They tell you a lot of things when you are pregnant. How breastfeeding is the best way to feed the baby, forgetting to tell you how incredibly painful it can be. How this is the most beautiful time of your life, while your relationship is slowly dying and you sit there, patiently listening, with bra straps that feel like they are going to cut off your bloodstream and ankles the size of cantaloupes. But during the torture of pregnancy, you are usually not aware or concerned about the things that are still to come, like Birthdays!
The first one was great. The Kid did not know what a birthday was so we just had a party with our friends while he ate cake and was happily entertained by others. At the second one, I realise now looking back, that I was already in a downward spiral and I cancelled it at the last minute, just inviting family for a piece of cake. Last week, Birthday number 3 came around, and since the Kid now actually knows what it means to have a Birthday and I am drawing confidence from pharmaceuticals I decided to give it my all.
Obstacle number 1, there seems to be no such thing as one Birthday. There is the day itself. There is the day you are supposed to make super responsible, sugar-free, but still fun looking treats for day-care. And then there is the day you force your friends to come to a kids party. Obstacle number 2, no-one of my family could come, so no-one to keep me sane, or at least sort of practical. Obstacle number 3, This pesky anxiety disorder screws with my head and I am not the greatest in social situations at the best of times.
Since obstacle numbers 2 and 3 could not be helped I just struggled myself over obstacle 1 as best I could starting with the day itself. We did the cake with the candles in the morning after which I decided that since he loves to go on the bus we would go for a round trip of Amsterdam. The second I got us on the bus I realised I forgot my calming pills, Oxazepam. I barely take them anymore but the idea I have them on me helps keep me calm. A crux. Anyway, this round trip was super fun for the Kid and quite an ordeal for me, since all I could think was, if I get anxious I do not have a cure over and over and over. Bit too attached to my pills unfortunately. Something else to work on… It never ends.
That evening it was time to make the treats. In some sort of obstinate mind-fog I decided to go the opposite of responsible parent and go for sugar loaded Rice Krispie treats with marshmallows and coloured sprinkles. Overkill much? Oh, no I was not done yet, and added a wind up plastic cat toy for each kid. Needless to say, there was stress making it but it was a raging success. Sugar will do it every time.
With all these minor things behind me it was time for the party and I must admit, I don’t like kid’s parties myself, they usually suck. Since I go to theirs I do expect my friends to show up at mine though, it’s only fair. To make the going easier we ordered a shit ton of beer and wine. I made two cakes, of which one was actually good and the BBQ was ready to go. The room was filled with balloons and ribbons, we even had a piñata. The Kid loved it even before the people showed up. I, on the other hand, was a mess by that time. I think nobody noticed since there was alcohol, 8 people cramped on the balcony, piñata candy everywhere and a bunch of kids running around to distract attention. No rosé with ice this time, I don’t think I gave myself a minute to eat.
When I got the Kid to bed at 20:00 I did surprise the, by now drunken, guys on the Balcony by going to bed. When they left to go to town a bit later I could not help myself and went downstairs to clean. Cleaning can work very therapeutic sometimes.
Now, a week later, I am still in recovery. Antidepressants can make you over confident I think and I might have gone a bit overboard, now paying the price. What I hate about this is that feeling that this is it, for the rest of my life I am going to be this sad case, almost capable of doing the “normal” things, but not completely. Paying the price by having anxiety attacks when I get too tired. So now I go to work and after lie around on the carpet a bit with the Kid’s party hat on, vowing to do better next year.
I do have to thank my friends, my Aunt and my Cousin for showing up and helping me where I would let them. Next year he gets one birthday. Only ONE!