Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I'm sure I'll regret posting this. I'll probably delete it in the morning. But for now...

I worked really hard today. I baked two cakes. I made chili and prepared munchies for 15 people. I cleaned the house up. I cleaned myself up.

I knew it would be hard for the kids, especially Daniel, to wait until 5 o’clock when our guests were supposed to arrive, so I made sure I had distractions: Pokeman balls just before lunch, then an early present of Spiderman movies around 2.

Just after 1 o’clock I got a message from Michelle (representing a third of our invited guests) saying she was sick or whatever, and wouldn’t be coming. Somehow, I was neither as surprised nor as sympathetic as perhaps I should have been.

At exactly 5:05, Daniel got the go ahead to start opening presents. A bit of a frantic moment ensued as I tried to get rolls out of the oven at the same time as keep Daniel focused on which gift came from whom, and the whole “come on now, let’s not be so greedy” meme. None of the other adults in the room took a break from their own scintillating conversation, nor even spared a glance at the birthday boy as he tore through his pile of packages. And, let me think, did they help clean up the wrapping paper? Um, no. They did not.

After dinner, I made coffee, found candles, carried both cakes over to the table and asked everyone back for dessert. Only Daniel, Emma, and Amanda came. I was the only one willing to sing. My asshole husband, who was out on the veranda talking to his father about some goddamn fish, couldn’t be bothered to come in until the candles had been blown out and the coffee had been poured.

Daniel didn’t touch his cake.

No one thanked me for all the worked I’d done to make that dinner something slightly special.

In fact, the only thing I did all day that I feel like made the slightest bit if difference, was even remotely worthwhile, was hear Amanda’s cry of true pain when Daniel tore the Nintendo she was holding out of her hands, pinching the tender skin between her thumb and pointer finger as it snapped shut. I was doing the dishes; once again the others around the table didn’t skip a beat in their conversation, even when she howled a second time and ran off to her room. But I recognized the cry for what it was. I went into her, and soothed her, and shushed her as she sobbed into my neck that she was only trying to help.

Daniel wouldn’t hug me tonight before he went to bed.

And I know it’s just because he was too excited, too pre-occupied with his new toys to be bothered with his mother’s prickly pride. But it’s just too much. All these minor slights, all these trivial disappointments of the day are ricocheting through me tonight, lighting up all my edgy buttons and making me feel like a faulty pinball machine.

I feel so sad, and so alone. And I don’t want to feel this way on my son’s 6th birthday.


Queen LaTeacha said...

I'm so sorry about how your day and your efforts went that's not right. They probably went unnoticed, but if you were to ask anybody there, they'd say sure they appreciate everything you do. I have to agree the recognition would be nice, especially from the man of the house.

Clearly Daniel was overly excited, and probably you were overly tired. I'm not the only one who'll know how much work it was for you. Other moms know these things! Maybe you should've sent one of the cakes flying across the room!

la dragon said...

That just sucks and it's not fair. I can relate, as can other moms (as QL points out) but it doesn't make it feel any less yucky, does it? I'm sorry. You can probably claim that hug from Boy now that he's calmed down a bit, right? Tell him you need it.

la dragon said...

PS -- who were these other guests who could be so callously oblivious to the birthday cake and such? What did they do when you told them it was time to come and sing to the birthday boy?

Amy said...

I'm sorry. I hate days like that.

I remember trying to make Ethan's first birthday after Brent & I had seperated really special. He was over-excited which then turned to frustration when he couldn't get the "must-have" toy to work. So he threw it in the garbage.

It just pushed all the wrong buttons at the wrong time.

Anonymous said...

Ah JEDA JEDA, that's really poo that you had a crap day. No real surprises that M didn't turn up but still shit that she waited until the 11th hour to contract the bubonic plague or whatever it was!

I would have been there with knobs on (if I was invited). Actually that's not strictly true as I was sunning myself in Menorca at the time, but I would have been there in spirit!

Here's a tip from the stingy Scottish wifie: Get the guests to bring a dish of food with them! Why should you do all the work? PAH