Dad Blog: Happy Birthday, Happy Daddy

The Internet has ruined children’s birthday parties for me.


All you read about are these wrenching stories of kids who invited dozens of friends to the local pizza place or burger joint only for none of their friends to arrive. Some even came with pictures of the birthday boy or girl blowing out their candles while surrounded by rows of empty chairs.


We had a party for Derek’s 4th birthday last Sunday, and I was hoping we didn’t have to write one of those stories, especially since all week Derek kept asking about his party and when he could see his cake.


The party was scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., so I started to get antsy when 11:20 rolled around and no one had showed. It was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle theme, so we had TMNT plates and napkins, and TMNT paper lanterns hanging from one of our kitchen light fixtures. Derek and his friends would be eating pieces of a TMNT marble-flavored cake.  And Christina went out and bought a pirate ship piñata – couldn’t find a TMNT one because I guess no one wants to see Jolly Ranchers explode from the head of some random Ninja Turtle – that Derek and I spent the morning filling with candy.


All this cool stuff and the house was empty. Uh-oh…


Then, around 11:30 or so, the house began to fill. Folks began to arrive. Kids started sprinting all over the place, shifting from Derek’s room to the living room, before making their way outside, where they took turns beating the piñata that we rigged with some extension cord.


It was a success. Those who said they were coming did, and those who couldn’t make it gave us plenty of notice. Derek had fun, the kids had fun and I can’t recall a single temper tantrum – and that includes parents.


So, no, you won’t be reading about Derek’s nightmarish birthday party anytime soon.
I just hope No.5 goes as well…

meet the writer


the latest

Derek occasionally gets homework assignments from daycare. It mostly consists of him learning how to trace his own name, and some very simple math problems – simple if you’re way above the age of 4, that it is. But it’s homework nonetheless. And we want Derek to know the importance of school, especially since he’ll … MORE>>
10. “Rides are always free,” drivers say. “Tips are always appreciated.” 9. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. 8. Call 941-444-2585 for an iRide. (Soon there will be a Gotcha app for smartphones.) There are no set routes; you can hail any of the colorful electric vehicles you see on the street. 7. The downtown service area extends … MORE>>
Derek has decided he wants to be a firefighter when he gets older. Keep in mind he’s 4 and he can’t decide what color pajamas he wants to wear to bed. So that may change. But the good thing is I have used this to our advantage. Derek wants to grow and big to become … MORE>>
OMG, OMG, OMG! Fans are finally getting to see the first teaser trailer for the latest Star Wars film. The trailer was officially released at “Star Wars Celebration” in Orlando today. “The Last Jedi” (Episode VIII) will be in theaters on December 15.   The offical poster has also been released.         … MORE>>
Apparently, today is National Beer Day. April 7th is the celebration of when beer became legal again in the United States after the Cullen-Harrison Act was signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt on March 23, 1933. Sounds like it may have caught on as National Beer Day in 2009, when Justin Smith of Richmond, … MORE>>
Thanks to the city of Sarasota, Lido Beach just got a bright new addition: a cerulean marker displaying how high sea levels are projected to rise in the next 100 years. Here’s the thing–the facts are scary. We said it. To name just a few: In less than 15 years, by 2030, sea levels are … MORE>>
I hate eggs. Hate them. You can scramble them, poach them, make them sunny side up, and then you can go ahead and stuff yourself because I want nothing to do with them. I have a hard time watching people eat eggs. I liked French toast until someone told me it was nothing more than … MORE>>
Ringling College of Art + Design will be showcasing the best work in each major, in the annual Best of Ringling. The outstanding student work was selected by a jury of visiting artists and faculty members. The majors include: Advertising Design 
Business of Art and Design Computer Animation Film Fine Arts 
Game Art Graphic Design … MORE>>
It’s rare to see eight female filmmakers lined up in a row discussing their short film and documentary work–mostly because it’s rare to see eight women filmmakers together in one room at all. But that’s exactly what we saw Saturday evening at the reception for the 18th annual Through Women’s Eyes Film Festival, highlighting women … MORE>>
Tomorrow is April Fools’ Day. I’m sure social media will be a minefield of shenanigans. There are some do’s and don’ts to follow. Do: Make your prank harmless. Don’t: Trust anyone. Good luck. MORE>>