Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Fanciest Car in the Lot

The kids and I racked our brains for a good way to make T feel special today for his birthday.

I mean, it isn't easy!  

1.  The guy is up and out to work right after Baby Bear and I fall asleep for the night (ok, this is a slight exaggeration.  Neither T's wake up time nor Baby Bear's sleep schedule is quite that bad),

2.  He is in the operating room all day (no chance of surprising him there), and

3.  There is always the dubious possibility of something mucking up our evening plans (for instance, last year, T was on call on his birthday.  By the time he made it home, we had finished eating dinner and we were singing "Happy Birthday" to his cake.  He blew out the candles, took one bite of his dinner and then got paged back to the hospital.  He didn't even get to eat his piece of cake!  Good grief.)

Whew.  What to do?

Fortunately, by the end of breakfast, we had come up with a plan.

We would decorate T's car.

Now, this is not as easy as it sounds.  
We had to overcome the following obstacles to succeed in our plan:

1.  We had to find the car.  T was going to be operating between two hospitals today, and we didn't know where he parks his car at either of them.

2.  We had to fit our secretive decorating in between our very important playdough making class this morning (hooray for summer learning!), an afternoon birthday dessert surprise pick-up (oh, we are so sneaky), a mid-errand potty break for mom, Baby Bear feedings, preschooler attention spans, and nap time.  

3.  Dreaded decoration malfunctions!  We had brought ribbons, party hats, streamers and recycled printer paper to decorate the car.  But, woe of woe, we forgot the markers at home!  No markers to write a happy birthday message on the paper?  Eek!  Quickly, we searched every nook and cranny of our spacious Sienna minivan and came up with one dried up black pen.  Seriously?  My car is not that clean.  How is it possible that there is not a single lost crayola, rejected restaurant crayon or forgotten med school highlighter anywhere in the car??

Well, we figured out which hospital to go to, thanks to T, who called with his update as we left our playdough class.

We found his car, thanks to some sharp thinking (and a few prayers to St. Anthony for help!).

We managed to apply the decorations before any of us died of heat stroke in the 100 degree parking lot.   Thanks to my hearty helpers, E-Bear and G-Bear, our nearly dried up black pen, and Baby Bear who looked on contentedly from his car seat:

Me: "G-Bear, you hold the ribbon bag and hand me the ribbons!"
G-Bear: "Okay!"
Me: "E-Bear, you hold the letter pages and tell me the letter as you hand it to me!"
E-Bear: "Okay! First one is H!"
Me: "Great!  Now, somebody hand me the tape!"

The car looked sufficiently silly by the time we finished.  We wished the car a happy birthday (at E-Bear's request) and then headed home for naps, miraculously before any of us had a melt down.  
Needless to say, T was very surprised.  Everyone in the parking lot wished him happy birthday :)

Oh, the things we do for love!  


B-Mama said...

By chance did your amazing plan involve the camera? If so, I'm sure I speak for the lot of us who would love to see your car decorating handiwork! If not, though, that's okay! Sounds like you all had a blast! Happy Birthday, T!!

Queen B said...

B-Mama, of course I had forgotten the camera in our adventure, but luckily T snapped these as he got to the car! THanks for asking! You miss the crown taped to his dashboard and the pink Happy bday fluffy necklace on his driver seat! So fun!