Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me!

Happy birthday to me! Happy birthday to me! Happy birthday dear me! Happy birthday to me!

Yep, you guessed it: It’s my birthday. Another year gone, another year older.

Birthdays used to be so exciting. I remember looking at the calendar in anticipation when I was younger, counting down the days until I got to eat cake and open presents. It was nearly impossible to go to sleep the night before.

I’d wake up early, go into my parents’ bedroom, and the entire family would gather around for gift opening. I would be freed of my morning duty of making my bed, and would skip off to school.

Going to school on my birthday was the best. I loved handing out my homemade birthday treats to my classmates (ah, the days when it was safe and acceptable to bring homemade treats). I’d race home after school (I have to insert another “ah” here: Ah, the days when walking home from school alone was safe) and get busy playing with my new toys.

Having a Saturday birthday was even better – I got to sleep in AND play with my toys all day.

My dear mother always made whatever meal I requested, and my favorite cake – usually something with a lot of chocolate. We invited aunts, uncles, and cousins to help celebrate.

Now that I’m a grown-up and a mother, birthdays are still fun, but they sure aren’t the same as when I was young.

The excitement and anticipation are still there, but the night before the big day is sleepless because of frequent breastfeeding, not because of adrenaline.

I briefly consider abandoning my morning duties – making our bed, emptying and loading the dishwasher, rinsing poopy diapers, and doing laundry – but quickly decide against it when I realize no one will pick up my slack, and it will just mean twice as much work the next day.

I don’t go to school. In fact, this year, I didn’t even go outside. When your birthday happens to fall on the same day as a major snowstorm, going out with a 6-month-old baby isn’t exactly a good idea.

I still got to play with my new “toys,” however, and my husband made my requested meal and favorite cake. Just like when I was young, we invited family over to help celebrate.

As far as special treatment goes, adults might still be extra nice to me, but my daughter doesn’t know the difference. She still cries like normal, poops like normal, and, of course, snuggles like normal.

I tried explaining to her that, because it’s my birthday, she really shouldn’t be fussy at all today.

I’m not holding my breath.

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