Thursday, January 8, 2009
Adventures in Real Parenting: I Never Promised Disney
First a couple of administrative things:
(1) Since I have closed PoliTits, I will no longer refer to our homestead on the hill as 'Tits HQ. In a nod to my fondness for all things British, a driving desire for silly pretension and acceptance of the fact that our name is now out there among the tubes and ether, I will now be referring to our home as Golden Manor. Once we move, it may be Golden Crackerbox or Stifling Hovel, but for now, I'm going to use Golden Manor.
(2) If I seem to be somewhat missing from comments, please do not take it as a personal affront. All the sudden, work is terribly busy. When did you think I had time to pay all those visits and leave all those inane comments? During my evenings? Well, okay, you're right, but now that my daytime surfing time is sucked up by paid work, I'm having to cram a lot of visits into the hours of 7pm - sleep. Understand I still love you. I'll be back once these hotel contracts are signed and meeting details are all squared away.
Okay, not that that's out of the way, I really wanted to tell you about Resident Evil's birthday yesterday. Except now that I think about it, there isn't much to tell. As anyone with a birthday within a week of the holidays will tell you, it sucks ass. Poor Resident Evil. Her parents didn't even get her a gift until MathMan kindly turned his rental car around and headed back to Target to try to find something, anything. For my part, I was on the phone, grumping at him and being downright difficult about our inability to make decisions. I'm sure he found that incredibly helpful at the time.
Oh. I did bake and inexpertly decorate a cake. Note the mish-mash of candles. Of course we didn't have ten matching candles nor a zero to go with the one to make the obligatory ten.
Since we were so ill-prepared and ill-equipped, as if we didn't realize that January 7th was bearing down on us, the actual birthday celebration was chaotic at its high point and so ho hum at all the rest. Resident Evil was seen crankily drumming her fingers on the table as we crooned happy birthday in our sweetest, but rushed voices.
MathMan took a copious amount of pictures. I suppose you can see those at his place. The Actor, who thinks his job is to parent everyone in the house, started a fight with the birthday girl over who should light the candles on the cake. Resident Evil, a known match -hoarder and potential fire-bug, thought she should do the honors. This offended the Actor's delicate sensibilities about proper birthday protocol (we're not sure where he gets such notions). Fighting ensued (because, apparently, that is proper birthday protocol). I ended up lighting the damn candles as MathMan went down the hallway to retrieve the newly-minted ten year old who thought the appropriate response would be to burst into tears and flee to her bedroom. Using just the right mixture of threats and wheedling, he coaxed her back into the kitchen so we could watch her blow out the candles and make a wish for a better family.
All the while, an exhausted from the first day back at school and still hating madly on her International Baccalaureate program Dancer sat, pajama-clad, Sylvia Plath's Bell Jar in her hand. "Can we get on with this?" oozed from her pores. We know she really just wanted a hunk of cake after dancing for the last couple of hours.
I stood off to the side, trying to just stay the hell out of the way when I could and squeezed what was left of the tube of decorating frosting into my mouth. Ah, sweet, sweet sugar and transfats. You do solve a whole host of familial woes. Or at least take the edge off.
Resident Evil was indeed happy with the gifts that MathMan chose and later disappeared, having declined cake after all that, She escaped to our bedroom to watch her new dvd of Jon & Kate Plus 8, the first season. That's the one where the kids cry alot and the parents seem surprised that changing the diapers of eight babies is a chore. Really? Who could have predicted that?
Still, those multiples get to do way more interesting things than ours do. They've even been to at least one Disney property by the tender age of three. Our kids are still waiting for the day. (I lie. In 2006, given the choice between Disney World and Washington, DC, our kids chose D.S. Thank Gawd.)
So Resident Evil turned ten at 4:44 p.m. yesterday. We celebrated the moment and she did just as anyone who knows her well would expect. She retreated to the solace of the flickering screen. MathMan, The Dancer, The Actor and I hung around the kitchen until the subject of sperm came up. After MathMan and I got into a contest to see who could come up with the most slang terms for sperm, The Actor fled to go kill things in some WWII game and The Dancer, lips pursed in disgust, snatched Sylvia Plath off the table, deposited her empty cake plate into the dishwasher and headed to the basement.
MathMan and I silently high-fived each other, pleased with another day of effective parenting. Someone cried, a fight was short-circuited, someone was grossed out and each was told they were loved in one special way or another.
As a footnote, I asked Resident Evil what she wanted to be called here on the blog now that she's into double digits. Do any of you remember when she used to be called The Baby? That seems like a long time ago now. However, her answer was simple.
So sure, why not? Happy Birthday, again, Cupcake. You're my favorite. Just don't tell the other two.