Monday, April 09, 2007

"If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation." - Jean Kerr

Timeline of a birthday

April 1, 2007 3 a.m.
H returns home from a successful poker night/bachelor party
I have been awake since 2 a.m. with a feverish baby

7 a.m.
Seg, Primo, Terzo, and Punto all wake up at the same time
Terzo just wants to be held and is still feverish despite the Motrin

715 a.m.
H wakes up, I go back to bed

915 a.m.
I wake up, go downstairs, and H goes back to bed

930 a.m.
I mix up the birthday cake and put it in the oven to bake

945 a.m.
Terzo goes back to bed

1000 a.m.
I take the baked cake out of the oven and leave it on the table, on a wire rack, to cool

1015 a.m.
I straighten the house, clean the powder room, throw in a load of laundry, and change the vacuum bag so I can vacuum for the first time in a week

1045 a.m.
I leave the boys at home with a sleeping H and take Punto for a long walk in the pouring rain

1130 a.m.
We return sopping wet and tired, but happy
H takes the two older boys out to deliver yard signs for our city council candidate
Yes, in the pouring rain

1145 a.m.
I run the dishwasher for the first time of the day, and make the frosting for the cake

1 p.m.
H and the boys return home, we all eat lunch, and Terzo wakes up

2 p.m.
H and Primo go to the first t-ball practice of the season
Fortunately, it's in a gym, not outside, in the pouring rain
I make Seg go upstairs to try to nap
I frost and decorate the cake

3 p.m.
H’s sister and her two boys arrive on the dot of 3, ever punctual

315 p.m.
H’s mom and dad arrive, followed closely by H’s youngest brother and his son
I am forced to make conversation with this crowd, before having had even a drink
Seg comes downstairs, saying he can’t sleep
Terzo spends the entire time crawling into and out of my lap

4 p.m.
Thank the sweet Lord Jesus that H and Primo return home, thereby removing the conversational burden from my frail shoulders
I retire to the kitchen to get everything ready
H follows quickly behind, to get the grill going
Yes, in the pouring rain

415 p.m.
Seg sees the cake and bursts into tears that it sports merely one hockey player, and not even Marc-Andre Fleury at that
I frantically hunt down an old hockey program and doctor up a Marc-Andre Fleury to tape to the plastic goalie already on the cake
In addition to “Happy Birthday, Seg,” the cake now sports a #29 (Fleury), a #3 (Mark Eaton) and a #87 (Sidney Crosby)
Seg is appeased

5 p.m.
The adults all sit down to eat
There is way too much salt in the deviled eggs and way too much mayo in the potato salad my mother-in-law provided; what can you do?
H’s family makes him return his perfectly grilled, juicy burgers to the grill, to cook the living daylights out of them

545 p.m.
All the kids descend from the third-floor playroom, inhale their dinners, and run back upstairs to continue to wreak havoc
Why must all the blankets and sheets be taken off the boys’ beds, and why does Mimi need a new fairly obscene and anatomically correct tattoo, inked by Seg’s 9-year-old cousin?

550 p.m.
Said 9-year-old cousin’s mother marches him upstairs and helps him scrub off Mimi
Mimi hasn’t been this clean in thirty years

555 p.m.
I take the cake out of the fridge to get ready for candles
It sits on the kitchen table, in all its hockey glory, awaiting a match
I empty the dishwasher, load it up again, and start it

605 p.m.
Seg opens his presents
He literally screams and jumps for joy upon opening his Fleury t-shirt
He also seems to like the Ben Roethlisberger t-shirt his aunt gave him, and the soccer ball and card game his other cousins gave him
He likes his trains but thinks that the treasure train car is actually holding a gingerbread house, and I can see why he is confused

615 p.m.
Punto has eaten the cake
Or at least three-quarters of it
Fortunately, the plastic goalie is unscathed

617 p.m.
H has thrown the dog outside and gone to Whole Foods to buy a cake
I tell Seg that the dog has eaten his birthday cake
He has an initial reaction of crying and tears, but comes out of it ok, once I promise to write both "Happy Birthday" and some player numbers on the new cake

625 p.m.
I get on the phone to various pet-owner friends, the vet one of them has recommended, and then the emergency vet

635 p.m.
H returns with a vegan chocolate fudge cake with vanilla frosting
I write “Happy Birthday Seg” on it with the leftover black frosting from the first cake, we light the candles, and sing Happy Birthday to a beaming Seg

645 p.m.
H’s mom and sister deal with the cake-slicing and ice cream scooping while H and I pour a quarter-cup of hydrogen peroxide down Punto’s throat, per the emergency vet’s instructions

655 p.m.
I have just sat down to eat my cake and ice cream, and drink my coffee, when H’s sister looks out the kitchen window and says “Uh oh.”
The hydrogen peroxide has done its job
Punto is happily scarfing down his regurgitated mess

710 p.m.
I scrub my hands thoroughly after having shoveled what seems like gallons of dog vomit into a trash bag and scrubbed off the back porch
My coffee is cold, my ice cream is melted, and my appetite is gone

715 p.m.
H and his mom clear up the kitchen, and empty and load up the dishwasher, while I put a feverish Terzo to bed with another teaspoon of Motrin and a bottle

730 p.m.
I return downstairs
Everyone has taken their leave, and H’s dad as usual has left twenty-dollar bills in his wake
I gather these up from the floor when the boys aren’t looking, to add to their discretionary-spending funds

8 p.m.
I read a few pages of Seg’s new Titanic book to the boys
Sweet dreams, right?!

810 p.m.
I tuck the boys into their beds, track down a missing Mimi, and teach Primo how to count off seconds between lightning flashes and thunderclaps, to determine how far away the storm is
Then I curl up next to Seg, sing him his special song, and tell him all about the day he was born
I narrowly avoid having to have a sex-ed moment with Primo by telling him to mind his own business and that he can ask me those questions when it’s HIS birthday

845 p.m.
I straighten the house, switch the laundry loads, make my to-do list for tomorrow, and put away the clean dishes
I turn the dishwasher on for the third time today
The damn dog, who has been let back into the house due to the storm, barks at the cats and wakes up Terzo

945 p.m.
I finally crawl into bed with my computer, my book (Lisa Scottoline’s Devil’s Corner), and a mug of hot, strong tea
Talk myself out of adding a healthy slug of whiskey to the steaming cup

1000 p.m.
Terzo awakes, wailing and feverish
I just pick him up and bundle him into bed with me
He is happy enough about this, but is determined to occupy every last inch of space on the bed

April 2 2007 3 a.m.
Lather, rinse, repeat
Terzo has been deposited back into his crib, where he awakens every hour or so, wailing
I blearily decide that three children is way more than enough - possibly too many, like maybe three too many - and get out of my bed to move my birth control pills into the cabinet with my Zoloft, so I do not forget to take one ever, EVER again


Badger said...

That right there is why I don't have a dog (anymore). And why I made DH get snipped after the girl was born.

Anonymous said...

After reading that, I think I need a nap.

Happy birthday to Seg, and I hope the baby feels better soon.

You are so strong.

TLB said...

Personally I would have gone for the whiskey.

Joke said...

Inlaws how like their beef "carbonized" are a warning sign.



Anonymous said...

Oh good God. What an appalling day. You need a back rub or something.

Sarah Louise said...

It's sort of like the universe decided to pull every last vengeful April Fool's trick on you. Glad you survived to tell the tale. (And reading it, I can see why it took a week for the tale to reach us.)

This sort of day explains hostile baby rocking songs such as Rock a bye baby.

You deserve a medal or something--a medal that would be redeemable for a massage...

Anonymous said...

Oh man, that is a humdinger of a day!

I was cleaning up dog poop today wondering why I had three of them.

Like I don't clean enough poop. :)

Iamthebookworm said...

Wow! You had quite a day! Rest and relax. You deserve it.

Lynne@Oberon said...

My God! I am a wreck and have developed a nervous tic in my right eye just reading that!

I just KNEW the dog was going to eat the cake ... dogs always do. You could leave a roast dinner and zebra carcass on the kitchen floor, but if no-one else wants then the dog won't either. But the moment the thing is important that is when the dog knows it's time to make his move and demolish it all. Animal cunning, or something.

I hope Terzo gets over his fever with lots of rest.

Stomper Girl said...

Happy Birthday to Seg. And well done you : heroic!!

Anonymous said...

My old dog ate an entire chocolate cake once, and he only weighed 30 pounds. I found him in the living room, flat on his back with his tummy stretched taut and about to pop. I'd never heard a dog moan until that day.

3:15 - 4 p.m. made me cringe. Couldn't you sneak a nip? Poor thing.