Minor setbacks didn’t spoil the Bunny’s 4th birthday
We now have a 4 year old Bunny.
To celebrate, we decided that we wanted to make her birthday special, like every little girl’s birthday should be in its own way. Birthday parties for kids don’t seem to be a big thing here, and the Bunny’s birthday happens to fall on the first day of the most important holiday period on the Japanese calendar, so most of her friends were busy and/or out of town. Still, we planned a fun day full of things that we thought she would enjoy….though there were a few “minor setbacks”
Kidney failure in the bathtub
I found this neat idea for a Turning Bath Time into Party Time and I thought it would be perfect for our Bunny. It looked easy enough to set up, and it had the potential to be a fun an unforgettable experience.
We just needed to pick up food colouring for the water, some bath toys, some balloons and a banner. We found food colouring in the supermarket, but there was no blue. We chose yellow and red. When it came time to prepare the bath, we needed to choose a colour to start with, and a colour to add later (to be hidden in one of the balloons). This was when we realised our mistake: If the bath starts yellow, it kind of looks like urine. If it starts red, it kind of looks like blood. Once we mixed the colours together to make orange, everything would be fine! We hoped that the Bunny wouldn’t make the connection.
“SOMEBODY DID PEE IN MY BATH” were the first words that came out of the Bunny’s mouth when we showed her the bath. I sat her down and showed her how food colouring works with a fresh glass of water before we put her in. Still, she wasn’t thrilled to be in what looked like pee water, and who would be?
She wanted to come out, se we decided to change the colour to orange sooner than we had planned to. There was one balloon filled with water and a large quantity of red dye. I grabbed a pin and struggled to pop the balloon. When I finally succeeded, the red water exploded all over the shower room – half of it went in the tub, and half of it didn’t.
The Bunny cowered in the corner of the bathtub. The white walls appeared to have been splattered with blood, and the red water filling the tub did so very slowly. It didn’t look orange, it looked like blood was entering the urine and creeping closer to our birthday girl. The Bunny doesn’t have a word for “blood” yet, she just calls it “red”. When she said “…it got RED“, we knew exactly what she meant.
This was only a minor setback. I quickly mixed the water together to make the orange we had all hoped for and the Bunny felt much better.
Mary wanted to make the Bunny a special birthday cake. Cakes in Fukui are somewhat different than cakes in Canada, so to us homemade cakes often taste much, much better than the kinds of cakes we can find in stores for less than ¥4000. We’re both a little bit out of practice when it comes to baking, so we made sure that almost everything that could go wrong with the baking process happened to this cake. Not enough ingredients, measurement errors, math errors, uncooked batter in the middle, a freshly burnt out mixer motor…it all happened.
Let’s stop talking about the cake. The cake didn’t happen. We picked up a strawberry tart from the mall instead.
The case of the disappearing indoor playground
We took the Bunny to the mall to play at their fun play centre. It’s conveniently located near the restaurant where we were going to have her birthday supper with some church friends. When we arrived…we couldn’t find it. We checked again, and we still couldn’t find it. We did find evidence of recent construction. The play centre was REMOVED sometime in the past few months, and we were none the wiser! In its place were several purikura machines (ridiculous photo booths for teenagers).
We had about an hour before her supper, so we salvaged the time by letting her play with some Anpanman arcade machines, which she very much enjoyed.
A day well spent
We made sure we didn’t let the Bunny know that we had planned for her to play at the missing playground, eat special cake that Mommy made or take a bath in blue water, and we focused on the positive parts of the day. In between the fiascos we went to church and she saw lots of people that she loves. Before we went to the mall we got her some great helium balloons that she’s still playing with. In the evening we had a wonderful birthday supper for her at E.Y.’s American Grill/Hamburgerland with lots of friends. One of the Bunny’s little friends was able to make it as well, and they played together happily.
Most importantly, the Bunny got a day of constant positive attention from everyone. To her, that matters so much more than presents, cakes and blood-soaked urine baths.