about a dream: Day 41: Nina's actual Birthday and KinderSpektakel

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Day 41: Nina's actual Birthday and KinderSpektakel

We'll go in chronological order today, so first up: KinderSpektakel. It was basically a children's festival down in Baden's pedestrian district. Much fun! We didn't bring the camera, so no pictures, but it's a pain to drag the camera everywhere. You'll just have to let my words paint pictures in your mind like in the old days, when I was small (Maggie insists that my childhood is "the old days." I tried to explain that no, my parents' childhoods are the old days, but no. I'm sure you don't even want to know what the kids consider their grandparents' childhoods. Probably ancient times.)

Ok, I had to ask the kids what the world was like when you elders were young.
Nina said, "I don't know, no telephones or television, only radios. And no telephones."
Maggie says there were televisions, but no telephones.
"How do you think they got around," I prodded.
"I don't know," said Maggie. "I don't even know how they got around!"
"A horse carriage?" said Nina.
"Can you think of any other differences?" I asked. They love being interviewed.
"They didn't have cars. They went by horse carriage," said Nina.
"They didn't have iPods yet. Or cellphones. Or telephones. What did they have to call on?" said Maggie.
"We'll have to ask them," I said.
"I think they had to call on horses. I think horses eat worms," said Maggie.
"I don't think they do," said Nina.
"Anything else?" asked I.
"I don't think they had Droids," said Nina. "Or Nutella."
"What a horrible, horrible time to live in," I said.
"Yeah," said Nina.

Digression! I love interviewing these kids!

So, KinderSpektakel was great fun. And free! Bounce houses all over the place, and this trampoline set-up where the kids were harnessed to bungee cords, so that A) they could't fall off and B) their hang time in the air was longer, so it was 10x more fun than just bouncing on a regular trampoline.

The other big hit was a giant inflatable slide. Nina loved it and went up and down a hundred times. Maggie freaked out at the top the first time, and I ended up having to slide down with her on my lap. It was a really steep slide, and there were lots of kids, so she was understandably scared and overwhelmed.

But once we went down together, she felt good about it, and wanted to go again. Again she freaked out and started crying. Again I went up and slid down with her.

And here's where Maggie's tenacity really comes through. She was angry with herself for not being able to get down alone, and she wanted to try again. She was certain that this time, she'd be ready. I told her I believed she was, but that just in case it felt too scary up there, to climb back down the climbing side instead of crying for me. She said OK.

Well, she got up there and cried. But then she climbed back down the climb-up side, and by the time she got down, she was smiling. I figured, all's good as long as she considers it a success, right?

But, no. She wanted to do it again. THIS TIME SHE WAS GOING TO DO THE SLIDE!! What are we going to say, no? Give up on your goals kid? Let a challenge beat you down instead of getting back in the saddle and trying again?! Of course not!! So we told her to go for it!!

I'll bet you're expecting a moment of triumph now, but no. She cried, and climbed back down. By the time she reached us, she was ready to try it again.

Well, by now, Nina and the other kids we had met up with (Nick's old friend Suzy's kids) were ready to try something else. I told Maggie, and she cried. She really, really wanted to conquer the slide. Unfortunately, I didn't think it was fair to take all day with the slide thing, so I convinced her that we should try to jump on the trampolines again, and then come back to the slide later. She reluctantly went along with it.

Unfortunately, the trampoline line by then was a half hour long, so we got some food instead and jumped on the bounce houses. Then it poured and we went home. Still, a fun day!!

Then on Tuesday, we celebrated Nina's actual birthday. She's really and truly 7 now, holy cow!! We just kicked it around the house and talked on the phone. I had posted on our Boothbay Moms facebook group that it was Nina's birthday and that if anyone had time for a quick Skype call, she'd love to see her friends' faces. And we got calls! We talked to the Neins and the Perrys, plus mom and dad and Erik, Isabelle, and Chester of course. And Bear! She also got a video message from Jackson and Wyatt, and lots of wall wishes. She was thrilled!

Then we played outside for a while with a nice little girl from the complex. We sang happy birthday again with some candles in the last 2 slices of cake, and gave her 2 more small presents, so she'd have somthing to open on her actual birthday (Pez and markers. There were some wrapped Pez for Maggie too, because giving Nina Pez but not Maggie seems cruel).

All in all a mellow but lovely day!

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