But he doesn’t smell like one

By Mir
January 4, 2005

Happy birthday to you,
you live in a zoo,
you’re my sweet dear Monkey,
and now I’ll squeeze you til you turn bluuuuueeeee!

Actually, I usually follow it up with tickling him until he pees, but the rhyming, you understand, doesn’t work so well with that one….

In a few short hours (I’m writing this Monday night, and setting it to publish at midnight) my baby will be five whole years old. My baby. My last baby.

We will run into his room in the morning–as we always do on his birthday–and wake him up with singing. He will slowly uncurl from the little ball he’s burrowed into under the covers… hair sticking out every which way… a tiny trail of drool from the corner of his mouth stretching down to the pillow creases on his cheek… and grin from ear to ear.

He will scale my torso, wiggling his bottom and wrapping his arms around my neck, chanting “It’s my birthday today! It’s my birthday today!” Then we will tease him for longer than is necessary, asking him how old he is (“You’re 2 today, right?” “NOOOOOOOO!” “Oh, wait, I know! You’re 40!” “MAAAMAAAAAAAA!”) and is he absolutely sure that today is his birthday?

At school, the teachers will fashion for him a construction paper crown of the color of his choosing (in the past it has been blue, but I think this year he will select green). They will write HAPPY BIRTHDAY MONKEY in huge letters and he will decorate it with stickers. He will then wear it all day long and still tell anyone who so much as glances in his direction that it is his birthday and he is “THIS MANY” now.

He will spend the entire day blissful, which really isn’t so very different from how he spends most of his days. The main differences are that:
1) He’ll get to have cake. Twice. (Once at school, once at home.)
2) He’ll be wearing a crown.
3) I’ll be trying very hard to join him in his joy instead of bursting into tears and wailing “My BAYYBEEEEEE!!!” every time I look at him.

Happy birthday, my sweetest boy. You are my special gift from God, the closest I shall ever be to pure joy. You are truly the most handsomest, inside and out. I hope you get everything you want this year and always… and if that includes getting out of nighttime pull-ups and staying dry all night, that’d be good. Or not. Either way, sweetie. Just so long as you let me hug and kiss you til you pee. I love you!


  1. carrie

    That post made me tear up…I know exactly how you feel…and I think your children are so very lucky to have such a wonderful mother…good luck to you on this important day.


  2. Peek

    It’s too early for tears…… Happy Birthday Monkey, you sweet little snuggable guy!!!!

  3. debby

    Happy Birthday to your little Monkey Mir. They grow up so quickly, enjoy every second. I remember 5…although now it seems so long ago now that they are 18 and 21…you made me cry..

  4. Zuska

    Awwwww…..you made me cry!!Sounds like the perfect plan for Monkey’s special day. Enjoy it – the years are really going by too fast, aren’t they?

    Okay now I’m sniffling again…

  5. Ben

    Happy Birthday Monkey!!!

    Hope you get to have your cake and eat it too. A fistful in each hand, if possible. Manners can wait until tomorrow.

    You only turn five once!!

  6. alektra

    Monkey’s only a few days off from my friend’s twin brother and sister (Yes, she’s my age. Yes, they were planned. Don’t think too hard on it.). They’re older, but they still run to me when they’re upset to be picked up and get chocolate all over their faces when they eat it.

    I may tell them they’re “so big!”, but they’re still babies to me. :) Happy Birthday to the Birthday boy!

  7. Steve

    “Actually, I usually follow it up with tickling him until he pees, but the rhyming, you understand, doesn’t work so well with that one….”

    Aw, sure it does.

    It’s Monkey’s birthday; yes, it’s true.
    I’ll squeeze him ’til he’s black and blue.
    The Birthday Monkey I will squeeze
    Until he cries or spews or pees.
    One day, when he’s in therapy,
    He’ll pee – and he’ll remember me.

  8. dad

    I’m sitting in my office with door closed, and sobbing. Your post is too beautiful. The words are terrific but even more important is the underlying message. Everyone needs to be “special” to someone. Everyone needs a safe harbor even when they are bad or dissapoint or worse. Your kids know they have you. Maybe I did something right!
    You make me proud.
    Now give Monkey a big hug and kisses from us and tell him we really, really hope he has the best birthday ever.

  9. Sheryl

    Aw, Happy Birthday Monkey.

  10. Peek

    Great, Dad made me cry too!

  11. JuJuBee

    LittleJuJu turned 5 on Christmas day…I know how you feel. It is really just ubelievable. Happy Birthday Monkey!!! Welcome to big boy world!

  12. Steve

    Me again.

    I just realized…I actually have a very clear memory of my fifth birthday. I can still remember going into my parents’ bedroom that morning – I was all excited about turning five! What I didn’t know was that it was an historic day of sorts – it was the day the Russians launched Sputnik, kicking off the Space Race.

    But I didn’t know any of that. All I knew was, I was five. Five!

    I hope Monkey remembers this day, years down the road – and remembers those tickles and squeezes. Having a loving Mom is the best birthday present there is.

  13. Kristie

    Time flies, doesn’t it? My baby turned 6 this year. 6!!! Sometimes I think I’m too young to have a 6 and a 9 year old…

    Happy Birthday to Monkey and I hope you feel better soon!

  14. Janet

    Happy Birthday Monkey!

  15. Fraulein N

    Awww, that was SO sweet. Hope Monkey had a very Happy Birthday.

  16. Mom

    I can vouch for it — that Monkey is the sweetest! And oh, so handsome. And funny. And all things good. I know, cuz he’s my GrandMonkey! ;) And that Mir — she’s MY baby. How did she get so grown up and responsible?

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