Monday, March 17, 2014

*B.Y.O.B. Birthday

We like celebrating birthdays around here.

I am,

 to my core,

a party planner.

But I have learned that birthdays don’t always have to mean a party.

I like the “just us” ways we celebrate each other too.

Monte’s birthday was in February and he didn’t want to do anything.

Not. A. Thing.

And it snowed on his actual birthday making it too difficult 
to take him to his restaurant of choice.

So the girls threw together a homemade “Pin the Raybans on Dad” game.



McDaniel won. The Raybans waaaaay over to the left
not even on the playing sheet?
Monte’s. 

It was a blast.

McDaniel turned 15 the beginning of March.

A few weeks before, she asked what we were going to do for her Quinceanera.

Since we are not Latino,

I said nothing.

Wait. I did say something. 
“Nothing.”
End quote.

McDaniel has been having actual birthday parties with themes and favors and such for 14 years.

I didn’t have it in me 
(maybe it was the very beginnings of that Pioneer Flu 
snuffing out my creativity and enthusiasm 
and later my will to live)

to do a party to entertain 15-year-olds.

McDaniel wasn’t terribly upset by that but wasn’t ready to let the birthday party thing go yet either.

One evening as I was checking email, I mentioned that I had gotten a Build-A-Bear coupon for McDaniel’s birthday.

They seriously must not keep an updated database because we have not been to a Build-A-Bear in probably 8 years.

McDaniel instantly lit up with excitement.

Monte informed her that if she wanted to go to Build-A-Bear with her friends,

they were on their own for buying a bear.

He could still get mad about the financial black hole 
that was the bear that McDaniel made 10 YEARS AGO 
that had to have the purple satin dress AND matching underwear 
and sequined bows that never seemed to stay on the bear’s ears.

McDaniel texted her friends and they all shared her excitement for the birthday outing AND agreed to Monte’s financial *B.Y.O.B. terms.

*Buy. Your. Own. Bear.


Sumita insisted that I take the tiara and sash she wore
on her birthday for McDaniel to wear on hers.


McDaniel had no problem wearing the tiara and sash to the mall.
It was quite a popular day to build a bear. The girls towered over the 6 and 7-year-olds in line.

When it was finally our group’s time to stuff bears, 

this cute lady stood on a chair 
(she had to, poor thing, most of the freshman basketball team was standing before her)

and announced to everyone in the store 
that it was McDaniel’s 15th birthday.


I heard a couple of parents pushing strollers mumble to themselves behind us.

One older guy, came up to me and told me it was his grandson’s 7th birthday and that he loved seeing the enthusiasm of McDaniel’s group because,

“15-year-olds could be doing a lot worse 
than hanging out at Build-A-Bear.”

I tried to verbally affirm him but my voice was spontaneously shifting from Barry White to Dog Whistle with every word.

Grandpa listened to me patiently until I could see his eyes water 
and he walked away.

The cute worker lady led McDaniel’s group in preparing hearts to put into their animals.

But she had them take 2 hearts so one could be put into McDaniel’s monkey from each one of them.


It was enough to make me tear up.

Monte insisted that each girl take the time to make
a birth certificate for their animals. And he loved
hearing what names they chose.

So cute. And Monte only had to pay for two of them.
Ellie’s Ruby bear. Guess what?
The bows STILL don’t stay on the ears.

McDaniel made a topless Sasserella
tutu and cowboy boot wearing monkey.
Then we took the girls to Carisa’s restaurant, Cuco’s, and Monte said the bill worked out to be about the same. 

Dinner for 11 and the two outfitted animals from Build-A-Bear that are pictured above.

But we aren’t letting him get mad about it this time.


1 comment:

  1. What a fun birthday party for your girl!!! Love that after the bears (monkeys, whatever!) y'all took them all to dinner - poor Monte!!!

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