“Happy Birthday, Turkey…”

The internet was spotty yesterday, then was down completely in the afternoon. As such, w as prevented from writing in this space. While the lack of an internet connection does increase one’s productivity, it is hell on one’s cell phone battery. I sat in a student desk with a stack of essays sitting before me and pressed play on Spy Game with the intention of hammering through the entire stack. Then a couple of former students came by – both baseball players – and derailed my attempts for about half-an-hour. Can’t say I was too sad about that.

Wattle Beef (n) - the meat of a turkey. The Madison Higa Dictionary

Wattle Beef (n) – the meat of a turkey. The Madison Higa Dictionary

Because I am who I am, I stole the well-known Christmas song “Happy Birthday, Jesus,” and swapped out the name of our savior with the word “Turkey.”

I’ve tickled Madison’s neck since she was old enough to find tickling amusing rather than the impetus for a crying fit. During this past Thanksgiving, Madison matter-of-factly told me that turkey’s have wattles. From that point on, I have never tickled Madison’s neck, only her wattle. How did I get from that to “Happy Birthday, Turkey?” I don’t know, but it whenever I sing it, it just sounds right, you know? And whenever I sing it within earshot of Madison, she has two stock answers:




"Happy birthday, Turkey. I'm so glad you're Turkey."

“Happy birthday, Turkey. I’m so glad you’re Turkey.”

You can imagine how difficult it’s been for me to live these past few months in anticipation of Madison’s real birthday. In less than a week, Madison will be 5 and I will be 33. Gross. Anyway, we celebrated our birthdays on Easter with my side of the family. Madison selected a cake which featured the colors green and purple, as well as a plastic flower thing that opened up to reveal a plastic facsimile of Tinkerbell. The word “Daddy” was scrawled at the bottom of the cake and was merely an afterthought. I was not present when said cake was ordered, so I could hardly complain. Lynnette did mention, however, that Safeway has many options for their cakes, one of which is a turkey. Obviously, this option is likely a seasonal one. I Googled “turkey on cake” and every single image I got back was Thanksgiving themed, rather than just a turkey with perhaps an exaggerated wattle as I would have preferred. But still…

This would be the only way to have a 50/50 Mad/Phil cake, and something tells me neither of us would be happy about it.

This would be the only way to have a 50/50 Mad/Phil cake, and something tells me neither of us would be happy about it.

Last night as I helped Madison get ready for bed, I told her that I was going to pick the cake design for our smaller celebration set for two weeks from now. “You should pick a princess one,” she said. “No,” I said. “You got to pick the last one, it’s my turn,” I said. She fell silent. “I’m going to put a turkey on it,” I said. “And it’s going to say ‘Happy birthday, Turkey’ on it.”

“Please do not put a turkey on the cake!” Madison shouted. “But it’s my birthday!” I replied. “It’s my birthday, too!” she said. “Would you cry if there was a turkey on the cake?” I asked. “No,” she said. “But I would be mad at you.” Ugh.

So it goes. I don’t know if there will be an equitable compromise. I would, however, be open to something like the picture above. Maybe something like Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates holding a light saber instead of his wooden sword, or-or-or the Octonauts’ heads on the bodies of the X-Men, or-or-or a be-jeweled, be-glittered Mets logo. I could live with any of those.



2 comments on ““Happy Birthday, Turkey…”

  1. […] did. Madison and I were delighted by the mention of “birthday turkeys.” I’ve been calling Madison a turkey for a long time, and last night might be the closest we ever come to getting an actual birthday […]

  2. […] got this game going on where we try to shoot each other in the wattle. This is most definitely a game of skill as I absolutely cannot shoot Madison in the face lest she […]

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