Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Sunday, February 10, 2013

My Valentine Baby

When I was three days "overdue"* with Ellie, Guy and I went to a Chinese restaurant.  My fortune cookie teased me;
"The wish of your heart will come true tonight."
Yah, that would'a been a nice story.  It would be two more days.  She didn't quite make it to Valentine's day, thank goodness, but I have always
thought of Ellie as my Valentine baby.
Ellie was my fastest labor at only 8 hours.  I got to 9+ centimeters and would be stalled there for several hours.  And then suddenly, BAM! she shot out. I remember looking down and seeing this mop of black hair that reached to her shoulders in the back and thinking, "whose baby is this?"
As a baby Ellie truly looked like Snow White; ivory skin, round, rosy cheeks, red-red lips, and that shiny black hair.  She was a happy baby.  She would go for 36 hours without even fussing a tiny bit.  She was itty-bitty... ridiculously tiny for the first two years.  She learned to walk at 8 and a half months and started running 2 weeks later.  At only about 14 pounds it was a bit frightening to watch.  People would gasp as I set her tiny little self down on the floor and she would dart away.
Ellie learned to wink when she was 6 months old.  She laughed all the time. 
She was a delightful little child. 
age 6
(there should be a lovely little collection of pictures -here- of Ellie, ages birth through 5 years.  Sadly, they are on ROLLS of actual FILM in my closet.  30 of them. The skeletons in there use them for bowling practice.) 

age 8

age 8
age 9
Birthday Girl
age 10
(with all of her presents ON at once. 
Thank you Ruth for the beautiful scripture case.  She loves it!)

Mama usually makes a beautifully decorated cake (or at least one that was intended to be beautiful), but this year Ellie wanted Tres Leches, a firm cake that is soaked in cream and sweetened milks.  It turned out to be uncooperative when it came to the beautiful part.  The milks didn't soak in as well with the new recipe I tried, and the whipped cream slid around all over the top.  I gave up and went with sprinkles and told Ellie it would have to be a party in her mouth.  She was a little sad.
It wouldn't be the only time tonight.
An interesting thing had happened earlier.  Our neighbor who hails from Armenia came by at about 4PM with a giant platter full of Armenian food; barbecued ribs, pork fried rice, hand made flat bread, and lovely scones "to have later with tea".  The smell of that gorgeous food was amazing, and with cake to make and gifts to wrap, I kind of didn't see the point of going ahead with the taquitos and sweet potato fries that had been requested by the birthday girl.  I figured we could have the Armenian food tonight while it was fresh, and the special order for tomorrow.  I asked Ellie, and she said it would be fine,
 though with a slight hesitation that I should have picked up on.
As we were setting the table I noticed Ellie sitting at her place looking a little sad.  When I asked what was wrong she began to cry and said "What was the point that you asked me what I wanted for my birthday dinner
 if we're not even going to have it?"
I felt defensive, (I know, so smart of me.  I am the Rocket Science of good parenting) and tersely asked why she told me we could go ahead with the Armenian food if that wasn't really what she wanted.
"I thought you would get mad at me." she said through tears.
Fabulous.  I so rock this mom thing.  So, not only do I get my feelings hurt when my kids are being (ahem) KIDS, but I have subtly communicated to my children that they need to intuit what their mother wants, smother their own feelings, and go with a program they aren't happy with in order to hopefully please me.  That even when being asked what they want, it is not safe to REALLY say it, because they need to worry about sparing my feelings.
 Where is my award, people?
 I should have an overpass named after me. 
Forget birthday presents, Ellie, here is 50 bucks for your therapy fund. 
 Please don't leave home at 17 with a biker named Thrash.
I don't think well on my feet, but my autopilot said "Make taquitos", so I did.  I grabbed meat off the table, rolled up corn tortillas and TAQUITOED the heck out of 'em.  Guy nuked the frozen fries and then threw them into the broiler.  Somehow it was all done in about 12 minutes.
Ellie was thrilled.  She didn't even seem to mind that there was no monkey on her cake like she had asked for (though I cushioned that blow with the promise of a picture of a monkey for her room.  I figure if I am going to draw something, it may as well be something that won't attract ants).
I think I let Ellie down a lot. 
 I don't know how to be her mom as easily as I do the others, for some reason.  She perplexes me, and I guess I let it show.  I was remembering tonight the three years in my life when nothing was done for my birthday.  On two of those days I made a cake for myself anyway, trying to "fix it". 
Cake can fix a lot of things, but it can't fix that. 

 A little girl shouldn't have to care-take for someone else on her birthday. 
 I learned a big lesson tonight, and it had less to do with a birthday
and more to do with the other 364 days of the year. 

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