|Mills. At her birthday party. The first one. Just lost a tooth. Can't wait for the other one to fall out. Love that look.|
Today, was my daughter, Mills', 8th birthday. I spent most of the day running around pulling her favorite meal together, and looking for my 5-year-old, Eva's birth certificate, so I could enroll her in Kindergarten.
I can pretty much sum up my day, just like that. Mills wanted ribs, of all things, so I found some precooked ones at The Giant Eagle supasto', along with steam in a bag, corn on the cob, a salad bag, some winter watermelon (umm, my favorite), and corn muffins, yes, again, from a package.
This is probably the most nutritious meal my family has had in six months. I bought some cookies from my favorite local bakery, The Goodie Shop, for her class "treat" and a six pack of assorted cupcakes, to enjoy as the crescendo for her birthday fiesta.
I am not a total louse, this previous weekend, Mills had 5 of her friends for a sleepover birthday party, where I refrained from yelling at any of them, and I took them to my other local goodie shop, The Chocolate Cafe for dinner and chocolate fondue.
|Mills and her peeps. Tooooo cute. How quickly we forget.|
On the morning of Mills' birthday, she was presented with two Justin Beiber toothbrushes I scored off of Groupon (one doesn't work, dammit), and a light pink bunny case for her Ipod Touch (off some obscure website) that was too big because it was meant to be used on an IPhone. Didn't read the small print. Probably because it was in Mandarin. But, whatever.
Hallie gave her, her black bunny one, I am sure now, with the full intention of getting a new one for herself, but at the time, she swore it was true altruism. We'll see.
Mills had a birthday dinner, yet again, at her grandparents' house Saturday night, and has another one all lined up for this Thursday, when we go to visit my parents in Louisville, over Spring Break.
Soooo, we finish up my scrumptious dinner, which everyone ate for a change, because it was chock full of preservatives, and that is what my family's bodies crave, now, and it was time for the presents.
Oh, and I had already given her, her bright red Tom's shoes that came in the mail, because she and Hallie opened them, before I could stop them.
I, first, offer Mills her "lesser" present, that was incomplete due to another obscure website, promising a Justin Beiber hot pink t-shirt, to go along with the neon yellow GAP jean capris that Hallie and I have become obsessed with (colored jeans, that is) for the Spring season.
Mills reaction was lackluster, at best. Then, I gave her a card in which I explained the overnight trip I have planned, bought and paid for, at Mormon Valley (see post: http://gratuitousguidance.blogspot.com/2012/02/trending-locallythread-gallos-and.html). It is a Mother/Daughter weekend, where we are to ride horses, sing camp fire songs and apparently, worship the Lord.
To be honest, Eva and I got on the Marmon Valley website, to revisit the present that I purchased over a month ago, and upon further observation, I realized that short of bringing a flask in, I, nor anyone else will be imbibing at said campfire. I don't know about you, but I haven't attended a sober campfire, since I was pregnant. I lasted all of five minutes, with the smoke and the discussions of increased volume. I will also be staying in a "bunkhouse" with many other children, and other Mommies, where "a fun, worshipful time will be had by all".
Mills has no idea what a sacrifice of a Friday night I am making for her.
So, Mills opens the letter and reads it aloud, at Brad's request. She sets it down and says, "What's next?"
"Nothing's next." I say, looking at Brad, as a smile spreads across his face. He totally knew this was coming, as he IS Mills.
"What?!?" Mills explains, "Is this IT? That is ALL I am getting for my birthday?" She was all hand gestures and welling brown eyes, culminating in a face in hands while shaking her head dismount.
I look at Brad. He is laughing now, and trying to hide it. (He's not being noticed, though, because the dining room is candlelit, because our chandelier shorted out a few weeks ago, and I have yet to call an electrician.) I am dumbfounded. I don't know whether to laugh or to cry, so of course, I start to laugh.
This incenses Mills as she assumes we are making fun of her, and we ARE.
"Wow. I guess I thought you would be more excited for our trip. You are always saying how you want to do more things with just me and you LOVE horseback riding, so I guess I assumed this would be a slam dunk."
Mills is crying now. I would like to think that it is because she is so embarrassed by her rudeness, but I am pretty sure it is because she is still lamenting over her sparse present situation. I tell her that I would normally send her to her room, but that it is her birthday, so I feel like I can't, so she can just be excused from the table.
Wow. Okay. The bigger issue is HOW DID I RAISE A CHILD TO ACT LIKE THIS? and why am I so impressed by her "rawness"? I mean, how many times in your life have you wanted to say out loud, "Is this IT?"
I can think of at least ONE MILLION.
My ever-gracious in-laws have provided us with one of their time shares, so that we can go somewhere for Spring Break. We were behind the eight ball, as usual, so the only thing available in Florida, was Kissimee, or Orlando. There was absolutely NOTHING on either coast of Florida.
Some family friends of ours, we'll just call them The Lorms, (because that is the alias he was using when he married Jackie) decided to follow us to Kissimee, to our timeshare, and spend Spring Break with us. They are paying. We are not.
|The Lorms. Nice shorts, Andy. Do you listen to The Dead in those shorts? He HATES Disney World. Hilarious.|
"Jackie" (not sure if this is her real name either, as they are both quite shady) begins sending me emails about how excited she is about the trip and the hotel, and that they have all these activities in the Kid's Club and great pools and yada yada yada. So, I decide to actually look up the hotel to see what all the fuss is about, and I am routed to Trip Advisor, one of my favorite sites in the World.
The first post was entitled, "Ghetto Fabulous". It was NOT a flattering recommendation. Under "Travel Tips," which is at the bottom of each post to highlight pointers one traveler might bestow to another traveler, the author put, "Don't stay here. Go to another hotel." The post was littered with cynicism and racism, actually, and when I looked to see the origin of the fellow traveler, it said, "Lexington, Kentucky."
GREAT. Makes a Wildcat proud.
Anyway, I read post after post, where I was able to decipher that if you get in a "renovated" building, with a balcony that overlooks the lake, that actually reflects the fireworks from nearby Disney World (which is the only thing my kids are going to see of Disney this year) then you will be delighted with your stay. Otherwise, you are up shit creek without a paddle.
I immediately let "Jackie" know this. I feel responsible, in some way, that her expectations are raised, even though I did nothing to incite this fantasy.
She's all cool with it, of course, because she is the coolest person on the planet. Unfortunately, her husband is not. He has oriental rugs in lieu of the regular ones, in his Mercedes, for Christ's sake. If that doesn't scream high maintenance, I don't know WHAT does.
I have to admit, though, that I have begun fantasizing about all of the lude comments Andrew (oriental rug Mercedes guy) is going to rant, upon discovering all of the bullshit my fellow tenants were bitching about on Trip Advisor. There is no ride in Disney World, Universal, or Sea World combined, that can compare with the shit show I am about to embark on. And let me tell you. I CANNOT WAIT!! I am just going to lie in the sun and laugh until I have to relieve myself in the pool, 'cause you just know everyone else is, too, Andy!
I guess that is my point, here - to lower your expectations, and then you will be pleasantly surprised. I should take a dose of my own medicine, here, because what if Andrew's tantrums aren't as funny as I am anticipating, will I then be disappointed like Mills was tonight?
I don't think so. Andrew is pretty effing hilarious, especially when he is worked up.
Before I go, I need to add a disclaimer about my baby, Mills. She has the biggest heart of anyone I know. Every single kid on my street who is younger than her, she treats as if they are her kid brother or sister.
She just has faults, like all of us do, and one was fully on display this evening, during what apparently was one of the biggest nights of her life - only I didn't know it. Since the outburst, she has been asking tons of questions about our trip and singing into the one Beiber toothbrush that works. Go figure.
Happy Birthday, Mills. I love you so much, and to be honest, I admire how raw you are, because it reminds me that you are still growing up, still forming your little personality, that will one day be unleashed on the adult world.
|Gawd, I adore her.|
I can't help but wonder if she will want Oriental rugs in her first car. Only time will tell.
Sooo... guidance for today. I love Tom's shoes for kids (http://www.toms.com). They give one pair to children who actually appreciate gifting, for every pair you buy, and I think they are adorable paired with colored light weight jeans from The Gap. (Use your Gap card on Tuesdays to get 10% off, and combine it with whatever discount they are offering, as they are always up to something. I like the multiple discount option online.) Top it all off with a striped tee, and your chillens will be all the rage this Spring. I am super queer, so I have the outfit for myself, too. I am not quite to the point where I am going to make them wear their "special Spring outfit" the day I wear it, but I am damn close, my friends, damn close.