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Happy Birthday to Me (?)

2 years ago

763 words

Photo: Dear Pumpkin, what? Where did you come from? We didn’t think you were going to grow! And now it’s… well, it’s late, bro! What are you doing!? We are grateful for your existence, even cheering you on and reveling in the sight of you, yet we mourn you a bit… the first frosts will be here soon, and you probably don’t have much of a chance. You sure have taught us a lot though. The Husband and I already have our melon/pumpkin patch marked out for next year! Digging starts next weekend!


Being a suburban mother with young children means fighting in Wegmans with your four-year-old about your own damn birthday cake.

I should back up. I didn’t even really want a birthday cake, and I certainly didn’t want to be in Wegman’s today. But this morning, which was fraught with issues anyway because of one Mister Ursa Major, I got into a conversation that set events into motion. The scene is the upstairs landing, just outside of the boy’s bedroom:

Minor, on the floor, crying.

Me: Baby, what’s wrong, sweetie? Why are you crying?

Minor: Because it’s not Friday!

Me, groaning: Ok, well… I’m sorry about that!

(Context: as you recall, Friday mornings are for muffins. He was disappointed he was subject to eating cereal this morning.)

Crying continues. Major sighs with his own impatience. He isn’t helping.

Me, desperate for a distraction: Well, as you may recall, something special happens tomorrow.

Minor, only slightly interested: What? What special?

Me: Well, tomorrow is someone’s birthday.

Major and Minor, simultaneously: Mine?

Me, smiling through my pain: No.

Major: Oh. It’s Daddy’s.

Lord in Heaven. Me: No… he had his birthday last month.

Minor, not old enough to read context clues: So, whose birthday is it?

Major, old enough to read context clues, fingers on his chin: Um, wait. Is it…your birthday, Mommy?

Me: Why yes! It is!

Minor: Oh great! That means there will be cake!

Major: And ice cream!

Me: Well… I mean… Mommy doesn’t love ice cream… I was thinking we’d try–

Major and Minor, alarmed: No ice cream? 

Me: I’m just saying that I’d prefer sushi and a beer, and maybe a cupcake, but Mommy doesn’t live for sweet, so–

Major and Minor, not listening, still alarmed: Sushi? No way! 


It was a hole I couldn’t dig myself out of. In order to get my children down the damn stairs and to the damn breakfast table, I had to promise cake and ice cream for tomorrow. And that meant a trip to Wegmans because there was no way in hell I was spending my day baking my own damn birthday cake.

So there I was, with my four-year-old, fighting with him about my own damn birthday cake. I picked up a pre-made round chocolate cake with beautiful red roses

and Minor thought it was the end of the world.

“No! I want you to pick the one with blue flowers!” 

Baby, it ain’t your birthday, and it ain’t your cake!”

We fought as I walked it over to the bakery counter. We fought as I handed the stupid cake to the baker and asked, stupidly, for him to put “Happy Birthday, Kyra” on it.

“I want the words in yellow!”

Me, to the baker, smiling brightly: “Can I have it in red, please?”


Me, with a sigh: “Fine. Yellow.”

We fought as I wheeled my full cart of groceries with my heavy and annoying four-year-old with one hand through the grocery store toward the checkout, carefully cradling my precious birthday cake with pretty buttercream frosting in my other hand.

And we fought as the checkout lady carelessly and clumsily shook and jostled my cake as she rang out in, flipping it completely on its side, it’s bottom sliding up a bit, the pretty red roses smooshed on the top, leaving pretty red smeers on the plastic, mixed, of course, with a bit of yellow.

She didn’t even notice.

Happy birthday to me.

And this was all a very welcome distraction. I’ve been so freaked out about the debate all day that I actually would rather fight with my child than think about it.

At least I have happy thoughts of the firepit to think about.


You need one of these in your life, Dear Reader. It’s the greatest of all things. Better than television. My locs smell like the sweet smelling smoke and I’m elated by it.

Ok… 10 minutes until the apocalypse. Better pour some wine.

Until Wednesday, stay focused, and take care.


7 Replies to “Happy Birthday to Me (?)”

    the patience you have. my goodness.
    i laughed & shook my head reading this post.
    wishing you a fabulous birthday, and much joy this next go around the sun.

    i’m glad that you have a fire pit!
    ah – that smell of woodsmoke steeped in the hair is just heavenly.

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