Sunday, March 25, 2001


Rulizow's friends were all gone by 11 A.M. The party was over.

Mrs. Baslow took a well-deserved nap. David played a video game. Rulizow made a sign with stickers she received as a birthday present. The cats came out of hiding and began once again to patrol the apartment.

Yesterday morning David and his mother went up to Riverdale to look for a second-hand suit for him. They found one, as well as a shirt. We discovered a pair of Baslow's shoes that fit David's feet (!) and an old tie that looks appropriately criminal. We decided that a fedora could come later. David tried on the ensemble so far assembled and he looks quite startlingly natty in it. So the planned expedition downtown was rendered unnecessary.

While David and his mother were away Rulizow busily finished up the party preparations she and her mother had begun earlier: blowing up balloons (purple and silver, only); putting up Powerpuff Girls crepe-paper streamers; completing the hand-decorated party-favor bags.

The Baslow family has a tradition of long standing: the sibling present. One present has always been given to the sibling of the child celebrating the birthday. The tradition was started when Rulizow was born, as a way of softening the pangs of sibling jealousy. It has persisted as a family tradition long after its practical reasons for existing have fallen away.

When David returned from his clothes-shopping Baslow took him downtown, to the CompUSA at Columbus Circle, to purchase his sibling present. It was Final Fantasy VII for the Sony Playstation. When they returned home Rulizow had gone off to paint sets for the next Pied Piper production, Amy's Attic. David had a few hours to get to know his new game.

Rulizow returned from the set-painting a couple of hours later. K., one of the friends invited to the party, was with her. They sat, talked, and played as the other guests arrived. Within an hour the party was in full swing.

FULL swing. They didn't need much help to keep things going. The talking and giggling were nonstop from 5:30 P.M. to 1 A.M.

At 1 A.M. Mrs. Baslow wearily made her way from the bedroom to the living room and told the girls they had to stop giggling and talking and go to sleep. The giggling stopped but, we are reliably informed, the talking went on for another hour.

The next morning Mrs. Baslow got up at 8 A.M. to make her special waffles. The girls slept until it was time to eat.

Their parents picked the guests up between 9 and 11.

When they'd all left Rulizow napped while Mrs. Baslow prepared the makings of a minestrone for dinner. The two of them then went to a meeting of the newly-revived Mother/Daughter book club initiated by Mrs. Baslow. David worked on homework.

Rulizow napped some more when she returned with Mrs. Baslow. David surfed the Internet. Mrs. Baslow prepared the minestrone.

They had a quiet dinner together. Then they went into the living room to watch the Oscars.

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