Sunday, March 7, 2010

Not what I would have liked.

We tried to celebrate JD's 4th birthday today. It's actually on Wednesday, but we try to make a family day of birthdays and usually have them on the weekend. This year though, because it snuck up on me, because we have all been in various stages of illness, because my husband worked just about 80 hours this week, because I didn't have any time to actually prepare for a celebration, it turned out to not be much of  a celebration.

Being sick and unable to go shopping alone (i.e. without the birthday boy) this week, we decided to let him pick out his own presents at the toy store. That was a bomb, not because as you might expect he wanted everything in sight, but because all he wanted was a ball. Any attempts to convince him to choose something else resulted in 4 year old attitude. Who can blame him. He knows what he likes, he doesn't care that it is a $2 ball, or that we have approximately 15 balls at home already. Here we are telling him he's making a bad choice and naturally he doesn't like that. I don't like this scenario because there's no surprise, no unwrapping of presents, no anticipation, it was quite literally, no fun. But we make it through, chose a few things (no ball) and then we're off for some fun bowling; one of JD's favorite things to do. Despite having called in advance to make sure they had open bowling, despite being told there would be lanes open after 12pm, we get there at noon only to be told they have no open bowling until after 4pm. Thud. That's the last of my "suck it up and have a fun family day" energy falling to the floor. Are you kidding me! They somehow pull a free bowling lane out of their tuckus and allow us to bowl as long as we are gone by 2pm. No problem. The lane they put us in had a malfunction so we spent the first 20 minutes waiting for them to get that working. Two kids, being as patient as you would expect for a 6 and 4 year old, which means they were bouncing all over the place. When they can't get the scoring to work they miraculously manage to pull yet a second open lane out of their tuckas. We finally get to bowling, but by now neither T nor I are having much fun, the kids are just tired and cranky. The last frame of the game messed up, the lane shut down and we finally just cut our losses and took off without actually finishing.

Get home, one out of 2 kids doesn't want to have lunch. It's too late to do cake now because T has to get some sleep in before tonight's shift so we decide to let them play and have cake later. By the time later has come around the boys have tried my (still sick) patience to death. Fighting all afternoon, fighting me all afternoon. They are obviously both feeling as tired and cranky as I am. T suggests postponing the cake and ice cream. I have mixed feelings, I feel like it's already been a poor example of a birthday and we should muddle through it ("Damnit, we've come this far we're going to celebrate if it kills us"). But he's right. EJ hears this and immediately runs sobbing up to his room. They fight me some more trying to get the family room picked up from the weekend fort play. There's more screaming and crying when dinner served does not meet JD's expectations. EJ is just happy to be eating, being the one that chose to skip lunch. End the meal with a bit of vanilla ice cream as reconciliation for not having the cake tonight. T off to work, me finally getting the kids to bed (early I might add), all ends with story time, hugs & kisses all around. Not a special day but, just a day.

I'm disappointed. I keep reminding myself that JD will not remember this birthday and one day out of many really doesn't matter. I know I'm being too hard on myself but at the same time I just can't help feeling that if I had just been able to get things done, if I were better prepared today would have been the happy celebration I wanted it to be. The thing is, I feel like the last three years and maybe longer has been one very long bout of 'today'. I'm glad we are nearing the end of this crazy phase, I keep reminding myself that despite another move to a place we don't know anyone, things will be easier soon. Medical school is hard, residency is even harder on a family. So many of T's classmates are single, or childless married, they have no idea how good they have it. I'm at the end of my rope now, but need to make it through the next 4 months of packing up house, selling house, finding new place to live, finding my way around new place, meeting new people and leaving old friends behind. There are times when, like today, it is just all so overwhelming and I feel like it can't go on a moment longer. Then of course I remind myself that whatever my life is, it could be much worse, that really we have it pretty good despite the stresses and I have to move on to tomorrow, which is after all a brand new day.


S said...

{{Hugs}} to Mom :)

And a belated birthday to your little guy!

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