Birthday Extravaganza is over for another year. It’s exhausting having two birthdays in one week. Who am I kidding, my birthday is all but forgotten since Sugar came along. It’s our fault that it’s this way. When she was about two, we took her to the Olive Garden on MY birthday (hers was still two days away!) and she had a screaming fit that they sang Happy Birthday to me and not her. What did we do about it? We asked them to come and sing to her. Yeah, we did. Our own fault. Totally.
Now’s she’s the ripe old age of eleven and still expects parades and roses and hamsters on every birthday. Spice is the same way, so obviously I’m doing something wrong in the way I am raising them. Or I could take a glance over at some behaviors I see on the OTHER SIDE of the family tree and blame them. But, then I'm scared because said individuals are in their 60's and 40's and MY KIDS WON'T BE LIKE THAT FOREVER, WILL THEY??
On Saturday morning, the girls finally started back up with their ice skating lessons. We hadn’t brought them since last year because we were busy with the move and kitchen remodel. There’s one eight-week session left before summer, so we signed them up. We are too late for taking part in the recital, so it’s just lessons for now. I paid for the lessons and settled down to read my book while they skated. I never even picked it up. I was surprised and in awe of how much they retained. Spice didn’t even do her “lay down and play dead on the ice" trick this time. Sugar is learning new jumps. I feel a little twinkly inside when I watch them.
I should state here that Sugar and I had long-standing plans for a shopping trip Saturday afternoon, just her and me. As we were about 45 minutes from home at the rink and Spice was with us, I figured it would be obvious that we were going home to leave Spice with her dad and hang out for a while. But no, we get in the car and Sugar says, “What are we doing next?” Really? “We are going home. You said this shopping trip was to be you and I, what would I do with Spice, leave her in the car??” So we went home and I took a nap, then got ready for the mall.
I’ll be honest, I was dreading it. I’ve been feeling like anything I do for Sugar just is not enough. I feel like I never EVER meet her expectations. I don’t buy her enough things, I don’t spend enough time with her, I don’t do enough for her… I just don’t understand where I’ve gone so terribly wrong. I knew that this year she wanted a dog/rabbit/guinea pig/gerbil/hamster for her birthday and EN and I agreed that we have enough pets so we told her no… and kept telling her no, despite posters, cards, texts and emails sent in an attempt to convince us that a new pet was a good idea. I figured that the final round of “No pet for your birthday” would be fought at the mall and we’d leave angry.
However, I was surprised beyond belief at what a nice time we had. She never even mentioned the hamster. We shopped in her favorite stores. We sat side by side and she got her first pedicure ever. She used the money I gave her in lieu of a party to buy a new iPod. We left happy and our feet looked fabulous.
|Man with tattoos like that should be rubbing on Mama's|
feet, not Sugar's... Just sayin'.
Next on the agenda was dinner with Fly Girl and Bella, and EN and Spice. We went to a Japanese grill where the food is cooked right in front of you. I’m embarrassed to say that was the first time I went to a place like that. We loved it! Spice asked on Sunday if we could have that for dinner again. They never eat that well and both nearly cleared their plates-and Sugar was using chopsticks! Why is it that my kid can use them (I taught her!!) but I can’t?
On Sunday Sugar was off to an indoor water park with her Girl Scout troop. When I picked her up in the afternoon, I was asked to drive another girl home. As soon as the friend got out of the car, Sugar says, “What’s next?” What’s next is that I am going to go home and nap because I’m exhausted thinking about spending the day at a water park.
Just call me Julie Fucking McCoy. Remember her? The Cruise Director on The Love Boat? I don’t know if it’s the way I’ve raised my kids or if it’s society in general today, but I feel like they expect to have one activity stacked on top of another all weekend long. What’s wrong with taking the damn dog for a walk? Or playing with friends? What’s wrong with just hanging out?
I don’t think my kids are overly spoiled. In fact, I’ve seen them behave very graciously when they receive praise, cards, phone calls, gifts… In fact, I posted on my Facebook that it was Sugar’s party and she was near tears when she read the 20 comments, “These people took time out of their day to wish ME a happy birthday?” Then she asked if she could use my account (because I am Mean Mama and won’t let her have Facebook yet) to say thank you to everyone.
Given that they show other adults their best sides most of the time, I should probably shut up and put up, but I find myself to be so frustrated. I just can’t figure out why I’m so exhausted from trying to do it all, yet I’m made to feel like I’ll never do enough. At least this weekend, for a brief instant, all was right in the world and we had a wonderful time together.