- Transportation to festivities - It is literally down the street we are on, but too far to walk. So, we all pile in a taxi to go to "McDonald's". It is massive, possibly the largest one I have ever seen, so I thought there would be no trouble directing the cabbie to the restaurant. Wrong. Apparently, AMP and I have ridiculous accents, and when we speak English words, that translate directly to Spanish - complete incomprehension ensues. "Hilton" has been a nightmare, until just yesterday when I figured out to say "Heel-ton" and the cabbie got it right away, the very first time. "McDonald's" was just not happening for any of us, as we started to go the wrong way down a one way street. Lightbulb turns on, and I dragged out a Magna Doodle, and AMP wrote, "McDonald's" on it. He shouts, "Oh, McDonalds" clear as day, and away we go.
- Party Setup - Children play happily in the giant playground while I set up the stuff and arrange the food as AMP brings it over. All is well until I, in one fell swoop, knock over all three of the kids drinks on the floor. Chicken Nuggets repeats the trick during the meal, but of course, that was only 1 cup. So of the 4 drinks the poor girl had to clean up around us, it was Mommy - 3, Chicken Nugget -1.
- Menu - McDonald's is an obvious choice for an red-blooded American child, but our red-blooded Colombian child didn't touch the hamburger, the fries, or even the amazing chips- ahoy ice cream thingy that the rest of us devoured. (A petition should be started immediately to add that to the American menu! ) He only drank the apple juice, that somehow turned out to be apple soda.
- Party Hats - AMP and I realized about 10 minutes into lunch, that only he and I were wearing the hats, and were eliciting some quite strange looks, which isn't unusual, but we both decided to ditch the hats immediatly.
- Happy Birthday Balloons - Resounding success. Every child that entered that McDonald's playyard took home a balloon, whether their parents wanted them to or not, and then of course, I started to have some ideas (AMP classified them as paranoid, but I beg to differ) that we needed to make sure that all balloons got out of the upper playyard, because you know that a child might bite a balloon, pop it and then choke, (that is what they told me at the dentists office) and what about latex allergies? (AMP's point on the development of latex allergies only after long exposure and primarily in the medical field, thus probably precluding children under the age of 3, was a point well taken)
- Toy Story Book with both English and Spanish storyline and sound effects- Last minute addition from the "Heelton" bookstore, but best gift ever in Pollo's opinion, and quite possibly the loudest. The cellophane that it was wrapped in was actually only being used as a buffer to block the tremendous sound of speakers on the side. No parent in their right mind would buy it after hearing the unwrapped version.
- Buzz Lightyear figurine - Carefully selected and trucked down here as the present of choice, despite some parental misgivings that it was marked down at Target for a reason. Buzz is now safely tucked in with sleeping Pollo, but unfortunately, Buzz is still shouting intermittently, "I am Buzz Lightyear, I come in peace."
*His actual birthday is tomorrow, but we had scheduling conflicts in our terribly busy daily schedule, of beach, pool, eat, sleep, pool, eat, bathe, and big sleep. No, seriously, of all days, tomorrow was the day that he has doctor's appt scheduled with his regular peditrician, in Barranquilla. So today, we partied like it was the 26th!