Originality is SO overrated…

Graeme turned four last month, and when it came down to it, he wanted a “knight party” not unlike (okay, almost exactly like) his brother’s medieval times birthday party of late 2011.

Except there had to be more red. Because Graeme loves red.

The ferocious, fire-breathing dragon cake! (Thanks to Grandpa, who else?)

And the ferocious, lance-wielding boy:

All he could talk about all day was cake, but then he barely ate any of it. But he blew out the candles even before we could finish singing ‘Happy Birthday.’

We shared the day with just one other family (albeit one that includes five children) and had certified humane hotdogs, local potato chips, New-England style baked beans and homemade lemonade.

And, of course, cake. It was so simple, really. Not fancy. Not Pinterest-worthy.

But it was so rich in the things that really matter:

so much playing

so much laughter

so much joy.

Some Medieval Good Times

[wherein I may lose my pacifist street cred.]

Can you bear with a post about a really fun birthday party for a 6 year old?

Yes, I know it’s Tuesday, but my Fannie Farmer plans were interrupted this week.

(No, we did not let Mr. and Mrs. S. down, but Saturday was one of those days that moves inexorably toward a Pizza Night and we–well, my mom, actually–brought them some of the deliciousness from Brick Oven, along with a sneak preview of birthday cake.)

So, thanks in part to the Magic Tree House books and to several by Margaret Hodges and some illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman (especially Saint George and the Dragon and The Kitchen Knight) Aidan loves the Middle Ages.

Or, as he prefers me to say, “Medieval Times.” Why?

“Because it sounds like there’s evil in it.”


Last year, Mr. A. had a terrible, awful, no good, very bad birthday, having spent it in the ER of Stony Brook University Hospital with a broken leg. So we decided together to make up for it by having a great medieval-themed birthday party.

“We’ve got to eat chicken legs off the bone, Mom. That seems medieval.”

Come on, how could I possibly say no?

We pinned the tongue on the dragon:

Need I point out how handy it is to have an artist for a Grandpa?We had a battle axe throwing contest (oh, yes, the artist-grandpa doubled as Lancelot)And some balloon-bamboo jousting astride a noble steed:Some young folks were dubbed knights of the Round Table:(Are you wondering where we got that throne? It’s from the church basement.)

After all were knighted, they slew a terrible dragon, who, surprisingly, was filled with a selection of organic candies and tiny toy knights:And then ate him in effigy:(I baked and frosted–Grandpa decorated.)