I am getting ready for Henry’s 5th birthday. I wouldn’t say I’m feeling morose about it per se, but I keep thinking of a science fiction short story I read a long time ago where male children were taken away on their 5th birthdays and educated all in one single day by a brain implant sort of system, so that they returned at the end of that day fully adult, not needing their mothers, and chatting with their fathers about office stuff. No moroseness, though.
This year Henry claims to be done with dinosaurs. He likes knights, and he likes pirates.
And he likes walruses. This is not something I would have guessed about him. But a couple of months ago I was at Hallmark buying postcards to support my Postcrossing.org
addiction obsession issue hobby, and I walked down the clearance aisle, and I ended up with an impulse-buy walrus: a little beanie-baby-sized guy. I’d planned to put him in with a care package, but the minute I showed the walrus to Henry, Henry was squeezing it and cuddling it and wrapping it in a blankie and pretending to give it a bottle. So for his birthday, I got him a Cuddlekin Walrus (photo from Amazon.com). Cuddlekin is probably my top favorite stuffed animal line: they are not kidding one bit about the cuddliness. If the walrus not a hit with Henry, I’ll snuggle it myself.
My parents bought Henry the Melissa and Doug Pirate Chest (photo from Amazon.com), with extra coins. (My mom checked with me first, because she knows and I know that those coins are going to end up in every single corner and under every single piece of furniture in the house. I don’t mind. Treasure hunt! And it’s not as if all of those locations aren’t currently occupied by playing cards, paper clips, toys from gumball machines, toothpicks, checkers, rubber balls that got away, etc.)
The pirate chest is going to be especially awesome with the pirate costume they got him last Christmas. Do you have one of the Melissa and Doug costumes yet? They are SO GREAT. They’re like the kind of costumes a school classroom might have, if it was kind of an expensive school. They’re comfortable, they’re way better quality than I’d expected, and I just love them so so much. (My only complaint: the velcro closures stick LIKE CRAZY to the fabric, so the fabric around the closures gradually gets pretty fuzzed up. But that’s not a part you SEE.) I was nervous about sizes, but reading the reviews helped (lots of people said how old their kids were, and many commented on fit); Henry is a mid-to-large 4-almost-5-year-old and the fit is very good on him with room to grow still. (We have the knight costume as well, which I’ll be talking about again next week when I do the “knight edition” of this post.)
I’m debating this pirate accessories set (photo from Amazon.com). On one hand, it looks like it pretty much duplicates everything he already has between the pirate chest and the pirate costume. On the other hand, he FLIPPED OUT when he saw it, and it DOES have a hook hand and a telescope and an earring. I think I’m likely to get it for him.
Pirate tattoos (photo from Amazon.com). I hate these. I hate skulls, and I hate the way skulls are all over boy clothes and even on girl clothes. Blick. But Henry LOVES them. There was another book of pirate tattoos but they were OF PIRATES—and I don’t think a pirate would have a tattoo of a pirate. I think a pirate would have tattoos of skulls and roses and daggers and so forth. These would also make good pirate party favors, since they’re 4-for-3: $1.50 each, but $4.50 for four.
Pirate stamps (photo from Amazon.com). I should mention that Henry says he does NOT want these. But _I_ want them. I think they look like a lot of fun, and I think Henry might very well like them if they were sitting right in front of him. Note that many reviewers were surprised by the size of the stamps: each stamp is a little over an inch by a little over 3/4ths of an inch. It comes with a black stamp pad; I would probably get a washable rainbow stamp pad to go with it.
I bought a “toob” (they come in a plastic tube) of little pirates to decorate his cake. This worked so well last year with knights: I washed the knights and let them dry; then I made a cake in a 9×13 pan and just arranged the knights on it like they were fighting. Then, after the party, the (rinsed-off) knights became another of his birthday presents. So, same thing this year, but with pirates.
I’m also considering this 5 shirt, but I consider such things every year and yet always end up overwhelmed at the total price. If he was keener on it, though, I’d get it: birthday presents are the perfect time to justify a higher-priced item, since it’s not really “shirt” but rather “shirt + Essence of Birthday Gift.” A plain blue $6 shirt is not interchangeable.