The here and now and a bit of way back then

I relived my journey to 40 and found there's so much more to say

Just with an extra helping of cake

on June 6, 2015

There’s about an hour and a half left to celebrate of Husband’s Birthday for this year. I hope he’s had a good Birthday so far and I know he’ll say it’s been good because of #1, 2 and 3.

Equally I know it would also be fair to say that there have been more eventful, Grown Up fun filled Birthdays he’s had than today. 

If you have spent your own Birthday around small people then you will know that it’s actually not your Birthday at all. Sadly though, it’s doesn’t mean the aging process doesn’t happen either. 

The morning started promising enough. #1, 2 and 3 all said ‘Happy Birthday Daddy’ without any prompting. Husband got a rare but well earned ‘lie in’ until 8.40am. Then #2 and 3 were very helpful in the kitchen breaking eggs onto the floor and beating egg shells to make a specially textured scrambled eggs. We had bacon on the go and a chocolate cake in the oven that they all had some form of contribution towards.

For a blissful moment I thought to myself that perhaps this year when presenting Husband with presents and cake from #1, 2 and 3 that it actually would be from them. Because up to now, I think it’s been pretty obvious that they haven’t been pulling their weight and have actually just been taking credit for all my work.

Even when it’s been their own work, Husband has still assumed it’s been my work which sort of makes me feel like I ought to be a bit offended. I mean, have you seen how haphazardly those bags of beer flavoured Jelly Belly beans were wrapped up? A great effort for a six year old but for me? Really? I can do folding along straight lines with a sharp crease very well. 

Actually it has been a lot more fun this year letting #1, 2 and 3 take responsibility for choosing their own presents. But I think Husband already knew what they had got him as #2 was very generous with her hints. Such as ‘These beer Jelly Belly beans are not for you Daddy’. And #1 was busy waving his gift around which was a singing Elvis M&Ms dispenser.  #3 was clutching her gift and declaring ‘Mine, mine,mine’. 

No sooner had they handed over their offerings, or in the case of #3 not at all, they then proceeded to unwrap their gifts for Daddy and exclaim with great surprise what was inside. Almost like this was news to them too. It appears this year is still not the year we will be opening our own presents. Not unless we secretly hoard a couple in the cupboard like you do with your good chocolate and biscuits and eat them clandestinely. 

I think it may feel more like your Birthday when it falls on a week day and small people are safely away in school. At least then you may get the chance to have a Grown Ups lunch instead of sharing your birthday morning with 25 other small people at a Birthday party in a children’s play centre. Followed by your own small people opening your presents and cards and blowing out the Birthday candles on the Birthday cake they have already started tucking into whilst it was still cooling. Then going out for your Birthday tea and sharing your dinner with them and then having to contend with a couple of meltdowns because for #1, 2 and 3 the day has been quite something with the event of two helpings of cake today.

In the company of small people, Birthdays, holidays, anniversaries and any special event are on the whole, like any other day. Just with an extra helping of cake. To them they haven’t quite grasped that if it’s not all about them. Even if it’s just for one day. Or if they do get that it’s not all about them, it can be easily forgotten. And that’s perfectly ok. 

Sometimes the excitement of a special day and our expectations of it having to be perfect is often what leads to disappointment. When there are small people involved, you learn to accept that whilst it should be about you, for the moment it’s still mostly about them. And that we need to learn to share too, just like they have to. Whilst once we probably could have had a late lie in with breakfast in bed, followed by a long leisurely lunch and anything that takes your fancy, that will have to be on hold for a while. 

For now, small people need to be told at least a dozen times to get to bed, to stay in bed, to stop their moaning and fighting and high pitched screeching taken in offence against some minor slight real or imagined. Then only once they are in bed sleeping so soundly and looking so sweet can you say, ‘it’s my Birthday and I’m going to drink a large old man whiskey, eat a bag of Hula Hoops, enjoy a slice of chocolate without having to share it and watch a film about two F1 racing drivers’.

As I laughed out loud following the frantic last hour of the day that is bath and bedtime, I felt genuinely apologetic to Husband that his Birthday is like most regular days. Just with an extra helping cake. 

Still, I’m sure he’ll agree all Birthdays are good days. 

Happy Birthday Husband. 



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