This was one of those weekends where I wound up more tired at the end of it than I was at the beginning.

Friday night was family movie night. However, when we considered our options, we only had The Muppet Show (first season) and A Muppet Christmas Carol. Out of curiousity, I checked the other disks I currently had out from Netflix, and “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” was rated PG. I couldn’t believe it, a movie that I had gotten for me and my wife to watch, and it was suitable for my kids.

So, we watched Hitchhikers Guide. The kids really liked it, which was a bonus. My son was actually able to keep up with the plot. When Slartibartfast was talking about the huge computer that was destroyed before the Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything was calculated, he suddenly blurted out “It was Earth! They’re talking about the Earth!” I was blown away. The kid is six, remember. I would love to see Hollywood turn out more movies rated PG that the kids would like to watch.

For reasons I won’t go into, the wife had to drive herself to urgent care later Friday night. No big deal, but she didn’t get back until around 4:00 am, so she didn’t get much sleep, and I didn’t get much sleep waiting for to get back. Saturday morning, I had to drive my daughter to a pottery class. But the fun was just beginning.

Saturday evening, several of my daughter’s friends came over for cake and ice cream to celebrate her birthday. Then we all went to Safari Sam’s. Safari Sam’s has the largest indoor jungle gym in Oregon. If there is a better place to methodically exhaust a child, I cannot think of it. We had pizza for dinner, and dropped off all but two girls.

Then the slumber party began. Slumber parties are fairly easy for me as the father — I just stay the hell away from them. I’m not going to bring anything to the party that will be of any use to these young ladies, and furthermore the very last thing I want these little girls to do is go home and tell their fathers that “Mr. PAgent is so much fun to play with”. No thank you. I’m sort of allergic to buckshot. Makes me break out in angry red holes.

Nevertheless, there were a few consequences to having our family room occupied. The biggest was that the cats slept with us, instead of being locked in the family room overnight with the girls. They pretty much tapdanced on our heads all night. Between knocking things off dressers, scratching to get under the covers, fighting with each other, and generally walking on our faces, we got very little sleep again last night.

After we said goodbye to our guests this morning, I took the kids out to a local farm. We went through a corn maze, got some hot dogs, and picked out some pumpkins. We ran home and hurriedly cranked out three jack’o'lanterns, then got out the rest of our Halloween decorations.

Our daughter opened the rest of her presents, and then I got busy fixing her birthday dinner. For her special dinner, my daughter wanted steak, mashed potatoes, and corn. I had scored the last fresh corn on the cob of the season at the farm, and made garlic/sour cream mashed baby red potatoes (skins on) to go with. I grilled the steaks outside in the dark. Dinner turned out well, and she seemed happy with it, especially the corn.

Tomorrow is Halloween, so we will have to get the kids dressed, and get them around the neighborhood. One of us will have to stay home to deal with the little darlings and the bigger hoodlums that come around. By the end of the evening, we will be exhausted. But this happens every year, in one flavor or another.

My little girl is ten, now. It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were terrified to take her out of the hospital, because the weather had turned cold while my wife recuperated from the C-section. I remember our first foray out as a family, to get a hamburger at Big’s Hi-Yu-He-He drive-in. My wife was terrified of some injury occuring to this fragile little creature, and she rode in the back seat hovering over the car seat the entire trip. When we actually got there, we decided we couldn’t go in because the restaurant was full of cigarette smoke. We ended up eating in the car. Even then, my life had changed completely, although I hadn’t yet realized how much, and there is almost no way to measure how much it has changed since then.

Here’s to my little girl: You are the most frustrating person in my life, but I have been wrapped around your finger since they cut you from my wife’s body and placed you in my arms. I cannot imagine my life without you. Happy Birthday.