The day started with a conversation with my six year old about whose birthday was more fun…
It was later in the day and Ava had already wished me a “Happy Birthday” on several occasions, but wanted to tell me one more time…probably because the look on my face may have read, ‘this is more funky birthday than happy birthday’
“Happy Birthday Mom,” she said.
“Awww, thanks sweetie.”
“You know,” I went on, “it’s a lot more fun celebrating your birthday when you’re 6 than when you’re (gulp!) 35.”
“Yeah…I know!” she retorted with big eyes. “I got lots of presents and cake and got to go to a bouncy house place.”
“Yes. Yes you did.”
Maybe that’s what is missing, I thought, I should have booked myself 2 hours at a bouncy house place and bounced till my 35 year old self was content…or tired anyway!
Honestly, it was kind of a funny day… I won’t go into all of the details, but lets just say it was a definite reality check to the fact that I:
1. am definitely 35 years old
2. am definitely a mom to three children
3. have definitely been married for 10 years
It did end up including some cake from our fully comped dinner at the Olive Garden (comped because the $18 dish that I ordered because it was my birthday came out lukewarm, took a very long time, didn’t include the grilled ciabatta the menu promised AND Scott’s dish came out with the wrong type of pasta– all a full 25 minutes after the girls got their kid’s meals, finished eating, were bored and now crawling on the floor and being bribed with mints. Aubrey fortunately slept through most of it, but of course woke up demanding to be nursed 2 minutes before our food finally came to the table, which I tried to do as nonchalantly as possible under a nursing cover in the corner while answering questions about whether or not I’d like cheese on my dish) and some presents.
The day also included children whining about not having anything to do before 9:30 (it was Ava’s first full day of summer vacation) and me griping that they had already left 17 messes around the house from things they had spent about 7 minutes each playing with…and then fighting with each other.
The baby cried a couple of times in between…and spit up all over several of my shirts…
Alright…I confess…I briefly shed a tear or two.
A self-pitying, “Are you serious right now…this is my birthday?” kind of tear.
“What’s wrong Mom?”
“It’s my Birthday and you guys keep fighting and the house is trashed…and…and…and I don’t know!”
And that is pretty much how the day went, on and off. I ended up over at my sister’s house, we both have newborns mind you. Between the two of us there were six children ages 6 and under running around, but I figured I’d rather be in the fray with another momma than at home facing it by myself!
She had her own bout of tearfulness at one point…her little guy is very colicky and fussy and she was at the end of a string of very long days when one of the kid’s lunch plates tipped upside down onto the chair spilling ketchup, ranch dressing and cucumbers all over the chair and floor.
It was the straw…err the ranch dressing…that broke the camels (or mommas!) back, so to speak.
Ava happened to walk in right around that time and so after everything was cleaned up we mused about how much of all of this our poor children were going to remember someday and whether or not they would recall their mothers as solid loving women or emotional basket cases?! We’re still hoping for the former (:
And while I’m on confessions, I must say turning 35 has thrown me for a bit of an emotional loop…the kind where you start asking all sorts of questions about where life is going and what you are doing…and then you clean up more toys, nurse the baby, make dinner and attempt to color your hair with a home coloring kit that turns your hair orange-ish red AND still leaves the grays to show in the front!
Its kind of a funny place to be in and there aren’t any solid answers to the questions… I get that… I get that these are the days of just doing your best to parent well despite the craziness of it all.
I’m trying my best to do my best…and in between I take what I can get in the way of small, SMALL slivers of time to write and read a couple of pages in a book or a magazine (If you hadn’t noticed my last blog post was almost a month ago!). I am moving (slowly) through Season 2 of “Parenthood” on Netflix (and LOVING it!) and I am trying to bring some order to the chaos that seems to be our house on a daily basis. My only consolation is that my sister, who is by nature MUCH cleaner than me, says that even her house is always messy lately…when her house is messy you know things are nutty!
So here’s to 35! The year of reality checks, sporadic blog posts and digging in my heels to making the most of the mayhem– and learning to find more ways to see the beauty in all of it too.