Last week the boys were on spring break from school. I stayed home with them on Friday and our top priority agenda item was to finish off their birthday party invitations and get them in the mail. During Meera's morning nap, K & O painstakingly applied the stamps to every single invitation. For these boys a task like this does not come easy. And working with them on a project like this, at least for me, is a serious exercise in self-control, patience, and 'letting-go-of-any-and-all-tendencies-toward-perfection.' Challenges included things like-- a] getting each stamp removed from the paper without the stamp ripping in two; b] despite the apparent very strong temptation (personally, I don't get it at all)... not sticking the stamp all over oneself, one's skin, or one's clothing over and over and over until the 'stick' is gone and the stamp will no longer stick to the actual invitation; c] sticking the stamp in the correct spot without the sides of the stamp reaching so far off the edge that it would definitely be rejected by the postal service; d] generally containing the b-day excitement enough to sit still long enough to complete the stamp-sticking-task. Anyway... I affixed the mailing labels and they affixed the stamps and the project was completed. We then went to the post office and mailed them off. This was, according to each of the boys, their "high" of the day. And of course, in true K-and-O-style, while at the post office they proceeded to invite the Durham Pennsylvania PostMaster to their birthday party. When she politely declined by telling them that she couldn't make it because she was "going to be busy that day," they told her, with genuine emotion, that they "are going to be very sad if she doesn't come." She handled that perfectly, quickly re-directing by suggesting they "might want a lollipop?!!" That sufficiently changed the subject and then we went on our merry way. The b-day excitement continues to build. The latest topic of constant conversation is "The Cakes." Tonight I asked Owen to describe to me what he wants his cake to look like. And this is what he said: "It will be a cake with a little tiny button on it. The button will be very small, but I will be able to push it very delicately. And when you push it very, very, very delicately all of a sudden a big, huge, giant '5' pops out of the cake!!!!!!!!" O.k. then. After I gently explained that this simply will not be possible ---period--- he thought about it awhile and then took it down a few notches, telling me that he would very much like the cake to be "chocolate cake with vanilla frosting with a big huge orange '5' on the top of it with purple and green and blue bumps on the edges." O.k., this might be do-able. I'm not exactly sure what he means by "bumps on the edges" but I'm sure I can figure something out. When I proceeded on to Kyle they both looked at me like I was absolutely nuts. After a pause with dumbfounded looks on their faces, Kyle said, "I want exactly the same, of course." "Oh, you do?" I said, "Why? Don't you think it would be better if your cakes were different??? I mean, at least different colors or something!???" Kyle said, "I'll have it be vanilla inside, actually, but then everything else exactly the same-- vanilla frosting with a big huge orange '5' on the top of it, and the same bumps as on Owen's. Exactly the same." Before I could get a word in edgewise Owen jumped in, "YES! EXACTLY THE SAME! We want them EXACTLY THE SAME!" I knew there was no point in arguing, but just for the sake of argument I did ask: "Why the same?" Once again looking at me like I was a crazy person, Owen said, "Because we're twins, and we look exactly alike." Well, there you have it.