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.