The Mets beat the Braves. We finally beat Maryknoll. I went home with the intention of swinging for the vaunted, rare Triple Crown. I ascended the stairs, said hello to Madison and Lynnette’s parents. Then, I shot Lynnette my patented double eyebrow raise. Lynnette launched two surface-to-air missiles and shot my hopes out of the sky. Well, two-out-of-three ain’t bad. I guess.
When I got home, pizza was waiting for me. So was Madison. She screamed at me as soon as I appeared through the landing. Apparently, Lynnette wouldn’t let her open any of her gifts until I got home. So she wasn’t celebrating me as much as herself. Shocker. Anyway, as many of you know, this is a Phil and Madison birthday tradition. On the afternoon of April 7th, 2008, Lynnette and I ordered pizza, but Lynnette’s water broke before the pizza arrived. “What should we do?” I asked, hoping that we could wait for the pizza. “We have time, we can wait,” Lynnette said. Yes! And we’ve had pizza for dinner on the 8th of April every year since then. The pizza has already taken its revenge upon me this morning, but I will suffer this penalty in the name of familial tradition and duty.
Lynnette said she would do it and she 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 turkey on the cake. As we ate Madison’s and Lynnette’s favorite cake – chantilly – I asked her if next year might finally be the year we get a turkey on there – wearing a tiara, no less – but she said no. “What about a baseball with a pink crown?” she asked. Uhh… Let’s pump the breaks on that, let it breathe, you know? I held back a little, eating only four slices of pizza so I could partake in the cake festivities. Lynnette and I talked about the turkey cake: “She’d actually cry if we put a turkey on there, right?” I asked. “Oh, yeah,” Lynnette said. “For sure.”
I opened a box which Lynnette said was from Madison. It was a Cinnamon Girl box, to which I shouted, “But I’m a boy!” It was foreshadowing. There were three pairs of pink underwear waiting inside. Mad cackled ruthlessly. Since Lynnette is a horrible gift giver (she got me a t-shirt, a polo shirt, and a nice pair of shorts, so good job Lynnette!), she asked Madison what she wanted to get me. According to Lynnette, the conversation went like this:
What do you want to get dad?
Pink underwear? Where are we going to get pink underwear?
Did you see pink underwear at Banana Republic?
Aside from sounding like a really shitty Dr. Seuss book, this conversation highlights so many of the things I love about Madison: her memory, her resourcefulness, her unabashed desire to see me in pink underwear so she can call me a girl. “Please don’t tickle me,” she said. I gave her my word under the condition of a birthday truce that I wouldn’t tickle her. Obviously, those terms have evaporated as of this morning. Her wattle is going to get it when I get home tonight.