Last week I celebrated my 31st birthday. 31, for some reason, seems remarkably older than 30. Like I said last year, 30 seems like a fake age. The number is too round, it carries too many implications. 31 is more normal, more settled. Less, “WOW! The big three-oh!”
On David’s birthday, we wanted to continue our tradition of going out to breakfast as a family, but it didn’t work out, so we went on my birthday instead. It wasn’t an idyllic outing. David threw a tantrum in the parking lot, dropped his muffin in the floor, and the whole thing made Tom late to work. But we made it, right? We were there, all four of us, still in our pajamas, struggling and rubbing tired eyes and eating blueberry muffin off the floor.
My mom called to wish me a happy birthday and asked what Tom and I were doing to celebrate. I told her about how Tom tried to plan a romantic birthday dinner out, but my newborn is still so new I get anxious whenever I’m away from her for too long, so I thwarted his plans. Instead he picked up pizza and we went out for ice cream. My mom laughed, “I think that’s ok. At some point, your birthday is just about getting old.”
Yes, yes it is..
A few weeks before my birthday I was driving to the mall, and the song “Always By My Baby” came on the radio. I can’t resist Mariah. I know every single word to that song, every single oooh and do do doop, so I started singing and car dancing. And then, out of nowhere, I started to feel very old. That song came out in 1996. If it were a person, it would graduate from high school this year. You’d think driving to the mall with my two children would make me feel like a grownup, but no. It was Mariah.
I re-read what I wrote about my birthday last year, and that year Chris Brown made me feel old. Maybe I just need to stop listening to the radio.
In the past year, besides having a baby, the biggest change in my life is that I traded lip gloss for lipstick. Lip gloss suddenly seems gross to me. It’s so gloopy and sticky. If you kiss a baby while wearing lip gloss, you leave a shiny smear. Lipstick makes much more sense.
After I made the switch it occurred to me that lipstick is much more mature. My mom always wore lipstick, my friends wore lip gloss.
So, yes, at this point, my birthday is about getting old.
When I first started I was going to write a post about how, as a mom, birthdays are lame because you still have to wake up at 1:30 and 4:15 and 6:00 and you still have to change diapers and you still eat your toddler’s leftover macaroni and cheese for lunch, standing up, while breastfeeding your infant.
But even the Internet isn’t big enough for another self-pitying mom-blog post. After all, I’m trying to teach my son that no one likes whining.
Instead of something like, “birthdays aren’t really the same anymore,” I wanted to write something sweet and heartfelt and capture how I feel now that I’m 31 and how my birthday is a chance to remember how blessed I am to have such a great family and friends. But it’s hard to get sentimental because this is what’s going on in my house right now: I put David down for a nap an hour and a half ago, and after playing for 20 minutes he just started screaming “GETDOWNGETDOWNGETDOWN!” When I go into his room to remind him that it’s naptime, he smiles and says, “Get down please, Nanee.” I’m frustrated. I’m tired. Come on, David! I’m trying to blog! You nap and I write sweet things about you, THAT’S THE DEAL! GO TO SLEEP!
Beyond not being able to finish this post, this whole thing makes me anxious because if David goes to sleep now, he’ll sleep so late that I won’t be able to go running this afternoon. The other option is him not sleeping at all, which doesn’t work either because we have dinner plans, and he usually has trouble being a gentleman if he skips his nap.
So this won’t be whiny or sentimental, it’ll be real: unplanned and unexpected. I’ll end here; naptime is over. Now I’m going to go sit on the couch with David and watch an episode of Thomas the Tank Engine with him and remind myself that it’s just a skipped nap, it’s just a skipped nap.
Then I’ll brace myself for a long, grouchy evening by eating the last of my birthday cake.