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Everybody's Gonna Jump For Joy

Quinn's birthday is approaching, and this is the first year he's really been aware of it. In fact, he started talking about it in August, when we celebrated Bryce's birthday. Then he asked about it in November (Hannah), December (Dylan, John, and one of his cousins), and at Christmas. Any celebration with food and presents causes his little question-mark talking to start up: "It's my birthday? They're coming?" I decided he needed some frame of reference. His birthday is exactly three weeks after mine, so I finally told him at the end of January that first it was MY turn for a birthday, and then, after all the suspensful build-up and cruel months of waiting, it would be HIS BIRTHDAY! And we would have a PARTY! With CAKE! And his cousins would COME OVER! His reply: "It's my birthday? They're coming?" Sigh. Yes, Quinn. It's your birthday. Whatever you say. You know, you've really gotta give the kid credit: he's persistently chipper. Amazingly so.

Last weekend, we celebrated my birthday with our family, and Quinn was really into it: "First it's mom's birthday, then it's MY BIRTHDAY! March 14th! My birthday? They're coming?"

Now that his birthday really IS the next celebratory event, and considering how I've painted him as some sort of screaming, impatient pre-schooler (pay no attention to the fact that my painting of said picture is 100% accurate), I'd like to expound on Quinn's endearing qualities by drawing upon the lyrics from Bob Dylan's Quinn the Eskimo. Quinn the Eskimo, the character from this song, is not our Quinn's namesake, but I do find it interesting how similar their personalities so clearly are. Observe:

Ev'rybody's building the big ships and the boats,
Some are building monuments,
[the way Bryce does, before Quinn gleefully smashes them]
Others, jotting down notes,
[Quinn doesn't need to leave notes when he can simply shriek his demands at us]
Ev'rybody's in despair,
Ev'ry girl and boy
[yes, being around all that non-stop noise will do that to a family]
But when Quinn the Eskimo gets here,
Ev'rybody's gonna jump for joy.
[if by "gets here" we're saying "stops screaming for five minutes", then yes, but it's more like weeping in gratitude than jumping for joy]
Come all without, come all within,
You'll not see nothing like the mighty Quinn.
I like to do just like the rest,
I like my sugar sweet,
[but not Quinn; he refuses anything sweet, preferring to demand whatever sweet snack his brother is enjoying until you give in, then gagging, spitting out a miniscule bite, and throwing the rest into the nearest trash can]
But guarding fumes and making haste,
It ain't my cup of meat.
[Quinn loves meat, especially chicken nuggets, especially when all we have is fish sticks]
Ev'rybody's 'neath the trees,
Feeding pigeons on a limb
But when Quinn the Eskimo gets here,
All the pigeons gonna run to him.
[Quinn is obsessed with animals, and gingerly places his cheek on pictures of kittens, like he's "petting" them...Also, if given the choice, he would take resting his giant head on my mom's tolerant cat over breathing oxygen]
Come all without, come all within,
You'll not see nothing like the mighty Quinn.
A cat's meow and a cow's moo,
I can recite 'em all,
Just tell me where it hurts yuh, honey,
And I'll tell you who to call.
[yes, call Quinn, because Quinn will get you medicine and then wait for you to scream and gag; he thinks that's a normal reaction to medicine]
Nobody can get no sleep,
There's someone on ev'ryone's toes
But when Quinn the Eskimo gets here,
Ev'rybody's gonna wanna doze.
[Quinn is a sleep god - give him his fluffy dogs and a paci, and he's out for 12 hours]
Come all without,
come all within,
You'll not see nothing like the mighty Quinn.
[wow, the grammar in the chorus is strikingly similar to Quinn's speech patterns - another amazing coincidence]

Actually, Quinn's 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 behaviors aside, his personality does resemble Quinn the Eskimo's. He is the life of the party, no matter who is around. People of all ages flock to him because he's hilarious, easy-going, happy, and accepting. He's had these traits since he was born, and while the clouds of pre-school rage are throwing some shadows on the rays of contentment with which he would normally, naturally grace us, his underlying love of life remains bright at his core.

So, yes, Quinn, your birthday is right around the corner. There will be cake that you will refuse to eat and we'll all laugh with you about it and find some chips for you to eat while we indulge in your unwanted baked good. You will quietly and carefully chase my mom's cat because you know that's the best way to manipulate him into being pet by you even for one ecstatic second. You will scream for presents and then scream for help and then scream that you want to open them by yourself. We will chuckle over your crazy antics and marvel at your hilarity, even through the screams...maybe because of the screams. And, ("they're coming?") yes...they are most definitely coming.