Ah, I recall it fondly...
My sisters had made the mistake of picking up the phone when the husband rang in the early hours of the morning. Wandering over in their pj's from where they lived a few doors down, they had been promptly ushered into the bathroom to 'deal' with me whilst the husband busied himself in the kitchen, rustling up tea for the novice midwife. In retrospect, perhaps rustling up a tea party in the kitchen whilst I lay beached in the bathtub moaning that i wanted to die, was perhaps not the best use of his time...but I digress...
The poor girls. All they'd signed up for was babysitting duty for Egg - not accidental birthing partners. Nonetheless, they were present for the whole shebang, and secretly I suspect that their reluctance to spawn up until now may have in some way been a result of witnessing firsthand the horrors of live birth sans ANY pain relief.
And then of course moments after a push or two (my mum on speakerphone across the ocean) the husband cried out incredulously 'It's a BOY!" shocking all of us - especially me - who had been certain a little girl was on the cards.
No, once you've spent some time in Dumpie's universe, you realise that he's a one-of-a-kind force of nature...a charmer...a scamp...a clown...a total and utter delight...and well - pure comedy from morning til night. Since Dumps has come into our lives my scowl to smile ratio has gone off the scale. Everyday is an adventure waiting to happen, and whether it borders on horrendous or hilarious is pretty much luck of the draw. But I wouldn't have it - or HIM - any other way.
(NOTE: Please consider these sentiments null and void if, in the coming years, Dumpie manages to do any/all of the following: sets fire to our home, impregnates one of his classmates, kills a family pet, runs us into bankruptcy due to abuse of premium number lines, submerges my laptop into the bathtub, etc.)
My father teasingly tells me that Dumpie is his revenge on me after all I put him through growing up. And he may be right. For Dumpie is a carbon copy of my father in so many ways. Whether it's his rogue-like wink of "Hey Lookin' Gookin'", his naughty smile when he knows he's just done something utterly horrid but sees I'm trying to keep from breaking out in laughter, or whether it's the confident way he meanders through life, charming all he meets...they share the same soul - of that I'm sure.
Today Dumpie celebrated his fourth birthday with not one but two birthday cakes. The first was for his kindergarten class of thirty. Let me just say that again. THIRTY!! Have you ever tried wrapping a 'pass the parcel' gift with THIRTY layers of toys and treats?! Not fun. It gets bloody big by the end of it I'll tell you.
Despite burning the skin off one finger while lighting the twenty odd candles (Dumpie likes to blow things out), the party was deemed a success.
Party Number Two consisted of Dumps opening 14 birthday presents, all wrapped up in gaudy silver and green foiled paper, later that day before dinner. Pressie highlights included:
*his own torch (runs on three AA batteries...will likely be left at a restaurant and never seen again)
*a hula hoop (don't ask - was all the rage in the Gilli Islands a few months back)
*a 'light and sound' army rifle (husband abhors it but Dumps adores it - our neighbours not so much)
*Ben-10 Action Figure with sounds (from big brother Egg...in retrospect not ideal to bring to candle-lit restaurant...a tad disruptive)
*Lego 'Indian Stylee' (ie. looks like Lego but pieces probably won't fit together and will be lost within a fortnight is my bet)
*Ben-10 t-shirt (already stained with Baskin Robbins Bavarian Chocolate Ice Cream)
*giant coloured chalk (with which to decorate his walls with his own particular brand of graffiti)
Of course no birthday would be complete without the presence of 'Sandkelp' - Dumpie's 13 year old best friend from next door. He came bounding in with a present of sand toys and a big grin. Dumps gave him some chocolate birthday cake but then made him clean up all his toys and transport all his loot to the bedroom. Luckily Sandkelp adores Dumpie and has a very obliging nature.
Dumpie insisted on carrying out his own birthday cake whilst singing Happy Birthday to himself - and who were we to argue? Despite a near miss when his fine little locks almost caught fire, he did an admirable job. And if you discount the fact that he insisted on opening every single present - even the few we got for Egg (who was greatly suffering from birthday envy to the extent that we invented a 'Birthday Brother' role which garnered him a few presents himself), he was on fairly good behaviour.
For a day which started with me chasing him from the landlady's house where he was yelling Sandkelp awake with cries of 'You've got a stinky bum bum!" to now, where he lies curled up with Eggie in bed next door, clutching his teddy and glow in the dark light sabres, looking like butter wouldn't melt...
I for one am glad the day is over. It was fun, but I'm good for another year thanks. Birthdays are exhausting.
Now I've just got bloody Christmas to worry about...