The only things my daughter requested for her 4th birthday. I love her unorthodox choices. On the one hand we wanted a ladybug dress and ladybug tiara. Then she reminded me that she still wanted "Bud-Lightyear". It cracks me up! The real story is in the blood, sweat, and tears that were shed in making this 4th birthday possible...
I'm human, and yes, I make mistakes. Lots of them to be exact. What sounds like an excellent idea at the time, turns into a Mommy Melt-down of EPIC proportions. I love to set myself up for small failures. They are never deal breakers or earth shatter-ers. They do however break my heart and make me feel dumb.
This year I decided that a small family get away would be perfect for us in the week leading up to Caitlin's 4th birthday. In addition I felt that I should MAKE Caitlin a ladybug dress.
|The dress!! It got a little stretched out.|
The matching flip-flops
Yes, you read that correctly MAKE A DRESS... You can clearly see where this is going. I also planned on making a ladybug cake and ladybug cupcakes, which I researched extensively online. The party for 4 year olds and under would be fantastic, with a LIVE ladybug hunt, coloring, and pizza, the birthday girl's request. This was the plan as we headed to Monterey, CA.
Upon our return and Father's Day, I was set for my week of PARTY PLANNING. This included shopping for party supplies; starting and finishing a dress; playroom reorganization; and cake decorating. You will notice that the list does not include SHOPPING FOR A BIRTHDAY GIFT. More on that story later...
The ladybug dress was created in pieces. With the help of my grandma, we did the bulk of the work on Monday, and finished the dress on Friday. My mom came over and thank the Lord, both kids were good while we reorganized Caitlin's room and the playroom. It looked great. I cheated on Friday and had my Mom's cleaning lady come over. We were looking good. I was getting a little stressed on Friday afternoon, as my thread kept breaking as I was trying to finish said dress. A little more stressed as the clock said 5:00pm, and I still hadn't started the cakes or SHOPPED FOR A GIFT. Are you beginning to see the theme???
By 6:00 on Friday evening I was ready to rock and roll. I got my second wind and was ready to tackle Toys R Us and the 3 boxes of cake mix with frosting. I wasn't even worried about the decorating. I was focused on SHOPPING. Buzz Lightyear here I come!!!
Let me say that if you ever see a woman, without make-up, covered in her kids dinner and quite possibly lunch and breakfast, standing in an aisle in Toys R Us CRYING, please have sympathy on her. She is most likely having a nervous breakdown, because the store is OUT of the only thing her child requested for her birthday . A child who has had to spend the last year in 2nd place to her new little sister. A child who sweetly asks you to play my little ponies in the middle of a diaper blow out. Who begs for coloring time while you make 3 different breakfasts. Who always, without fail, is hungry while her sister is napping.
So, here I was, crying my eyes out in Toys R Us. I was so optimistic! I was going to be home by 6:30 at the latest, the cupcakes and the cake would be cooling just as it was time to put both kiddos in the bath... BEST LAID PLANS... Seriously I think God was laughing at this one. It was like an episode of the Middle!!
Here I was in the middle of TrUs. Crying, because while I did the ladybug thing. There was the possibility that I was not going to deliver Buzz. I called my sister in law, who responded "Who is Buzz Lightyear?". I said a prayer and ran, YES, ran to my car and hit it to Target.
If I was ever in doubt about the power of Target, I am now a believer! There on the bottom shelf was not one, but 3 BUZZs. Now for the tears of Joy.
I got home at almost 7. So the kids didn't get a bath until 8, while one cake was still baking. No big deal. This is Mamma Megs at her finest! I never did get the live ladybugs to hunt. We had a play-doh bugs instead. The kids played and ate and laughed. The adults had fun watching and catching up. I was complimented on both the cake and the dress. My friend Eric commented that I was turning into Holly Hobby. How crafty!
|The cupcakes... It's no cake boss! But they ate them.|
Was it perfect? No. Did Caitlin love it? YES. At the end of the day this is the real reason why I pushed so hard. Why I tried in vain to go the extra mile. It's also because anyone who is near me can smell the GUILT wafting off of me like cheap perfume.
Year 3 was not the best for Caitlin and I. It was full of fights and tears, time outs and make ups, anger and frustration. Poor Caitlin! All she has heard in the last year is "In a minute" and "After I (feed, change, burp, rock, deal with) your sister. Talk about the back burner. I swear I wasn't home 5 minutes and I was already swimming in guilt. I cried numerous times when I had to tell her No. No I can't play ponies, watch Max and Ruby, draw and color, just about anything. She could feel the difference and see the difference. There were days that I longed to be able to give her the one on one attention she deserved. As always, she is a survivor. For this birthday, I felt such survival deserved the very best of everything.
I'm still suffering a birthday celebration hangover, and not the kind of my college years. I'm still finding play-doh bits. I still have some dishes to be washed. Whatever. Did I decorate the best ladybug cake? Not even close. Is the home made ladybug dress going to last one wash? Probably not. Like I said before, Caitlin is happy. I did my Momma thing and she did her birthday girl thing.
As for Mr. "Bud-Lightyear". He was a hit! Not only did she thank me twice at the party. She thanked me again with my good night kiss. In her little whisper as she hugged my neck, in that crazy insane way that only your child can master, "Thank you for my Bud-Lightyear Mommy. It's all I ever wanted".
Worth every ounce of blood, sweat and tears!