto our bathroom floor at 1:52 am, (the confirmed bachelor downstairs listening on with horror and revulsion to the entire birthing fiasco), our lives changed forever.
Perhaps our family wealth (in terms of assets at least) has suffered a severe blow, given the amount of expensive goods Dumps has either lost/hidden, broken, or heaved out the third floor window. And perhaps our eldest darling child Egg has suffered needless countless blows to the head and body by an over rambunctious, summersaulting Dumps. And yes, perhaps the entire neighbourhood (and fellow revellers at 'The Big Chill' summer before last) are too intimately acquainted with the death knell screams of our tantrum-bound toddler...
But damn it...without Dumps life wouldn't be half as interesting, amusing or special.
Here's to you Dumpie Darling...L-O-N-G may you reign...