Christina Currie: Tractors and sugar

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I was a little curious when the invitation to a cousin's first birthday party pictured an older man driving a John Deere tractor. I mean, you expect Elmo or clowns or something like that.

It all came together when we arrived to the sea of green and yellow. Everything, including the birthday boy, sported some sort of combination of lemon and lime.

My girls and I were out of place in our blues and pinks but were accepted anyway. The girls became one of the clan when they snuck into the cake and managed to frost their faces and fingers green.

It was a John Deere tractor cake, complete with a graham cracker cab and mini bunt-cake tires. The birthday boy paid it scant attention, but my girls were fixated. At the first opportunity, they dove into it with both hands -- hence the green.

The birthday boy couldn't have been less interested in the party, the people or the presents.

My girls have mixed feelings about birthdays. On one hand, there's a big pile of presents that they won't be touching. On the other, there's cake -- and cake, as any parent knows, overcomes all manner of opposition.

Then there's this magical party participant pleaser called a piñata -- or "pintata" as cousin Isiac calls it. It, too, was shaped like a John Deere.

Last weekend's party was my girls' second whack (no pun intended) at a piñata. Even then, they weren't real sure what to do. I was a little embarrassed to find that my girls hit like ... well, girls.

I console myself with the knowledge that they're only 3 and 4 years old and have years to learn how to swing a bat.

Well, if the piñata was any measure, John Deere tractors are built Ford tough.

Granted, not one of those swinging a bat was more than 4 feet tall, but it took a lot of whacks to crack that sucker.

It must have been a shock to all the children, because not one dove to the ground when the two pounds of candy spilled out. I wish they minded that well regularly. Every child looked up for guidance.

Once they got it, though ...

There was an obscene amount of candy to be split among four children (all the others were either too young or had petered out by that point).

The result? Three-year-old Nikki had candy stuffed in the pockets of her shorts, flowing out of the pockets in her jacket and weighing down the hood of her coat.

I cleaned her out when we got home and hid most of the candy, though I was shocked enough when she said she wanted to go to bed, at 6 p.m., to check. She had emptied her hood into her bed and only turned in the contraband from her pockets.

Sneaky.

There's no telling what crimes a sugar high will cause you to commit. Maybe that's what happened in Granby -- the volatile combination of sugar and tractors.

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210 or by e-mail at ccurrie@craigdailypress.com.

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