Tuesday, April 24, 2012

on expectations...and birthdays

Hi.  I don't know what to write, but I feel like I should write something to document this, the beginning of my 30th year.  That's right.  I am now 29. Gasp.

Actually, I don't mind.  With age comes GREAT wisdom, right?  And humility?  Got it.

I have a problem with having high expectations for my birthday.  To be honest, having a kid totally messes with your birthday celebrating.  Even before she was born, Lila disrupted my birthday by making me miserably sick my first trimester of her pregnancy.  I don't remember my birthday her first year, and last year my birthday was tainted with dropping about three grand on a new sewer pipe.  I mean, every girl wants a $3,000 birthday present, right?  Just not one that has more to do with poop than anything else.

So this year I decided that I was going to lower my expectations.  Instead of having a list of things I wanted to accomplish, I decided to have one goal: to not feel stressed.  Operation: Failure.

Lila started it.  She had the NERVE to catch a cold.  So on my birthday eve at midnight she woke up wailing and when I went in to see what was wrong, she was inconsolable.  Not because she was that miserable, but because she apparently had decided to be inconsolable.  After a few minutes, I figured out that her nose was a little stuffy and her cries made this very distinct change from truly sad to "I'm gonna keep crying for as long as I can keep myself awake" cries.  You moms know the kind.  It's more of a yell than a cry.  And in addition to that, every time she tried to breathe through her nose, she would get all flustered and start crying again.  This went on for TWO HOURS.  Those two hours saw me snapping at the Husband for no good reason, sighing dramatically, rocking Lila for 45 minutes only to have her start wailing again as soon as I put her back in bed, and muttering, "Come ON, Lila.  It's a STUFFY NOSE!"  Then when the Husband said in response to her cries, "Poor Peanut." I said, "You aren't allowed to say that."  To which he said, "What?  I'm not allowed to say 'Poor Peanut'?"  And I said, "Yes, because you didn't rock her for 45 minutes."  That's logic right there, folks.  Exhausted 1:00am logic.

Maybe I should back up and preface this post with the warning that I LOVE MY BIRTHDAY.  I read this post and identified with every sentiment in it (go read it and you will know me just a little bit better).  Also I love presents.

Okay, back to the tale of the birthday of dashed expectations.

Lila was just whiney all day long.  I mean, didn't she KNOW it was my birthday?!  What kind of daughter gets sick on her mom's birthday?  Sheesh.  So rude.  Anyway, my plan was to take advantage of all the free birthday goodies I could find.  I was going to have a free smoothie for breakfast, a free sandwich for lunch, and free fish tacos for dinner.  FREE!

Unfortunately, I was too tired from our late night shenanigans that I slept through breakfast.  We did get our free sandwich for lunch (and it was awesome) and then I bought myself a little birthday gift - a mirror for the end of our hallway:

Pretty, right?

Then it was home to put Lila down for a nap.  She only slept an hour and ten minutes.  NOT long enough.  But no matter, I had a massage scheduled at 5:00.  Which was awesome.  Except that the lady talked the entire time.  She asked me about my family and of course adoption came up and that's when all the usual questions started, "Why are you adopting?  Why from Ethiopia?  How long will you have to wait?  Why so long?  Is it expensive?"  And on and on.  Now, I usually rather enjoy educating people about adoption.  I find that it's much better to view my role as educator rather than defender.  (If you read adoption blogs at all, you will quickly find out that adoptive moms can get all up in arms about things clueless people say to them - some for good reason!)  But that's another post entirely.  My point is, I usually enjoy those conversations.  But NOT while I'm getting my birthday massage!  Come on!  I just want to relax and maybe fall asleep while a stranger rubs oils on me.  Boy, does it sound weird when I describe it like that.  But you know what I mean.

I do not get massages very often.  In fact, I have had two since Lila was born and both were purchased with gift cards.  And the last one I had was interrupted when the woman massaging me had a coughing fit.  No joke.  But at least she upgraded me to the fancier hot stone massage for free.

But I digress.

Anyway, after my massage is when things really started to unravel.  I came home all oiled up and realized I didn't have time to shower before my date with Eric because my mom (who was watching Lila) had to pick up my dad from the airport in two hours.  And Lila was in complete meltdown mode by this point.  Oh, and by the way, I realized that to get my free fish tacos from Houlihan's I had to have signed up for their email club and been emailed a coupon.  Which I had not.  So with an indention on my forehead from the massage pillow thing for your face (I can't type that without hearing Phoebe say, "Put yer face in dee hole, Lassie!") some oily hair, and t-minus two hours with which to enjoy a *relaxing* birthday dinner date with my Husband, I had to come up with another restaurant.  I do not operate well under pressure.  Especially birthday pressure.

We ended up at Jerusalem Cafe (where we had our first date) and I was sorely disappointed.  You know when you crave one thing and then you settle for a substitute and it's just not worth it?  Yeah.  We ended up eating in 45 minutes and going to pick Lila up from the birthday party my mom had taken her to so that she could get to bed early.

There you have it.  My birthday.  Wah-wah. (that's sad music).

I know I totally sound like a spoiled brat and that none of the things that happened on my birthday were really that bad.  I could easily retell the story like this:

My awesome husband took the day off for my birthday and I got to sleep in!  Then we had a nice (free!) birthday lunch as a family, Eric bought me a mirror and we got an hour to ourselves while Lila napped.  Then I got a massage and went out to dinner to the restaurant where we had our first date while my mom watched Lila.

Doesn't sound so bad, does it?

But it was my BIRTHDAY.  I only get one day a year where I get to pick what we do all day and people think about me and tell me what they like about me and give me presents and take me out to dinner.  And it's over.  And it just fell short of my expectations, that's all.  Even though I tried to not have high expectations.

But if you know me at all, you will know that I have a knack for making my birthday last as long as possible.  Which is how I finagled having an entire birthday week.  My best friend came in town Friday to play (mentioned here), my parents took our family out to dinner Friday night, my sweet friend took me to breakfast Sunday morning, and next weekend we're having dinner with a few friends to celebrate some more.  If one day doesn't cut it, stretch your birthday over an entire week, that's what I always say!

But even if My Birthday Take 2, 3 and 4 are all tainted by a sick kid and other atrocities, this is just year 29.  Next year's the big one.  And it's gonna be AWESOME!  (Anyone else sensing the impending doom/irony of that statement?  Me too.)

Happy Birthday to me!


Suzanne said...

I am the same way with the birthday expectations Kelsey!!! It's hard to let go of those high hopes! Love the hallway mirror by the way! Happy late birthday to YOU!!!

Jessica Blake said...

I will say, mom and dad didn't exactly set us up for success in the "low birthday expectations" category, what with the overhead announcement in elementary school "Kelsey, please come to the office, you have a delivery" and then the every-so-proud walk down the hall back from the office to your classroom, holding an arrray of flowers, balloons, candy, something that screams, "today is MY day!" then theres mom, setting the table for your favorite dinner with the red "you are special plate" not to mention going completely ALL OUT with themed birthday parties complete with your very own "beast" from beauty and the beast. I mean come on, it's really all THEIR fault. our sweet husbands, no matter how thoughtful, don't stand a chance. :)
kind of.

Totschies said...

And then sometimes your friends forget until 5 days later that it was your bday.... but grace:) Looking forward to celebrating you! And I loved the link to the post about teaching husbands how to handle bday expectations. Made me laugh for sure. love you friend

Anonymous said...

I am laughing because I get embarrassed when I think about your bday parties. That was WAY before we knew about what high support low challenge parenting
Results in: kids that expect pony rides and their very own Beast , puppy dogs, guinea pigs, kitties, parakeets, and crafts that gave me migraine headaches for the next 2 days!!!! Ah, but it WAS so much fun and made many
Memories. Would I do it again? Probably.

Katy said...

I hope Eric or Jess is planning a huge 30th birthday party for you..I want to come!!
love you,