Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I'm the Worst Mommy Ever

It's three days past my son's birthday. No four. And he hasn't had a party. Or opened presents. Or eaten cake. Or blown out his candles. He doesn't even know he just turned two. Except that I told him on that day, "Beck, you're two!" After which he said, "One, two, cinco!" so I don't think he got it. He did look kind of intrigued for a second when I also said, "Happy Birthday!" But the concept of a birthday is very abstract for him also. Yesterday I gave him a toothpick hoping to inspire him to eat some of his hot dogs. He speared one slice of hot dog, turned it over, looked at it for a minute and cheerfully exclaimed, "Ha Birday!" Sure, a ring of hot dog with a toothpick sticking out DOES sort of resemble a cake with a candle, but still, I don't think he quite gets it. That should probaly relieve some of my guilt. But it doesn't. Becuase I know that we have skipped his birthday. It wasn't intentional. First, I decided to take on a party the night of his birthday. I didn't figure he'd care since he'd be in bed already. And since we were planning on doing a family party for him the next day. But then he got super sick. Sick like he had shiners of sickness under his weeping eyes, heat rash on his face from his fever, an ear infection, a congested cough, and he turned down all food including cake. CAKE, people! So then I had to text the whole family (I love how technology allows me to get the dirty work down without the details) to let them know that his birthday was postponed. And then once I did that, the joy of not having to scour my house and create an amazing, whimsical train cake from scratch, and the loss of guilt from not having found him the present I wanted to get him in time, made me realize that I really didn't want to throw him a party. He would never know. And Christmas is in 2 1/2 weeks anyway. He'll get plenty of presents then, right? Plus, I'm suffering from a big of relative/money/codependency anger anyway. Not the best disposition for a hostess.

But then the blessing of Mother-Shame descended on me. First of all, you can't skip your child's birthday, even if he's only turning two. Someday he'll look back at his photo album and wonder why there weren't any pictures from his second birthday. And then you'll have to lie and say that the camera was dead that day. Or you'll have to do some quick photoshop work and swap his head with his sister's from her 2nd birthday party and hope he doesn't notice her dress on him. No, better to avoid that route altogether. Also, you can't skip your child's birthday when his birthday is in December. Because then you turn into one of those horrible Scroogy parents who thinks they can get away with one present that counts for the child's birthday and Christmas just because they were unfortunate enough to be born in December. I always swore I'd never do that. But the biggest reason I cannot blow off Beck's birthday is because he is the second child. The notoriously ignored, forgotten, undocumented second child. I am that child also. And so is my husband. Granted, we both turned out awesome. But usually that child is a total screw up. So we both always swore we'd never neglect our second child like every other second child in history was neglected. We swore to make it a goal to give him everything we gave his older sister--the attention, the official documentation at major life events, and the new clothing and toys. Well, we have already failed on some of that. Especially the new toys. And the attention. And the documention at official life events. But he does get new clothes! Pink isn't really his color anyway.

So, now to get back to the planning the birthday party. It's tomorrow. I've texted the family to re-invie them. I've bought the birthday chip cake and small sacks of candy to fill up the cargo cars on the train cake I am going to make. I've scrubbed all the red towel lint out from behind the pedestal sinks in the main bathroom. (Ok, that's a lie. I never do that. It will be there when I die. But I have wiped off the kitchen counter tops. So cut me some slack. OK?) I have ordered the present I wanted to get him...EXPRESS MAIL (Ack! do you know the shipping on that???), so it will get here in time. He is all doped up on Benedryl, Dimatap, Amoxacillan, and Falcon Eye Drops. I'm ready. Is there anything I've forgotten to do? Oh yeah. Change the date on the camera.

10 comments:

Suzie said...

Poor little guy.
I mean, poor in the sense that he is sick, not that anyone...ahem... blew off his birthday or anything.

He'll be fiiine.
How are you?

jennie w. said...

Hello, I made him a cake and gave him presents and took pictures! Why doesn't that count?

CaraDee said...

Jennie is right. That counts. But where are your priorities?? If you can't remember my birthday, how can you expect to remember your son's?? ha ha

Brittany said...

this sounds like a ...um... difficult time. but the way you explained it seriously had me laughing!

Omgirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Omgirl said...

Because we blew off his actual birthday...no presents from us, no singing, no celebration with Big K's side....His actual birthday came and went w/o any notice. But I guess I do feel better that we did something for him a week in advance, even if it wasn't his actual birthday. And that cake was dang good.

rychelle said...

those early years are just "practice years", right? just so long as you've got it down by the time he actually remembers stuff, you're set.

André said...

Maybe not the worst since you haven't sold him into slavery or anything.

Christie said...

He'll never know the difference. HOpefully he is at least feeling better.

Mindi said...

i would totally do this with my kids. hell, he's only two.

you made up for it with the over-achiever cake. BRAVO.