Responsible Concern for the Environment v. Grandparenting

Hmmm ... “Toy Story,” “Cars” and Angry Birds. Must have been 4-year-old grandson Nolan’s birthday — with presents from Kacky and John wrapped in all his favorite things. And even though I believe in minimizing consumerism (except for shoes, of course, and the eternal quest for the Perfect Pair of Jeans), ignoring commercialism (but I really want to try the Cover Girl makeup that both Ellen and Sofia Vergara like), reducing waste and refusing to buy into the must-buy mentality (although I’m on the lookout for a simple yet flattering khaki skirt so please let me know if you stumble across one), none of that matters when my grandson wants the latest Cars play set. Grandparenthood triumphs — trumps green living. On the other hand ... it did feel pretty good when Older Daughter and I decorated a plain and basic bakery cake with Angry Bird toys Nolan ALREADY HAD to create his asked-for Angry Birds birthday cake. Recycling does have its place.

Birthday Parties

Nolan Behel birthdayGrandson Capt. Adorable celebrated his first Dragon birthday cakebirthday in style, with even his Grandad John taking a break from sports news to wish him a happy one. In keeping with the whole dragon and little prince theme, the birthday boy got crowns on his T-shirt and bib, a dragon cake and a soft purple crown for his Nolan Behel first birthdayprecious baby head. The hit of the party, however, was Capt. Adorable’s discovery of balloons — or “oons” as we had to call them to avoid Nolan Behel first birthdaysetting off a frenzy. To celebrate the first-birthday occasion, balloons were everywhere — even festively tied on to his high chair. It was the first time he’d ever seen balloons close up and he was fascinated. When his mommy gave him one to hold, he clutched the ribbon tightly and would not turn loose as he spent almost a half hour tracing a joyous route from room to room. The joy stopped, however, when the balloon would drift up to the ceiling and the Capt.’s desperate wails brought the nearest tallest adult running over for retrieval. His smart mommy realized that getting him into his high chair for lunch amidst all the balloon decorations would not work at all, so she took him into another room while the co-conspirators removed all “oons”  and when he came back in distracted him with — what else? — cake. Success! “Oons” forgotten — for the time being, at least.