(aka How the Cheesecake Shop Saved the Day)
Well, aren’t I the worst mother on the planet this week, Jules? It is a whole 13 Days since your birthday and I haven’t gotten around to writing your birthday message until just now. Unfortunately it’s a scenario that is all too familiar with the second and subsequent children, where they get used to having to share everything, whether it be your toys, your parents’ attention, or your sister’s Cinderella toothbrush (what *is* your fascination with that thing anyway?), competing for laughs, attention and time seems to be something that is inbuilt.
Right now you are being forced to compete a bit with my crazy workload. It has been fantastic since your Dad starting working full time with me, because both of us are not only enjoying working together (yes, despite the odd tantrum and more than a few go-fuck-yourself-I never-want-to-see-you-again-and-why-oh-why-does-he-chew-so-loud along the way) but we also get to spend a whole lot more one-on-one time with you.
And it really does take the attention of 2 people with you these days, because given the smallest window of opportunity, you are either into things, or on top of things, or eating things. I never even really knew what a real toddler was like until you started being one, what with your sister being a completely calm, pretty and smart freak of nature and genetics, never did I have any need to childproof, or worry about anything. Not that you would know it now, of course, but back then, seriously dude, I promise, she was easygoing.
But it made me kinda complacent in many respects. So much so that it never even occurred to me that you could walk out the front door and up the road, when the door was left open (by someone whose identity has been protected….lets call her Mina B. No, wait, lets go with M. Brennan. heh.). Lucky that you didn’t make it past the driveway before that nice lady brought you back, eh?
It probably sounds like I am being blasé about the idea of my 2 year old son walking the streets — that isn’t the case at all and I had a panic attack when I contemplated all of those things that COULD HAVE HAPPENED to my boy. I don’t know whether I just have a massive brain tumour that blocks my capacity to anticipate danger (I used to walk to work at midnight in the city at 17, and I didn’t even think about it), or whether never having to worry about Mina has made me TOO relaxed in many respects, but I certainly am not much of a worrier. In fact, I often make fun of those mothers that hover over their kids as if, somehow, if they try hard enough, they can prevent everything.
That, coupled with the fact that I am just so busy, means that sometimes, I take you completely for granted, and forget the hard time we had keeping you in my belly. It seems like a lifetime ago, but also like yesterday — it is such a mind trip to see my little baby boy becoming a BIG boy, who runs and jumps and screams “niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiina. niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiina. niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiina.” at 6am, comes out of his room, jumps on my bed right next to me my head and goes “1, 2, 3… WAKE UP JULES!”. Yes, at times like that, I completely take you for granted, and cannot deny that when I am woken up at 6am, the temptation to run my car into a lake with both of you in the boot of my car grows. But I promise, that feeling of complete and utter frustration lasts for little more than half a second – till I open my eyes to see your beaming little face, looking at me like I am the only person on Earth that matters to you, and all of a sudden this feeling comes over me, like, wow, how do I get to hang out with the coolest little dude on the planet? Seriously.
You are a complete Wiggles nutter, and we bought you everything Wiggles related for your birthday. I swear, I don’t think I will ever see something so funny as your reaction to getting Wiggles related ANYTHING. Of course, your love of the Wiggles means that THE WIGGLES ARE ON DAY AND NIGHT AND THEY DRIVE ME FUCKING BONKERS. Please remind me to play the same songs over and over and over again on full volume when you are studying for your TEE… because that is my day.
But, its one of the funniest things ever to watch you singing along, dance in your unco-toddler way, wearing your Wiggles shirt that is grubby-but-you-insist-on-wearing-it-every-minute-of-every-day, and being – well – just – a delight.
It wouldn’t be a birthday post without me sharing my latest Cake disaster. I really do wonder if I will EVER learn that cake decoration is NOT LIKE GRAPHIC DESIGN, and that just because I can make an awesome cake illustration, it DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN THAT I CAN DO IT WITH ICING.
In my deluded and arrogant state, I attempted to make you an elaborate race track car with licorice, smarties and a sponge cake. My grandma led me to believe that this was SIMPLE. EASY! Bullshit. Who knew that sponge cake, when filled with whipped cream, would collapse if you put stuff on it?
Seriously. Not even Rainbow sprinkles could save this one.
It tasted good, but now noone can utter the phrase “arse cake” without me thinking of this monstrosity. Yes, that name came from your father.
So, first thing on the morning of the 7th, I was running about like a maniac trying to find a cake. I went to the Cheesecake Shop and asked the guy if I could buy one of those printed icing sheets and put it on a mudcake. He not only put the sheet on for me, but he decorated it with some skittles around the edges too. All hail the guy at The Cheesecake Shop in Morley, because for $30, he saved my life:
If only the surgeon who saved my life last year would’ve been so cheap…
Today you were genuinely sad to see Mina go to school. Normally you are dancing about, playing in your own little world, and merely tolerating your sister’s presence as the cost of being a Brennan… but just lately you have become really attached to her. So much so that, this morning, I had to explain to your endless “Nina? Gone? Nina? Gone?” that she had gone to school and would be back this afternoon.
That’s not to say that you don’t both fight like crazy, but it’s so great to see you and your sister bonding and acting like actual, real siblings. It won’t be long before you are tormenting her about boys, towering over her and fighting over who gets the phone, but I hope that, in the future, you will love and protect each other and look out for each other.
So, Happy Birthday, Jules, forgive me for the lateness – and – talk to you next year.