Tag Archives: baby

The Cult of Parties: Staying Focussed When Planning Children’s Birthdays

26 Mar

When I turned six we went to Showbiz Pizza and there exists only a simple Polaroid picture of me wearing a crown.  For my fifth birthday I remember getting a tricycle that was tall and red.  For my fourth birthday my mother made me a strawberry pie and I got a peacock-blue paper parasol.

There were no big party stores selling aisle after aisle of themed paper products back in the early ’80s.  There were no goodie bags handed out as guests left the celebration.  And we all know there was no Pinterest and Instagram. (If you’re like me, then you are particularly irked that you had to plan an entire wedding without a virtual pinboard and had to haul around a scrap-book.)

These days parties are color-coordinated creations full of photo-ops and party favors.  Starting with the very first birthday, they include an elaborate spread where all the food, cakes, plates, and straws match each other.  Striped straws, to be exact, preferably in little glass milk-bottles filled with the perfectly colored beverage (sans food-coloring, naturally).  We create backdrops, not only for this optimal display of edibles, but also for pictures of all the gorgeous, exceptional children attending.  For more flare, we even use photo props as well, like a little gold-glittered bow-tie on a stick to hold in front of a toddler (he will lick it). We have hand-crafted party games complete with costumes and take-home gifts.  The cakes are covered in fondant and the pictures of the darling Little eating that cake?  (It’s called a “smash cake”, by the way). They were taken two weeks ago in an antique high-chair in the middle of a pasture, bathed in golden sunlight.

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Livin Without You

17 Aug

I was telling a story to my hairdresser today, talking about my husband.  As the facts unfolded in the form of answers to his questions, his eyes popped with intrigue hearing the tale.  It made me think about how revealing facts linearly is so different from giving pieces of picture one at a time and letting the listener put the puzzle together.  I actually think the hairdresser might have gotten a better image of who the HD really is because of the piece-by-piece story, rather than if I had started at the beginning.

Maybe that’s why I need to do with writing.  Just give a piece at a time, and let the picture come together.  It’s very organic that way.

I never know where a post is going to go when I sit down to write.  I just begin.  The ending comes naturally.

Saturday a friend of my brother’s told me I needed to write a book.  If I had a nickel…

This year might be worth writing about.  So might last year.  Or 2002.  They all added pieces.  Sometimes I feel like the only way I could tell my story would be to write it out like Steinbeck’s “East of Eden” and give the entire background of my life, and my husband’s, for three generations so that our story made sense.  Had context.

So much is out of context.  Even context itself, though, is dependent on perspective.  None of it is objective.  I guess the story only exists the way I tell it.  The way someone else would tell it is a completely different story.

Yesterday I had a fabulous day with my boy.  Young G and I went to a park, ate at Chick-fil-A, played outside, played in the bath, and had a lot of good laughs and toddler-conversation.  All day I thought, “I should get a furnished apartment for the next six months.  Forget living with family; let’s just hunker down together.” I decided we’d go to Charleston, where the HD and I lived before the Army.  There’s a wonderful church there that I missed, and it felt good to be near it.  I actually searched Craigslist.

Then night fell, and the quiet made it hard for me to rest.  I stayed up much too late waiting for sleep to overtake me.  I got up out of bed three times.  I forgot to lock one of the doors.  My father and his wife are gone for the week for work, and will be back tomorrow, so the last two nights Young G has been dependent only on me.  Not a problem, except that I just don’t do well alone.  In grad-school I lived alone and never slept well until I could hear my neighbor start his shower every morning.  I’m scared of defending myself alone in a house overnight, and terrified with a little one.

So it remains that I shall be rambling along from house to house. Never the Queen, always the subordinate.  But at least I’m at ease when I’m at rest.

In seven months my maniacal protector will return.  I never feel more safe than when I’m with my HD, because he’s psycho.  He doesn’t just swat flies, you know, he lures them in and suffocates them.  Any intruder in our home would be tortured — psychologically — by the experience.  I love this about my husband.  If you knew his story it would make sense.

 

No Two Hours Alike

24 Jun

I’m wearing headphones right now, listening to Van Morrison sing “Tupelo Honey”. It’s a little after nine o’clock tonight, and I’m hoping to go to sleep soon. The song is repeating for the first time now. Tomorrow when I get up I’ll set up a yard sale for my mother and hope to successfully get strangers to haul off the crap that has clogged her garage for seven years. Since coming to live here in April I’ve been attempting to make her home a better place, by using my youthful energy and my need to expend it.

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Ignorance

7 Jul

I’m in love with home, and it doesn’t even bother me that both my parents are here together.  I missed the smell of the South East, the sound of cicadas, and the reserved classiness of the Atlantic Ocean.  Normally my parents — who have spent only two occasions together in the last ten years, one being my college graduation and the second my wedding — getting together is a stressful event.  But today I didn’t mind because they were here to just be family.  The Baby is all they care about, and that through me, so them being with their Grandson is all I care about too!

Getting here was arduous, though.  What was supposed to be a mere eight-hour flight became a twelve-hour one, and that only got me to my lay-over.  Fortunately the final leg was a 44 minute hop.  Young G doesn’t like to be held for long periods of time, and he doesn’t normally fall asleep while being held (unless he’s being worn and I’m walking).  So I had to wait until he was too weary to possibly stay awake any longer, at which point my neighbor was thoroughly dissatisfied with her misfortune of being seated beside us.  Well, I assume she was.  She never said one word to me for 12 hours.  Even when we were parked on the ground in Oklahoma City for two hours. Continue reading

Value

27 May

Asleep in my arms on the beach after an afternoon meal.

Thud

30 Mar

… Just because I’m an expert doesn’t mean I’m perfect.

Today Young G rolled off my bed with a thud.  I covered the ten feet between us in a bound and had him in my arms before he could let out the first wail, but oh my, did he wail!

My heart raced and my head spun thinking of the pain his whole little body must feel from the two-and-a-half foot drop.  I held him close until finally my thoughts calmed enough for me to inspect him. No blood.

He began to nurse quickly and I checked his limbs. His skull seemed intact.  His eyes weren’t unfocused.

Dear Jesus! Protect my child in spite of me!