Last year when she turned 4, we celebrated by inviting a small group of preschoolers to Glazed and Amazed, the popular paint-your-own pottery studio in Edmonds.
In addition to painting piggy banks, we also played the traditional party game “Telephone” where I had to explain to the children what a dial tone, operator and phone line were.
Boy, did I feel old! Then we ate tiny, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free cupcakes, along with some low-sugar apple juice and organic grapes.
That’s just what your own birthday party was like when you turned 4, right?
OK, whatever. You can stop mocking me now. Birthday parties have changed a lot over the years. I bet your mom never had to deal with a party guest who was lactose intolerant.
She probably never agonized over whether or not to open presents at the party or afterward. That wasn’t even up for debate.
Actually, my daughter’s birthday party was a bit on the cheap side by modern standards. There was no personalized cake, no inflatable bouncy house, no swimming pool, and no custom-sewn capes, aprons or goody bags.
(Watch out, Martha Stewart! You’ve got nothing on Pinterest moms.)
But back to the red piggy bank … A few days after we picked up my daughter’s masterpiece from the kiln, we made a shocking discovery. Quarters go into the bank but won’t come out. The hole at the bottom is too small.
“Big deal,” you might be thinking. “A few quarters. That would only pay for a couple of bites of those fancy birthday cupcakes from PCC.”
Oh, my friends, I only wish that were the case.
You see, my husband, with all of the good intentions that come with fatherhood, recently took out $60 worth of brand-new quarters from our savings account so that my son could search for the missing “P” quarters in his state quarters collection.
(Don’t ask what P quarters are. It’s really boring.)
Our daughter then found that hoard of quarters on the ground and immediately fed them to her piggy bank. So now the little oinker is permanently bloated with change.
Part of me thinks that porker should be chopped: $60 is $60!
But I’m a mom, not a butcher. Birthday artwork is special, and I’m worried about my daughter’s feelings.
My husband is more concerned with gratifying our descendants. He thinks that 50 years from now, those quarters would be worth a lot of money to a young numismatist. We could be the best great-grandparents ever.
Maybe. Or perhaps in 2064 someone will look at that pig and say, “We can’t break it. It’s an heirloom! Grandma Bardsley painted that when she was 4 years old.”
Jennifer Bardsley is an Edmonds mom of two and blogs at http://teachingmybaby toread.com.
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