Tuesday, June 21, 2011

BTW, the cake was grrreat

Everything you need to know about Martina can be summed up in this tiny story that happened two nights before her 5th birthday.

My family and Ate's family stayed at Sofitel over the weekend for a joint Father's Day and Martina's Day celebration. For some reason, staying at hotels is a thing now in the family ... because that's how we roll (only in my mind). The kids love these little overnight stays: Juancho loves the beds and elevators and pools; Martina thinks hotels are simply fantastic. Just two weeks ago, as we entered the lobby of Taal Vista Hotel (venue of our family's 'official' summer trip), Martina exclaimed at the top of her lungs, "This is the most wonderful place I've ever seen!!!" (which is really not saying much, given that she was barely 5 at the time) (but we should've been paid for such a good endorsement [just FYI, Taal Vista])

Back to the original story.

Sofitel gave us a free chocolate cake for Martina's birthday and when we found it in the room after coming back from dinner, we decided to surprise her. We all called her into the room and everyone started belting out the usual 'Happy birthday' song.

The cake of a thousand tears and a million calories

When Martina saw the cake, she smiled for a millisecond, then the surprise started to hit her. While we were in mid-song, she desperately tried to figure out what to do with herself. One can only imagine what her young brain was processing: What is this I'm feeling? Happiness? Terror? Pleasure? WHAT'S HAPPENING, PEOPLE??? Instead of calmly handling the situation, Martina hid her face with her hands, hunched over the table while starting to whine a bit, then finally bawled with all her might into the arms of her amused mother, who was busy recording the whole calamity on video (guess how many times Marteens will want to watch that in the coming years).

Mia: Are those tears of joy?
Juancho: Tears of pain! (he's always been smart, that kid)

So we cut our on-the-spot performance short, pretended nothing happened and got ready for bed. Martina, on the other hand, wiped her tears and asked for a slice of cake before sleeping – the very same cake that we thought she had already condemned to the trash can of her mind. It's true: Chocolate trumps psychological trauma (and everything else on earth, really).

The next day, we found out that Martina had talked to Juancho after the whole surprise disaster, and asked accusingly,

"Why didn't you sing 'Happy birthday', Juancho???"

Apparently, in the throes of her despair, she still noticed that her brother refused to participate in the grownups' instant presentation. Note (more like warning) to self: Nothing gets past Martina.

And with that slightly creepy undertone, the short story ends.

Here's a baby pic to make it all right again:

Martina at the hospital, looking like she's suppressing a comment

Happy birthday, little beloved one! I wish you more courage to deal with curveballs, a continuing love for dessert (trust me, this will help you someday in many, many ways) and a heart that can forgive people for not singing on command.


Anonymous said...

it really does seem like she's ready to comment...maybe it was an oracle, a glimpse of her present when she makes such remarks as "she has icky teeth!"

orange said...

Right. Maybe in that pic, her thought bubble read: "This blanket is crunchy." (She says that about my pillows)