So I have to quick tell you about Tan's b-day last night. And then I swear, I'm going to finish getting ready for China. We leave in the morning. Yikes! Anyway,
I knew Tan would way rather do something with his friends than with the fam, but I also knew I'd resent it...unless it was my idea. So I called his friends and we hatched a plan:
At school one of his friends told him that they were going to pick him up around 5:30 and take him out for his birthday -- the best night ever -- a surprise! Tanner knew we were planning dinner and stuff, so he called me and, as diplomatically as possible, told me what he'd just heard and asked if we had plans (which he knew we did, but, you know, diplomacy...) So I acted perturbed and told him of course we did and why did his friends plan something without checking first and they would just have to do it another time.
"Can we maybe do dinner another time?"
"What? Of course not! Tanner, it's your birthday, and we're going to have a family dinner and cake and presents! Your friends will have to reschedule!"
"But -- they arranged to leave basketball practice early and everything! And what if they've, like, bought tickets or something?"
"I doubt it."
"Okay mom, that's okay. Uh...it'll be fun. Yeah, dinner's good." He's so polite - tee hee! He won't be rude to me, even if he's dying inside of regret, having to miss out on the best night ever with his friends. And a surprise, no less!
Later his friends kept calling and texting him, saying that if he hurries they might still have time to do it. So Tanner was tempted to pick a fast food restaurant for dinner, and even suggested some semi-fast places before we called him on it and made him choose a sit-down, peruse the menu, take-your-order, tip-the-waiter restaurant. He was so fidgety. I was doing an amazing job of keeping a straight face. I don't know how I did it! I always give it away with my face -- but not this time. I feigned sympathy for Tan with a side of irritation towards the friends. I was so smooth. And the rest of the family were perfection -- no slip-ups whatsoever.
The friends kept up a stream of, "Are you done yet?" "We're running out of time...best night ever...surprise..." and finally, "It's too late. We'll have to do it another time, dang it. We still won't tell you, but it will be the best night ever." Maybe a little overkill on the "best night ever" stuff; I was worried he'd be let down. But it was awesome watching him squirm, torn between his massive regret of missing out on the night with friends, while still trying to be kind and not make us feel like he'd rather be somewhere else.
After dinner we got home and prepared to eat cake and open presents. Tanner went down to his room for a sec and...SURPRISE!! There were his friends. Then I broke it to him that we'd planned it days ago and I'd bought them all tickets to the James Bond movie that starts in an hour.
Whoa. I gotta go. China calls...