Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations. ~ Faith Baldwin
Baby’s first birthday is this weekend. How did this happen? Where did the time go? I swear, it’s only been two weeks. Maybe three, if we account for the fact that my brain dribbled out my ear in the first trimester, and that therefore I may well have forgotten how to read a calendar. Or tell time. Or count. Or all of the above.
So let’s examine this more closely. I’m pretty sure that it took me roughly sixty-two years to reach the age of eighteen.
I was in college for fifteen minutes.
The first eight years of my marriage lasted … um, eight years, I think. Weird.
I was pregnant for at least three years (this is approximate, since a precise measurement cannot be determined due to brain dribble).
Baby’s first year has lasted three weeks. On the outside.
So that makes me seventy-three years, three weeks, and fifteen minutes old. I’m well-preserved, though (through a patented pickling process involving dill, vodka, and fairy dust — and which will be the topic of another post. If I don’t forget.)
Now, if the average life expectancy for an American female is 80.8 years (thank you, Wikipedia), then I’ll probably be dead by the end of the year.
I guess I’d better start living for today, and all that rubbish.
But before I start with the life/attitude overhaul precipitated by my impending doom, I have a child’s birthday party to plan.
Since this is his first birthday, I don’t think I need to do this on too large a scale. I mean, it’s really for the grown-ups anyway, right? So I’ll keep it simple. Only one pony. Two or three inflatable joy buildings (which other people call ‘moonwalks’ and ‘slides’, but I know what they really are). Fireworks. Strippers. You know, just the basics.
Okay, so we won’t be having any of those things. But isn’t it entertaining to know that there are actually parents who would do that stuff? Because there are.
We’re only inviting family and one set of friends (who have a baby Baby’s age). There will be cupcakes and wine. Some balloons, safely out of the babies’ reach. And that’s it.
So why am I freaking out so much over it?
Okay, so yeah, I live in a rental house, and every time I manage to get one thing really clean it only seems to show up just how filthy other things are. It took me the better part of eight months to get all the accumulated brown gunge out of the toilet bowl. So I’m trying to clean the dirt that my family has made, as well as years worth of dirt from other people. By Sunday.
Then there’s the yard. We have a nice, big back yard — well, by Baltimore City standards, anyway. There’s very little grass in it, because we’re the first people in years to rake up the dead leaves. And it’s covered in tiny, glittery shards of glass, due to some hard-partying previous tenants who also left holes in the walls (can I just mention that our landlord comes thisclose to sending us love letters? He wants us to stay for always.) We were prepared to deal with that, in the name of birthday festivities.
But this week we discovered that our yard — ALL OF IT, EVERY INCH — is infested with ground bees. Normally I like bees just fine, especially ones that are known for being fairly chillaxed in the stinging department, but I can’t have a pair of babies hanging out on ground that could produce a swarm at any moment. There go all those sweet, sunshine, baby-birthday-party photos I had planned on taking. Guess this party will be mostly inside (good thing I never booked that pony.)
And then there’s Baby himself. He is especially talented at injuring himself in ways that are minor but make it look like he is horribly neglected (at best) or possibly beaten (at worst). He gave himself a black eye last weekend by falling into a chair leg. He sliced his cheek with a fingernail on one of the two days this week that I was attempting/struggling to clip them. And he gave himself a big red mark across the bridge of his nose by faceplanting into a shelf. This child is almost enough to make me buy an in-the-house-helmet-for-overprotected-babies. Almost.
It’s going to be lots of fun. Yes, there’s lots to do to make everything the way I want it, but even if it isn’t, I know that nobody who’s there is going to judge me too terribly harshly for having ten years worth of grunge on the baseboards.
And there will be presents. I’m really excited about the presents. I know that Baby will love them, and it’s all I can do not to go into the present-hiding spot (the guest room; I’m not super-stealth) and play with them. Toys for little kids are the BEST.
And on top of everything else, I have decided that Baby, since he will no longer be a baby, needs a new blog name. One that will work for him for a long time — or at least, until I get tired of it and change it again. This will be the Internet’s birthday gift to him — I would like to ask my beloved 24 readers to help me with this. Does anyone have any suggestions about what to call my beautiful baby as he enters toddlerhood? Please, leave lots of comments!
Update: Voting is closed! Thanks everyone for the great suggestions!