People who know me know that I don't care about organized sports and that I don't know the difference between a grand slam and a third down. (What the HELL is a "down?") Somehow I found myself at a football game on my daughter's first birthday, mostly because two of my freshmen--both on the football team--invited us for this faculty appreciation thing. The weather wasn't awesome, but we still had a great time--even me, even though I had no clue what anyone in the football costumes were doing. We basically had a free pass all around the stadium, and two of the touchdowns (ok, I know what they are) were basically scored at our feet which was cool. We only stayed for the first half--if it had been warmer, we probably would've stayed for the whole thing.
|We cheated and asked, "How big is Rosebud? Sooo big!" ... not "touchdown." You can't tell though.|
|After the game, Rose stayed with Ron's parents and he and I went out to dinner.|
|All I wanted were arancini and a cocktail.|
|And there were cupcakes for Rose back at my in-laws' before we went home.|
|Every beverage you can imagine, including an apple cider sangria. All of the decorations here are either from the dollar store (tissue poofs) or things I already owned.|
|My mother in law did all of the flower arrangements.|
|Rose looks like a slightly smooshed cupcake here.|
|Mom, she looks exactly like you here. It's the squinty thing with the eyes.|
|That's the face of a child who needs to go to bed.|
|We opened gifts the next morning--too much the day before.|
|My cousin gave her this tunnel ball pit thing. I'm like, "Jenny, where the hell am I supposed to put this?!" Whatever, she loves it.|
|Of course, Rose has to share everything with Penny ...|
|... and Pearl (Pearl has literally taken over this chair--she seriously has laid claim to it) ...|
|... and Penny again.|
Making it to her first birthday was MAJOR. I consider my friend Laurie a major Momma Guru, so I was relieved to hear her say, "Oh, the first birthday is always so sad. It just is." I was like, "THANK YOU because I couldn't understand what was wrong with me! How many moms don't get to have a first birthday with their baby? It's horrifying. I'm lucky enough to have a healthy baby and I'm DEVASTATED because she's one?" But Laurie said, "Because the first year goes too fast. And your brain is barely functioning and you don't remember most of it and *poof* it's gone. And you know it's not slowing down. Don't worry, the birthdays get happier from here on out."
And it WAS a very happy birthday, but I was caught off guard by the sad factor. I didn't expect that. The other strange thing is that I hadn't realized how much I had BUILT UP the first birthday in my mind. The days following the party were a little weird for me because (apparently?) I had expected that my routine would radically improve and become easier. (Ha.) It dawned on me that for twelve months, on some deeply buried, subconscious level, I had been telling myself, "If I can just get through this first year, EVERYTHING will get easier and I will suddenly be an expert and everything will make sense again and my brain will work and it'll be just like before." And then that didn't happen ... the first two weeks of her second year were just like all the ones before. On the one hand, this is a good thing: she's healthy, I'm healthy, no drama, pretty predictable. On the other hand, I still have to do EVERYTHING for her all day long and it's just draining and exhausting on every level. I think a part of me really believed that she would wake up on Year 1 Day 1 talking, walking, and potty trained, and she'd be totally capable of pushing a vacuum and driving herself to her pediatrician appointments. And when that didn't happen, I had to spend (and I'm still spending) many, many hours readjusting my expectations.
It's ok, though. Nothing is wrong. I've never done this before, so what do I know?