Well, not really. This was probably like third on my list of worst birthdays.
(You don't wanna know about the other two).
The night before my birthday, my son kept me up all night, as he's been doing a lot lately, ever since we put him on a month-long doctor-recommended special feeding program that has failed miserably (more on that in my next post). Not only did he wake up multiple times in the middle of the night; he also decided it was morning a half an hour earlier than usual, which completely foiled my husband's attempt to surprise me with breakfast in bed.
John took the boy and told me to go back to sleep, and went ahead and finished making me breakfast anyway even though it wasn't a surprise anymore, but when he went in to get me, he couldn't wake me up for almost 20 minutes. So by the time I got around to eating my special no-longer-a-surprise-breakfast, it was ice cold.
Then John left for work, early. My son was clingy and cranky all day because he'd hardly slept the night before, and chose to express his annoyance at his self-induced exhaustion by wailing like he'd just been orphaned every time I got more than five feet away from him.
One of my best friends from high school called midday, not to say Happy Birthday, because he didn't remember it was my birthday (although I can't hold that against him, because this year I forgot his), but to tell me that another friend of ours from high school has cancer. The whole time I was on the phone with this friend, I was trying to mash up chocolate cookies to make a crust for a birthday cheesecake that I was making for myself because no one else was going to make me chocolate cheesecake, and my son was so angry about not having my attention that he threw every single toy he owns over the baby gate into the kitchen as noisly as humanly possible, and then sat down and threw a five alarm tantrum because he couldn't reach any of his toys.
Then, the moment I hung up the phone, my sister called and complained about how my phone had been busy for over an hour and scolded me for the ten billionth time for being too much of a cheapskate to pony up the extra cash for call waiting and then explained that the reason she hadn't been answering or returning any of my calls for the past month and a half was that for a the past couple of weeks she had been on a cruise to Costa Rica and Jamaica and Panama, and, no, it hadn't really occurred to her to mention to me that she was going out of the country for a few weeks before she left, and anyway before she left on the cruise she hadn't been returning my calls because she was still mad at me for getting snippy with her on the phone one night when she called my house at 12:30 in the morning. And then she said "Happy Birthday."
And my son wouldn't eat lunch or his afternoon snack, and the cheesecake I baked for myself because no one else was going to bake me a cheesecake took way longer to cook than usual and turned out a little wonky, even though as anyone I've baked a cheesecake for will tell you, I am the CHEESECAKE MASTER.
And my husband took me out to dinner at what used to be my favorite Indian restaurant, which we hadn't been to in months because since we moved to our current place it's just seemed too far away, but shortly after we began our meal, my son, who normally behaves quite handsomely at restaurants for an 18-month-old, began an incessant low-level keening and refused to even look in the general direction of any sort of food, not even the bread or the cookies we'd brought for him. After about 20 minutes of the boy's continuous distressed noisemaking, the wait staff, who in the past have always been exceptionally polite to me, both because I am a regular customer and because I speak passable snatches of Hindi, slapped a to-go box on the table and strongly implied that we should get the hell out of their establishment.
Even though there were three other babies in the restaurant.
And then I woke up the next morning with food poisoning. (And I can assure you it wasn't from the cheesecake. That restaurant is now totally off my favorites list).
But we had errands to run, so I got up and running as best I could despite the food poisoning and put the beautiful new watch John had spent too much money getting me for my birthday back in its box so we could take it to the store to have it fitted. My old watch had broken two months ago, but I'd put off getting a new one because we've been spending so much money on taking our son to various doctors lately that I felt like I couldn't justify the expense to myself. And then John grabbed the watch box and the diaper bag and dragged me out the door, and we went off and ran a bunch of errands, and when we got to the store where John had gotten the watch, we opened the box and the watch was gone.
We searched the car and the store parking lot and then we went home and looked everywhere, but it wasn't anywhere we looked. And I had fit resembling a nervous breakdown, because I was sick and tired and my birthday present which my husband had carefully picked out and spent too much money on was gone, and I kept saying it was all my fault even though John had been carrying the box the whole time.
And, for the sixth year running, my mother didn't call me.