I think it was Jacob's first birthday when I really discovered that the way things really go is not how you planned it in your head. When he woke up on that momentous occasion with a crusty nose and fever, uncomfortable and cranky while friends and family celebrated his birth, I knew in my heart that this whole parenting thing wasn't going to go down like I had imagined it would.
Every birthday, Christmas, vacation, and the like has confirmed that theory. While they are all memorable and special, I compare it to trying to get a puppy to sit for a photo shoot... it sounds all cute and precious but chances are you'll end up sweaty and frustrated, up to your elbows in poop.
But it doesn't keep me from finding myself with that glimmer of hope that it will be the magic and memory that I dreamed of when fantasizing of being a mom in my younger days. Case in point, my birthday celebration.
The way it would go in my head:
Jeff takes three kids to pottery place to make handmade goodies for mom to treasure.
Jacob leads the pack in making Mom a homemade cake.
Mom comes home to discover kids and Dad have prepared celebration for her big day.
A baker's age-appropriate beautiful cake -- my favorite Angel Food -- makes Mom tear up.
All of that happened -- check, check, check! But then reality sets in.
A tantrum so severe, it knocks a kid out...
No candles to be found except a random #6... A birthday song without said tantrumer.
Handmade gifts not ready at the store when it was said they would be. In fact, not even ready two days later. It wasn't until Mom gets on the horn during tantrum boy's antics and has 12-year-old worker call owner of the store who calls back and gets an earful from Mom letting owner know she will NOT allow her children to be crying that the gifts they made for Mom aren't ready and the birthday party is ruined. Owner gets the message and finds a friend to deliver said gifts in less than an hour -- crisis averted.
Mom loves gifts from her angels, poses while tantrum boy sleeps unaware that his gift has arrived.
I won't bore you with the details of the dinner filled with "but I wanted THAT" and cups of milk being dumped... and the battle that ensued during pajama time, where tantrum boy awoke to find that the party had gone on without him.
I will just say that Dad, before leaving us all for his 8 hours in the office, found Mom cowering in the corner with the best birthday gift there is -- wine.