We have traditions for birthdays in our family.  The birthday child gets to choose the menu for breakfast and dinner, they get to go to lunch for some one-on-one time with a parent, they receive “dollar gifts” from their siblings, a cake is baked and the Happy Birthday song is sung, gifts are received from the parents, and they get a day off from doing chores.

Yesterday was Yawlin’s 10th birthday.  The birthday started out normal enough.  He chose fruit crepes for breakfast.  For lunch, I checked him out of school and we went to Zupa’s and shared a combo meal (the “Nuts About Berries” salad is to die for!).  The menu for dinner was Swedish Meatballs , potatoes, and zucchini (we have zucchini coming out of our ears–thankfully Yawlin likes it). 

I’d finished baking the cake but hadn’t decorated it before it was time to go to my afternoon crossing.  I asked Huh if she would frost the cake for me while I was gone so that we could have the cake when Yawlin and I got home from the crossing.  She agreed to do it.

This is how Huh ended up decorating the cake:

Lovely cake!

Lovely cake!

The “Shut up” and “I ran out” signs refer both to the sprinkles (she had to use two different kinds) and to the candles.  Yes, those are uncooked spaghetti noodles stuck into the cake to act as candles so that there would be ten total.  This is what happens when you let an 18 year old decorate a cake unsupervised.  🙂

I laughed when I saw the cake, and Yawlin got a kick out of it.  He made some goofy faces while I took his picture next to it–goofy faces for a goofy cake.

Later in the evening, Huh and her boyfriend, Plumber, took Yawlin to go get a smoothie for his birthday.  They came home with a mouse.  Yup, a tiny black and white, whiskered, long-tailed rodent.  They had a cage, bedding, and food.  Apparently Plumber and Huh had hit upon the idea of getting Yawlin a pet for his birthday and he chose a mouse.  A mouse he named Oreo.


Yawlin was so excited, I didn’t have the heart to tell him the mouse had to go–until later.  The cage had been set up, food had been poured into the dish, and the mouse had tried out her running wheel a few times when things suddenly changed.  I was in the tv room watching the evening news when I heard Yawlin yell, “Oreo got out of her cage!”

I looked at Huh and Plumber who were doing the dishes and said, “You’d better go help him.”  Since they bought the mouse they got the fun job of catching it when it escaped.

After listening to lots of bumping and banging and yelling I went up to Yawlin’s room to see how things were going.  The mouse had been caught, Plumber’s finger had received a nice mouse bite, and Yawlin’s room was a mess.  When I learned that the mouse had gotten out of the cage by squeezing through the bars of her cage I said the mouse had to go.  Poor Yawlin was heartbroken, but if the mouse could squeeze through the bars it would end up being a constant vigil to keep her in her cage.  Nope.  Don’t want to deal with it.

Huh felt bad, too, for getting Yawlin all excited to have a pet.  She and Plumber will be returning Oreo to the pet store today.  They put the mouse and her cage in our green recycling bin so that she can’t escape into the house if she squeezes through the bars of her cage again.  Hopefully they will think of some way to make it up to Yawlin.

Sometimes traditions are born unexpectedly, sometimes they are purposely planned.  It might be that sticking uncooked spaghetti into our birthday cakes will become a tradtion.  Receiving a birthday rodent?  Not so much!