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.


  1. Deft handling of a potential disaster by you & Mathman. Those BD's do sneak up on one.

  2. Just in case you missed any slang terms for sperm here are a few of my faves:

    love juice
    baby batter
    man seed
    Baron Manseid
    love drops
    sex grease
    man spackle
    baby gravy
    monkey muck
    beast with two backs dribble.

    And in his defense, Nathan is right. The birthday person should never be allowed to light their own candles.

  3. Your cake was way better than the Cake Wrecks cakes. I like the Manor name. One finds it easier to imagine British accents for manor dwellers.

  4. You are fine parents. And who doesn't need all the possible terms for jizz. It's part of a well rounded education, as long as the well rounded part isn't a result of baby batter.

  5. OMG, pressure to post picture. OK, not really but I'll do my part.

  6. I can certainly identify with all of you-even the kids. I was the disappointed 10 year old, I was the bossy one who tried to tell everyone how things should be done, then I turned into the introvert who read her Plath. Fast forward a few years and I was the one buying presents, making cakes and taking pictures and wondering if I had done enough or wondering why nobody could be happy with what I HAD done. Oh, and then I laughed as I read this, recognizing all my parts.

    And yes, we can certainly understand how one must get busy at times and can't play at the computer so don't sweat it.

  7. The sights and sounds of family life. It's all good if it ends with cake!

    Happy B'day Cupcake and many more.

  8. i've heard cake and sperm slang fixes everything
    now I know its true!
    TitsHQ is dead long live GoldenManor!

  9. Happy Birthday Cupcake! That looks exactly like the cakes I make for my kids. @Dr. Monkey--ewww! Gross! :)

  10. Okay, I really like the sound of 'Stifling Hollow'... as long as it's more of a metaphorical reference than a literal one.

    Also? Tell Cupcake, aka Resident Evil, aka The Baby... I'm 45 years old and am still introduced as "my baby brother" more often than not. So, well, it's better than some things your sibs could call you.

    Happy Birthday, Sophie!

  11. Sounds like a fun time. Happy Birthday, Resident Evil. And one of my sister's has the worst birthdate ever: December 26th. Everyone hands her an xmas gift and tells her that it is also her birthday gift so they got something a bit more elaborate. It never is.

  12. Bob's like six feet taller than me and the baby. Me, I'm half his size and the big sister. See how much sense the grown up world makes? Aren't you glad you're headed this way?

    Seriously. Growing up is awesome. You play your cards right and the older you are, the less grown up you have to be.

    Grown ups not only can stay up late and have ice cream for supper, we totally do.

    Happy birthday, S. 10-year-olds rule.

  13. I always wondered why the nine year old was called Resident Evil - my youngest didn't reach that moniker until she hit 12! Before that she would have been a Cupcake, too.

    Hippo Birdie to you Cupcake.

  14. Lookit, as another early January birthday kid, Resident Evil has every right to be a diva. It comes with the turf. I'm only guessing of course.



    (and Happy Birthday to R.E., who rocks and rolls my world.)

  15. It sounds like great fun was had by all;)That cake looks delicious. Sometimes I wish I weren't a dog.xx

  16. I don't see anything wrong with the cake. You're entitled to a hit of acid now and then.

  17. Well, Dr. Monkey said it all - I couldn't even come close. Parenting at its finest - cakes like we all have made for our kids (except the more talented show-offs) - and love abounds. Three cheers to Golden Manor! Thanks for all your good thoughts.

  18. I'm glad to hear my kids aren't the only ones who passed on the opportunity to visit Disney World. We offered the chance twice, and both times they passed--once in favor of the Keys, and once in favor of an extended road trip throughout the south.

  19. 1. When we lived in a trailer The Old Lady called it a shoebox.

    As for ill-timed B-days, the Kid was born on New Year's Eve. We still have to remember to get some gifts for here B-day all these years after she has left the nest.

    Haven't been to Disney World, but have been to Disneyland. You haven't lived until you have suffered the ride "It's a small world afterall"!!!

  20. Happy birthday to my favorite niece! (Just don't tell The Dancer or Livie that you're my fav, o.k.?)

    Sis - 10 years already? Where in the hell did the time go to? Well, I guess it flew by so quickly that I totally forgot my oldest turned 20 on 01/02 and my baby is now a teenager (you know that The Actor is a couple weeks younger than Pokey). Shit - shit - shit! The grey hairs are popping out everywhere!

    Oh and tell Cupcake that the Big R will get a birthday card to her soon...time has a way of sneaking up on the Big R now that she's 70.

    Come to Indiana soon...and hugs all around!

  21. There is still a black hole on my kitchen table from youngest daughter's tenth birthday last year. Her birthday is looming; what havoc will be wreaked this year, do you think?

    BTW, your comments about work-blogging amused me! It is always noticeable that blogging activity slows down on the weekend!

  22. Lisa, you have a wonderful family. But, ya' know, I'm just glad I never adopted any kids. Selfish maybe, but I don't think I would have had the patience that you have. Now that I am older than gawd, I barely have the patience to tie my shoes.

  23. Happy birthday to Cupcake! And long live Golden Manor, wherever it may be.

  24. I think the cake is beautiful. And I'm more and more impressed with The Dancer every time you write about her. I did an IB program in high school, and it was a bitch.

  25. " we could watch her blow out the candles and make a wish for a better family."

    You can do that?! Damn, I've been wasting my wishes all these years.

  26. Hope your next place is a version of Fawlty Towers or Farty Towels or Warty Flowers and that Manuel brings his rat.

    Happy Birthday, Cupcake.

  27. Tip for Cupcake: as last born, you got all the best DNA. The previously spawned versions were trial and error editions.

    Just don't let them know that you know. It's part of the Last Born Code of Ethics.

  28. Somehow, I'd missed the fact that Cupcake's earthly name is Sophie. How sweet is that?

    One more sign that we are destined to meet.

  29. How did I miss Cupcake's birthday???

    Damn that whole work thing!

    Happy Happy and Happy!!!

  30. Should we ever have children, Ang and I are taking all of our parenting advice from you and Double M.


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