It seems I’ve got some catch-up blogging to do. I’ve been too busy staring at the mountains of snow that are lingering well into April. But I am holding off on complaining about the weather because: a) despite the below-normal temperatures, the snow is slowly melting; b) April is usually a write-off month anyway with the odd warm day getting a person’s hopes up, only to be dashed by flurries the next day. If the weather hasn’t smartened up by May, brace yourself for a torrent of angry, frustrated and/or despondent posts.
Backing up ten days to Spencer’s 12th birthday… we usually let the kids choose where they want to go for dinner on their birthday, so Spencer was debating between Subway and Ichiban. The fact that he was even considering Subway made me question his judgement. If you’re not the one picking up the tab, Ichiban seems like the obvious choice. Spencer eventually came to the same conclusion, and since it wasn’t his year to have a friends birthday party, we still got off pretty easy. We’ve been to Ichiban with the kids twice before and always had a lot of fun, but I think the novelty is wearing off a bit. The chef does the exact same tricks every time: throws an egg, makes a fire, pretends he’s going to make you catch a knife. They need to freshen things up a little. But the food was good and there was a lot of it. Spencer seemed pleased with it all, but was eager to leave the second we were done so he could go home and play with his new Wii game.
On Friday, we had my family over – it was mostly because of my brother Dan who was in for the weekend, but we threw in Spencer’s birthday celebration for added value. We had pizza and this awesome ice cream cake:
In case you don’t recognize the dishevelled smoking guy, it’s Stephan Pastis, the creator of Pearls Before Swine, one of Spencer’s favourite comics. The Dairy Queen decorator girl did a great job, working from an image I emailed her. Spencer had a great day and the cake was the icing on his … cake, I guess.
Here’s the part where I reflect upon the last twelve years and marvel at the amazing pre-teen Spencer has become, just in case he reads this someday. Who am I kidding - as long as Rick Riordan, Stephan Pastis, and the guy who writes Big Nate books keep being so prolific, he’ll never read this. And anyway, I’m not really known to reflect or marvel. But twelve is a good age. He’s independent, but he still likes spending time with the family. Best of all, he can now babysit legally. He broke the law a few days before his birthday by babysitting Neve and his little cousins for an hour or two, and it went well. He’s stayed home with Neve for small periods of time, which seems to work out pretty good. He’s a good kid. He’s smart and funny and has a good heart. He usually does his chores without being asked, or at least the instant I ask him. He never needs to be reminded to do his homework or practice his trumpet. (If you’re imagining a perfect child, don't. He plays way too much Minecraft, struggles with anxiety, always leaves his socks lying around the house, and doesn’t have the greatest manners, among other things.) Every day he surprises me with obscure facts he knows or words he uses. I forget most of them, but here are some things I’ve written down in the last little while.
Neve was making a birthday card for her friend, using the letters of the friend’s name to come up with different adjectives to describe her. We were helping her out with suggestions, and Spencer said, “Too bad there’s no ‘i’ in her name or you could do Intangible.”
He came home from school one day and said, “I am arguably the loudest kid in grade six.”
(I have a bad feeling no one’s arguing.)
Dale and I were talking to some friends about a person they know who is an albino. Spencer overheard us and said, “Oh! Albinism is my favourite genetic mutation!” Not only did he know the correct term to use, he’d obviously given this some thought. Not sure what his second-favourite is.
So that’s my 12-year-old. I’ll post another update or two in the next day or so.