Back and stickier than ever

By Mir
January 6, 2008

Monkey and Chickadee are safely home again. They arrived yesterday evening, tired and cranky and all hopped up on a long day of travel (because LORD KNOWS there are no direct flights between Boston and Atlanta, nooooooo! I’m certain that flying Boston to CHICAGO, then Chicago to Atlanta made the most sense, and probably saved hundreds of pennies in the process) and hungry but too tired to eat and excited to be back but bereft over saying goodbye to their father and generally at the very edge of their ability to cope.

I squeezed them tight and kissed their cheeks off and went almost an hour before telling them they were making my ears bleed. It was THAT perfect.

Chickadee is taller, I swear, although her new tween growth phase which I lovingly refer to as Flipper Foot (where her feet are suddenly huge, nearly as big as mine, despite the fact that she only comes up to my chin and weighs 60 pounds soaking wet) hasn’t changed. Monkey finally has a sliver of tooth making a crooked appearance in the large gap he’s been sporting in his smile for months. Other than that, they are just as I left them—loud and goofy and with a little bit of food nesting in their hair.

(Hey, should they ever get lost in the woods or whatever, at least they’ll have a little snack before they starve to death.)

Because they’ve only had four Christmases this year, or whatever, we felt it necessary to go have dinner and then come home and have a celebration of Monkey’s birthday complete with presents. There is a part of me that feels it a ridiculous excess to do the whole birthday thing so soon after Christmas, PARTICULARLY when Christmas has been a multi-stage event (just about the second thing Monkey said to me at the airport was “I have 10 Webkinz now!” and I had to resist the urge to smack his father, because honestly, TEN? couldn’t you just buy the kid a car and be done with it?), but on the other hand it probably sucks to have a birthday so close to Christmas and the suckage can only be intensified by a well-meaning parent saying, “Oh, well you just had Christmas, let’s not do much.”

So! Presents and cake it was!

My stepmom and dad sent this cool Pokemon game for Monkey, and along with it they sent Sorry! for “Christmas or whatever” (I think my stepmom got a deal; a woman after my own heart, she is), so I got the brilliant idea to give Sorry! to Chickadee while doing Monkey’s birthday presents, to somewhat soften the blow of there being presents for him but not for her.

And by “soften the blow” I of course mean there was a pile of presents at Monkey’s seat at the table, and then Sorry! at Chickadee’s seat, and when they came into the kitchen I said “Happy birthday, Monkey!” and then turned to Chickadee and said “SORRY! It’s not your birthday!” Because I am sensitive that way. (Rest assured, she spent the entire evening crowing, “SORRY! It’s not my birthday.”)

(Also, after the birthday stuff there were more Christmas presents from all the grandparents, SHEESH, what a burden to have SO MANY PEOPLE LOVE YOU, kids.)

Eventually the children had unwrapped, eaten cake, showered, and gone to bed. Phew.

Today they are back to their perky selves (thanks to sleeping in until almost 9), running and playing and snuggling and bickering and inexplicably sticky despite still smelling of soap and shampoo. The house is noisy and someone took a huge chunk out of the corner of a wall upstairs (though both children claim ignorance) and Monkey just asked me what a jackass is.

Ahhhhhhhhhhh. It’s good to be back to normal.


  1. amy

    Cake hangover = house destruction. Obviously. Poor kid.

  2. Ladybug Crossing

    You know, they must have forgotten that your house isn’t made of gingerbread… Check their teeth for evidence!

  3. Flea

    LOL! I love those kinds of questions. There was a moment when each of my children said, “Mommy, what does s**t mean?” My response is alway, “Go ask your father.”

    You sound very happy, Mir. :)

  4. Em

    He spent the week in Boston and he doesn’t know what a jackass is???

    (I’m claiming my right to say this as someone who hasn’t utttered an “R” in her entire life.)

  5. elizabeth

    I’ve decided I can no longer turn around. every time I do my two boys grow. the 17-year-old is already 6′-2″. we need to get new jeans at least once a month. he should be done here soon, doncha think?

    welcome back to normal. =)

  6. Cele

    What a delightful senario, despite the missing wall chunk. I have a cousin who’s birthday is Christmas eve, we always celebrated it, June 24th.

  7. All Adither

    You’re doing the right thing by celebrating up his after-Christmas birthday. I have a BDay just before the crazy-present-and-candy-laden-holiday-to-end-all-holidays and it does kind of suck. You feel guilty when people make a fuss over you because you know that everyone has so much going on at that time of year. But if you get no fuss you feel neglected.

    Or maybe it’s just me.

  8. mama speak

    All Adither,

    I’m a Dec baby too & mine is the first week of Dec so it’s right after everyone’s done the Turkey day thing & they’re getting booked out w/X-mas stuff. My mom always made sure I had a seperate party & stuff and I am so glad she did. (No one was aloud to do combo presents either, unless they were obviously expensive or something.) If it had been any closer to X-mas she said we would’ve done a small just family thing & then a regular “kids” party in June. It’s not just you.

    Yeah to you Mir for making sure Monkey feels special, and Chickadee too, even if it isn’t her b-day, SORRY!


  9. cce

    My Better Half has a b-day this week. I’m struggling not to yawn, roll over with my face to the wall and doze through his big day. It’s just such second fiddle to the b-day of Jesus though don’t tell him that.

    Webkinz, Webkinz, Webkinz, I recently heard the craze started here in Mass. So Monkey will have bragging rights among the Atlanta kids who are just probably catching the craze.

  10. Kristen

    My birthday was yesterday (the 5th) and my mom always let me have 1 present on my birthday and saved the rest for the party later in the month. We do something similar for my older son (who was born Dec. 26th). He has a birthday party early in December and I put one present up in a closet for his birthday. He actually requested that I “save him a present for his real birthday” this time around. He’s 6. Nothing like opening presents 2 days in a row when your half-brothers get Christmas at 2 houses and like to rub it in! He always reminds them of that.

    If we celebrated his birthday in June, it would be only 4 days before his little brother’s birthday and 3 weeks before his half-brothers’ birthday (twins). I just can’t catch a break!

    My boys have never mentioned these Webkinz…and now that I have looked them up, I am glad of that fact!

  11. StephLove

    the 17-year-old is already 6′-2″. we need to get new jeans at least once a month. he should be done here soon, doncha think?>>

    Don’t count on it. I used to teach college freshman. When I’d see my former students (male ones anyway) on campus a couple years later, they were often taller. Boys just grow and grow and grow.

    One of my son’s friends has a b-day near Christmas and they do half-birthday parties for her in June. I assume there’s a family celebration on the actual day.

  12. StephLove

    BTW, are any of the ten Webkinz monkeys?

  13. The Other Dawn

    My birthday is Dec 23 and my parents always had my party the first Saturday in December, so other kids’ parents wouldn’t have to buy a present out of the last paycheque before Christmas, and then we’d have a birthday dinner at home with just family on the actual day.

    My dad told me that when he returned to work after my birth, his co-workers congratulated him on my being born so close to Christmas, so he could only get me one gift and save money. He vowed to himself then and there that my birthday would always be celebrated just like anyone else’s – on the actual day with birthday wrapping paper and a birthday cake, no Christmasy stuff allowed and no joint presents.

    I loved my dad.

    And it’s actually not bad having a birthday so close to Christmas. Everyone’s in a party mood, everything’s decorated and it has always felt like a four-day party to me – my birthday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. (Then, collapse.)

  14. Flea

    StephLove, say it ain’t so! My 13 year old boy is already 5’11” and the thing with the pants is driving me nuts! In FL shorts were all we needed, but winter is killing us! Ugh!

  15. jennielynn

    Mr. Clairol has a Dec. 20th birthday and NEVER had a birthday present. His mom always combined and let him open on Christmas. That just seems so unfair. This is why I make a huge kerfuffle over his birthday, with wrapped presents and pie and whatnot. This year, I even baked cupcakes and took them to the shop. Ever see twenty mechanics milling around with frosting on their upper lips?

    You’re a good mama and Monkey is a lucky little boy.

  16. Daisy

    I’m dying to know — what did you tell Monkey about the, um, donkey-like animal?

  17. Bri

    Ahhhh, the Flipper Foot, I am well acquainted with the phenomenon. I did eventually grow into the darn things, but they still most closely resemble skis. (sigh)

  18. carrien

    I have two girls with December Birthdays, one on the 18 and another on the 22. My 4 year old one Christmas day at teh Grandparent’s house turned to me and asked, “Is the Boy going to get some presents too or are they all for my birthday?”

    I don’t think she’s suffering from having a birthday so close to Christmas. She really thought that it was all for her birthday.:)

  19. Meg

    Jennielynn, that’s adorable!

    Mir, I’m so glad your kids are back. :) Do they fly by themselves? I am *not* criticising, because a) it’s none of my business and b) I flew as a kiddie with my older sister too. I’m just curious.

    My son is 7 and has been on maybe 15 plane trips. He can manage his seatbelt fine, can get up and go to the loo by himself just fine, and he’s MORE than fine about asking the flight attendants when he wants something, hehehehehe. So technically I could see him managing. I wouldn’t want him to go on a plane completely alone, but with a sibling a year or so older or younger, I could see him being fine. And I know the flight attendants look after the kids.

    However, in spite of all that, and in spite of the fact that I was just fine when I went on a plane at 5 with my 8 year old sister, there’s no freaking way I could get my head around sending MY BABY, my POOR LITTLE PRECIOUS ANGEL, on a plane without me or another adult relative.

    So, how do you cope? How do they cope?!

    Nosy Meg.

  20. peanut

    Yay! The small people in your life have returned. Happy New Year!

  21. LuAnn

    Last year I vowed NEVER to travel by air with children during the holidays again! This year, we were done and back home by the 15th of December. I wanted to kiss the ground!

  22. Rosie

    My birthday is on Christmas Day, which completely sucked. My family did a good job of separating the two events (we opened Christmas present on Christmas Eve, and celebrated my birthday ON my birthday). Everyone in my immediate family was great about making sure there were two gifts rather than combined and no Christmas wrapping paper for birthday gifts. Still, as an adult, the day definitely gets lost in the holidays, as friends naturally spend the day with their families. It’s only recently that I’ve started throwing myself a half-birthday party on June 25, which has worked out fantastically.

  23. Mary

    Meg,I think Monkey and Chickadee’s dad flew with them as Mir said she had to fight the urge to “smack his father” who would have had to be in smacking range I’d think! But I’m with you with putting your kids on a plane. I know they’re safe but “I’m” the one with the problem. Me, I just put my 18 year old alone on a plane for the first time in October (direct flight only) and had to fight the anxiety attack on the way home. (She arrived in Richmond from Orlando before I got back to Gainesville…..) :-) Mir, I’m glad you have everyone back safe and sound and it looks as if the cold has returned North where it belongs!

  24. Jamie AZ

    I’ve got a “just before Christmas” baby, too, born on 12/22 and then a hubby with a 1/9 birthday. Baby turned 4 this year, but I figure next year we’ll do an early December birthday party and then a family thing on his birthday. When he’s older, we’ll let him have a “half” birthday party with his friends if he wants during the summer. Seems the best way to manage it. Maybe. :)

  25. Meg

    Oh, thank you, Mary, and I’ll work on my reading comprehension skills, hehehehehe!

Things I Might Once Have Said


Quick Retail Therapy

Pin It on Pinterest