Bella’s birthday is tomorrow. Actually, Bella’s birthday was around 2am this morning, a fact that the person who shoved that enormous 9 lb human out of her body knows very well. This year is an exciting year for all of us, as it is the first year that Bella actually grasps what her birthday means. She’s been counting down since January. When the calendar switched to February, the Birthday Alert Level was elevated to Extremely Impatient (orange). She tried switching the birthday card we have inserted in our enormous, teacher-style reusable calendar. “Mom? I’m going to switch my birthday from the 14th to the 13th, okay?” Such is the power of the pocket calendar: to change the space-time continuum through the strength of nylon canvas and clear plastic pockets.No thanks, guys, we’ve got this. Seriously, you two would just fuck it up somehow, anyways.
The irrational requests have dramatically increased during the last few weeks. Here is Bella’s official list of demands for her birthday:
- Presents: My kids are in the iron grip of this mutant stuffed animal craze. Every time my kids see a commercial for a stuffed animal with a flashlight shoved up its ass, or a blanket with a puppet head sewed onto it, they lose their mind. Bella has demanded the blanket puppet and two more of the stuffed animal with fifty-six places to hide your weed. Since these abominations are always about $30 after shipping and handling, she will only be receiving the puppet thing from me.
- Cake: Bella has asked for a “llama cake”. The girls have been watching The Emperor’s New Groove obsessively lately. I happen to approve of this latest movie selection, as its one of my favorite Disney movies. It’s one that came out while I worked at Hollywood Video in college, and since we could only watch G-rated movies on the overhead TVs during our shift, we went with the obvious choice for children of the nineties and chose a David Spade movie. Rob has suggested that I bake a cake, print out a silhouette of a llama, and then use it as a pattern to fucking carve a llama from cake. I told my husband the Cake Boss that if he wants a llama-shaped cake, he can go ahead and handle that himself while I’m at the grocery store purchasing a $20 cake and covering it with llama pictures I printed on cardstock at work and taped to toothpicks.
- Balloons: At her classmate’s birthday party a few weeks ago, she spotted a My Little Pony-shaped balloon. Bella has always had a thing for balloons, and really loses her mind over novelty balloons. Only after promising her own Rainbow Dash balloon at her birthday was I able to avoid attempting to bribe the girl’s mother to let us leave with that balloon. And since Bella’s birthday is Valentine’s Day, I had to order the balloon a day in advance so that I wouldn’t have to fight my way through the throng of douchebags buying their girlfriends stupid balloons because the floral section at Walmart was too picked over by lunchtime.
- “Birthday at my house!”: This one has me worried. I’m not exactly sure if she means we all celebrate her birthday at our house, or if she’s expecting an actual birthday party with little friends. When I list out the guests (i.e., our immediate family members), she always adds a few TV characters, but never a real person. I’ll tell you straight: I cannot handle a house full of preschoolers. You’re stuck with just us, kid. Better luck next year.
Listen, it’s been a rough couple of months for Bella. Christmas break can be tough on a girl who has come to depend on and thrive on the routine that school has brought her, and the constant snow days have been frustrating her (and us) to no end. She lost a little bit of the progress that she had made before the break. The meltdowns have increased, as has the obsession with all things electronic (and the accompanying difficulty in walking away from the iPad or computer games.) But she’s come so far this year, farther than we could have ever hoped. Five-year-old Bella is a much different person than four-year-old Bella.
So in my opinion, listening to Bella talk about her birthday and catering to her whims instead of seeing her confused, slightly disinterested face when presented with candles and presents is completely worth the $5,649 worth of birthday bullshit I’m going to buy. And frankly, I think all of us could really use some llama cake.