Despite my incredulity, it has happened. Finn has turned one year old. No year of my life has passed faster, but the calendar doesn't lie.
We celebrated with a short trip to Glenwood Springs, and stayed at the hot springs lodge. There we met Dave's brother Chris, his wife Susie, and their baby Liam (two months younger—and twenty pounds heavier—than Finn). We spent as much time at the pool as very young children will allow, which is not to say that they didn't enjoy it. As soon as Asher discovered jumping off the sides of the pool, he never wanted to leave. A king carried on his litter was never more pleased than Finn lounging in his little inflatable. He would gaze around imperiously at everyone, or daydream contentedly. At one point he dozed off. The other pool-goers were quite taken with him. I enjoyed the hot water under the breezy 50-degree day, and suspended my germophobia. (Having kids taught me how to do that.) How do three-dozen people sit in a 104-degree bathtub, un-chlorinated, and not get sick? I do not know, nor do I think the inquiry bears much investigation.
The evening of Finn's birthday we went to a restaurant called "The River." As soon as they ushered us to our table I knew it was way too fancy for three kids under four years old. White tablecloths, real flowers on the table, quiet even on a holiday...I was surprised they even had high chairs. I asked if they had any plastic plates so that Finn had something non-breakable to eat off of. Of course they didn't. I felt like we brought a brass band to a library, which is to say nothing of the puffs that covered the floor and the chocolate cake stains that Finn left all over the white tablecloth. I can only hope that the exasperation that the waitstaff and other customers felt was tempered when we sang "Happy Birthday."
We came home the next day, but not after visiting the pool again. Dave and Chris left that morning to go hiking for shed antlers, so it was just Susie and I and the kids. We switched off childcare and showering, which resulted in some pretty hilarious looks from strangers when I was holding one baby, towing another in the floatie, and trying to appease a screaming three-year-old.
Once home we threw together a birthday party for Finn. Susie was a tremendous help, but we did not have nearly enough prep time to fulfill my grand decorating visions (never do).
My cake that I had dreamed of decorating for months was almost bad enough for cakewrecks.com because of an errant bit of something that smeared the frosting as I spun the cake. Oh well. The upside is that I can try the cake again next year, as Finn's birthday will always be on St. Patrick's Day and I will probably stick with that theme until he develops other interests. This was a Graham cracker cake with chocolate buttercream frosting, and it tasted fabulous. The company was wonderful, though if people keep having kids we are going to have to buy a bigger house to entertain everyone. There were 21 people in our modest home. We can no longer fit everyone in the kitchen to sing "happy birthday."
Finn was overwhelmed by the fanfare, hence the deer-in-the-headlights expression of the following picture.
He nearly had to be anchored down to "help" open his pot o' gold (presents). Once he got the idea he was moderately amused.
I am still trying to convince Asher that it was not his birthday, nor will it be anytime soon. Asher ate more cake than anyone, and has since commandeered all of Finn's presents. Finn has not minded, or even noticed. The upshot is that any toy that Asher loves becomes 100 times cooler in Finn's eyes, so his birthday presents are now very cool.