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On Sunday, we headed to Cape Cod for my dad’s surprise retirement party.

Frankly I wanted to find out what he was doing with his new found freedom other than consistently sending me Calvin & Hobbs cartoons from Go Comics. Can you make a day of Calvin & Hobbs? My dad can.

My dad knew he was having dinner with close friends but had no idea that Rick, Dylan, Summer and I and some other out-of-town friends were coming.

So we all gathered at a friend’s house and our look-out man (a 10 year-old by the name of Samuel) gave us the sign that my dad was approaching. All the out-of-town guests (including us) rushed into the bedroom so we could surprise him. And then there was a slight hiccup with our plan.

5 year-old Dylan refused to come into the bedroom. Suddenly, she was all Miss Anti-surprise.

I pleaded with her to come back. She cried. I told her to come back into the bedroom or she’d get no dessert later. She sobbed harder. (Why do my brilliant parenting ideas never pan out?!) I pulled her back into the bedroom and she howled. I hugged her and tried to calm her down while scanning the room for duct tape. Her deep sobbing reverberated through the entire house.

You might have concluded at this point that Dylan is not the best person to invite to a surprise party.

Despite Dylan’s persistence, we did end up surprising my dad (he thought the crying was someone else’s salty granddaughter) and he was thrilled to see us when we bounded out of the bedroom.

And we got a lot more details on his plans for the future.

Turns out his retirement plan so far consists of watching every moment of the Olympics, which is a pretty good plan except for the 3 years and 48 weeks of off time when the games aren’t on.

So during those rare moments when the Olympics are on hiatus, he wants to relive his college glory days by joining the recreational senior ice hockey circuit. Ice hockey at 67.  What could possibly go wrong?

The next day, we all went bowling where I finally smartened up (upon your recommendations) and used the gutter guards myself.

And I STILL lost. To my 5 year-old and 3 year-old. It’s humiliating, people. But then I did whip Dylan’s arse in air hockey so I gained back a morsel of self respect. I really showed that preschooler.

And judging from the comments on my last post, you all think I’m the only one wearing a tiara in our family.  And I just want to assure you that is most definitely not the case.

P.S. I really wish this photo had been “staged” but the guy actually put this on without my input.

P.P.S. Obviously this is not an endorsement to drive while wearing a tiara. We all know how dangerous that can be.

mama bird notes:

Do you like to do good? If yes, here are a couple great opportunities….

Help out a fellow blogger, Utterly Chaotic by visiting MSNBC today to read more about Rett Syndrome. Her 13 year-old daughter suffers from this serious disorder. And if you’d like to donate, click here.

If you are in the New York City area, The Children’s Cancer & Blood Foundation is holding a fundraiser at American Girl Place next Monday (March 1st) to raise money to treat children with cancer and blood diseases who can’t afford care. American Girl is underwriting all the costs, so 100% of the money helps out these kids.  Tickets are $75. Get more information here and buy tickets or donate here. Thank you!

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kelcey kintner