It’s my husband’s birthday next week. Every year I try to plan something special to do for him – a special dinner out, an overnight outing or cook something special. The thing is, the track record isn’t good. Most times the big birthday surprises turn out badly. The food is crappy at the restaurant, the hotel is a bit dingier than pictured or the birthday boy falls asleep before dinner is served.
So, this year he is turning 40. Extra pressure on wifey to find the perfect gift, the perfect activity, the perfect way to celebrate the BIG 40.
Remember when the best birthday ever was an ice cream cake and all your friends from down the street? Super gifts included awesome rock posters and swatch watches? And, who can forget their 21st birthday full of alcohol, alcohol and even more alcohol. Milestone birthdays are challenging. After 21, they all seem to go down hill.
I have wracked my brains. I got nothing. What do you get for someone turning 40? It’s not like the birthday boy is super ecstatic about the big day anyway.
Anyone have any ideas for me? Who knows the perfect gift for a man-boy turning 40?
Those of you without children won’t really get this. Until you have one of the little things in front of you and get to squeeze it and play with it and deal with it on a regular basis, there isn’t any way to explain the feeling.
My kid is the best ever. Super best.
I am completely aware that this is not true and that the majority of parents out there feel the same way about their children. I am very aware that my baby doesn’t fully understand the constant stream of compliments, praise and utter adoration I slather upon her. It is probably for the best (as I have been scolded on the ways of over-praising).
But, for right now, I don’t really care what anyone else thinks or says. My baby is the best baby ever. Even when she hasn’t slept the night before, when she has decided she is going to pull all the CD’s that she can reach out of their cases over and over again or finds pulling my hair and pinching my upper arms extremely entertaining.
She still is the best baby ever. Mainly because she is my baby. And, I love her to bits.
My child has decided she no longer requires sleep. I, on the other hand, still find it somewhat necessary. For some reason, the darkness of night, the nice warm bottle, the soft twinkling tunes and the nurturing plastic paci no longer lull my wee one into sweet oblivion. Nope. She has decided to just stay awake.
Sure, she fell asleep while we were running errands in the car today. Short little snippets of sleep between stops. I wanted to curl up in the back seat next to her, but refrained and tried to interact with my husband. I didn’t do well.
The previous night I listened to her as she hummed in her crib, threw her paci to the ground, gummed her mouth along the edges of her crib and chewed on her blankets. Every 30 minutes or so I would shuffle into her room to do who knows what hoping it would encourage her to settle down and go to sleep. Sometimes she would trick me with a short amount of silence, enough for me to just barely enter a dream, and then the sound of plastic hitting the floor would waken me.
So, what to do? Dose baby with Children’s Tylenol? Duck tape baby to the crib? Slowly go insane? It’s not like she is wailing away all night. It’s not like she is screaming bloody murder not being rocked or cuddled back to sleep. Nope. She is having a lovely time just relaxing in her crib. Not sleeping.
Maybe tonight will be the night. Maybe tonight I will get a couple hours of sleep. Maybe.
So, it is a new year, which means resolutions. Things you aren’t going to do anymore, or lots of things you plan to do.
I say instead of making resolutions, a new year is the time to clean the house and properly dust the corners, wash the linens and pull out all those skeletons from the back of the closet. That hidden pack of smokes that are so stale the thought of even lighting one up makes your lungs hurt. That box of pictures from high school when your hair was bigger than life. The baby clothes that aren’t going to fit the baby anymore. The collection of food bits at the back of the cupboard that wont ever be snacked on.
That’s right, go through every drawer, every nook and cranny. Pull out all those clothes that you never had the heart to donate, the collection of notebooks full of pointless poetry and the textbooks leftover from high school (most of those countries don’t even exist anymore).
Take a good look at it all. Really, take a super good look at it. Remind yourself why you can’t part with the junk (except for the food bits, those you should throw away). Take a walk down memory lane and think about how you got to where you are today in this new year. This stuff is part of you – it has been with you for a while for some absurd reason. You haven’t thrown it out.
Make sure to dust everything off before you put it back. Invest in a couple big plastic containers to keep the photos safe and to store those silly ring binders full of writings. If it is all organized, it takes up less space. This way next year, it will be easier to get it all out to look at it again.
And the good thing is you probably burned some calories while doing it all.