It started with our hike up to Elephant Rock when we were in Utah last summer. I think we may have noticed pillbugs before then, but it was during the hike that Oliver decided that pillbugs were his thing. He picked up so so many, and counted as many as he could. (His efforts were somewhat thwarted by the enormous colony we found near a fallen tree at a bend in the trail.)
And while it’s not like he’s constantly talking about pillbugs, they’ve clearly been on his mind. I know this because 1. He requested a bug theme for his birthday this year. 2. (SPOILER ALERT!) He requested a pillbug costume for an upcoming holiday. 3. He requested rainbow pillbugs on top of his cake, along with crushed up cookies to look like dirt. He had a very clear vision here. I even asked if he’d like a roll-cake, to look like a log, but that was a no-go. It must be a two-layer round cake.
The birthday child’s wish is my command, of course, so I spent a bit of time on Wednesday cutting up starburst and rolling them into rainbow colored pillbugs. I crushed up some joe-joes in a bag (Simon later reminded me that it looks a lot more like dirt if you put them in the blender . . . .) and we made ourselves a dirt-and-pillbug covered birthday cake. Delish.
I don’t always/ever know what goes on in that kid’s head, but it’s fun to get a glimpse every now and then.
Oh, and another fun fact about dear sweet Oliver: he likes girls. And only girls. When I asked who he wanted to invite to his birthday party, he gave me a list of names that I was pretty sure were all girls. So I asked him, and he confirmed my suspicion. No boys. And when I asked if he wanted to invite any boys, he didn’t even have to think about it: NO. In fact, he has, on more than one occasion let me know that he doesn’t really care to play with boys. And that is how we ended up with nearly a dozen little girls at our bug birthday party. (Even the siblings of the girls who were invited were all girls—except for the 2-week-old newborn boy.)
Note about the party: several parents stuck around for the festivities and having a party at home seemed to be a bit of a revelation to them. They were impressed by how fun the party games were (some of which we made up on the spot—actually, Simon took charge and made up a game when the original plan suddenly seemed like a very bad idea) and by how “homey” it all felt. We take great pains to resist the urge to keep up with the Joneses here in NYC, and it was nice to hear that our efforts have some redeeming qualities.