Thursday, April 4, 2019

Why I Just Ate 1/2 of a Sheet Cake

Yesterday was sweet Andrew's 3rd birthday.

You may be thinking how fast that went.

For you.

For me, it has been both lightning fast and excruciatingly slow as I've re-learned the ropes of parenting a baby, toddler, and now preschooler. Being a geriatric mom has been miraculous, difficult, and unusual while also seeming like the most natural thing in the world.

Our day didn't have the best beginning because Andrew was so excited he woke up well before 6 ready to party. Problem was, the casual gathering I'd thrown together for a couple of our neighbor kids wasn't scheduled until 5 pm. Explaining to a newly minted three-nager that he'd have to wait 11 hours to eat his dump truck cake went over about as well as you can imagine. He was wailing by the time I wrestled him out the door to preschool, at which point I accidentally bonked his head against the car.

But what I thought would be a rough day for him, was more so for me.

My sister texted me an album of photos she'd taken the day of his birth. I scrolled through frame after frame of unflattering photos. I'm not saying that birth photography can't be beautiful. Black and whites, filters, and professional equipment yield artistic gold and capture the beauty and intensity of the moment.

My sister's i-phone 6, clicking second after second during Andrew's birth yielded a bunch of grainy, poorly lit photos of interest only to those of us who were there. They showcased my many chins, strained blood vessels in my eyes, and stages of undress that you care not one whit about mid-labor, when you're convinced you are about to poop on the bed, but that probably don't belong floating around on the cloud after that. Even baby Andrew didn't look so hot. He looked distraught and very, very sticky. As I browsed, I couldn't remember the proper terminology for all the gunk that covered him, but the words "womb cheese"popped into my head and stuck. I decided that if I somehow became miraculously pregnant at 50-something, I'd hire a professional photographer.

I quickly decided to post the one photo that passed muster: Tim holding newborn Andrew, cozy, clean and swaddled-- cheese-free and pinkish.

After a few hours of blissful alone time (i.e. a deep, deep dental cleaning in which my lack of flossing was evident) I headed into preschool to drop off birthday cookies. Ding. My sister texted, asking if I knew that one of the photos I'd posted showed boob.




Dear Lord, I'd somehow posted the entire album, boobs, triple chins, womb cheese, umbilical cords and all.

Nervous texts flew back and forth as I frantically deleted, and she checked and re-checked my wall.

Still there.

Still there.

Still there.


Thank God.

"Don't worry," she said, lying, "no one clicks through those albums."

By the time the neighbors came over with their little ones for pizza and a moon bounce, I was still feeling like a doofus.

First to arrive was my friend Kelsey. We all know how amazing it is to have a friend right across the street with whom you click, and whose kid is the perfect age for yours. Visions of child-swaps, carpooling, short-hand conversations and girls' nights out pop into your head before the moving van has even turned the corner. I've spent the 6 months since she and her young family moved in getting to know Kelsey and trying not to come across as "too anything": too old, too eager, too weird. I'm cognizant of not trying to scare her or my other wonderful neighbors off. But each time I think I won't tell her another long-winded story about what's going on in our lives, I do anyway, because she's just that easy to talk to.

So I plunge in, needing to unburden myself about my screw-up with the album.

She said,"Oh, I saw it and clicked through. I saw the boob picture and was like, 'Go, Anna!'"

Can you tell why I adore her?

"Don't push it, Anna. Don't try to be funny,"  I told my relieved self, yet seconds later these words popped out of my mouth, "Ok, but you didn't see any VAG did you?"

That, my friends, is why I have 1/2 of Andrew's sheet cake to keep my fork and my emotional eating company tonight.

I'll report back soon on whether I have any friends left.

And don't worry that I took too much of Andrew's beloved cake. After wailing about it for 11 hours, he decided one bite would suffice.


Stephanie D said...

Friends.... good friends …. are what keep us women from becoming serial killers. I'm totally convinced of it.

LOL -- loved your post today!!

Nancy said...

You are just too adorably funny!! And real!! And I love it!!

Sandy A said...

After I read your post, I went and looked at Andrew's birth day. The photos of you on that extra special day Andrew was born are beautiful!! You look beautiful! And Andrew, just a gorgeous baby. So, I know we see ourselves differently than others do, but believe this, you look like a gorgeous mother holding her perfect baby boy! And I must say, Andrew is a darling little three year old!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Oh my, that's too funny!!! Happy Birthday to Andrew and I'm glad you're finishing up the cake.....

Laura Perry said...

I love you so much.

Nicole said...

Best story ever. I am still laughing....enjoy the cake! : )

Sharon in Indy said...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! You're killing me, Anna. Stop it.

Caroline said...

I absolutely love "womb-cheese", and it's almost exactly accurate : the technical word is "vernix caeseosa", meaning "cheesy varnish" ! :-D
Keep being yourself, you are amazing ! :-)

LisaAR said...

Oh, just made me truly LOL on a very gray morning. Thank you for that. (At least you didn't say "Va-jay-jay," right?) You are simply wonderful!

LisaAR said...

(Um...this is a different process than the last time I left a comment. I just wrote one, and then it took me to a diff page to confirm my blogger profile, and now here, so...I'm not sure you got my comment (?) Reposting in case it didn't work first time...)

Oh, made me truly LOL on a very gray morning. Thank you for that. (At least you didn't say "va-jay-jay," right?) You are simply wonderful!

Mary Chalmers said...

Love love love!! ❤️��❤️

Ernie said...

Oh gosh, I so enjoyed this. Hilarious! I frequently tell myself, I will definitely not talk about such and such, and seconds later such and such is popping out of my mouth.

This reminds me of when my oldest was born. I was making the birth announcements, and I was at my Mom's house looking thru the photos that I had (like photos in an envelope that were developed at the drug store because I am that old). We loved this one photo of him in my lap with a baby smile on his face. The picture was taken from over my shoulder as I sat in the rocker. Moments later my sister doubled over laughing and essentially crawled to the bathroom breathless, barely making it. She was speechless but pointed to the enormous, engorged breast sticking out of my nursing bra at the bottom of the page. Both my mom and I had missed it. Imagine if I had chosen that photo to paste on the front of the birth announcements without noticing?!

Anonymous said...

Anna, you're very very funny. Your serious writing & immersion in literature of grief are wonderful, important, and I read it like a lifeline sometimes. It's almost like sustenance for some people like me. But on the other hand, you're just very funny and I love it. And I hope you cultivate that just as you cultivate the more profound stuff. I think BOTH aspects of your work really sing because you're not sentimental. The grief and the humor are well EARNED. And on rare occasion the grief and humor intersect and that's even more interesting. This post really made me laugh. Thanks for all the good work you do. (I wish we were friends -- but I'm not sure you would like me. Hhahaha)

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I read your blog like every week. Your story-telling style is witty, keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Touche. Sound arguments. Keep up the amazing spirit.

Judycook said...

Oh my, I needed this so bad. Thank you for making me laugh.

Judycook said...

I needed this so bad. Thank you for making me laugh.