Friday night when we were out for dinner, I wrote in crayon on a napkin, “It’s my husband’s birthday. One piece of Tuxedo cake please,” and handed it to our server when Shaune was distracted with the kids. I cringed a little knowing she would now likely change her mind about how nice I’d initially seemed.
I knew this to be true based on my own experience in the restaurant business for far too long. There is very little more humbling in life than to have to clap and sing some obnoxious birthday jingle while crowds of people look on.
Yet I’m certain it’s part of the contract; written in the fine print, when you become a parent: When celebrating birthdays in public, you must create a scene. Sing loudly along for all to hear.
I brought play dough to keep the kids focused. It works about 78% of the time. However, YouTube cartoons on our smart phones work beautifully when you want to be able to eat your meal in peace. In a recent development Naveen has begun shouting in most conversations. I’m assuming it’s a function of being the younger less articulate brother. A table of retirees were directly beside us thank goodness – grandparent types. And I’m not pointing this out to make some hearing-impaired crack, they just happened to think our two disobedient and loud-talking little nincompoops were adorable.
We spent Saturday in Camlachie at Shaune’s folks’ partying again. There was ice cream cake this time. The kids were in fine “We’re at Gramma and Grampa’s house” form. Which is to say they didn’t listen to a word I said, forcing me to repeat things like “what do you say?” and “Get your shoes on we’re leaving,” so many times that I likely seemed a bit crazy and controlling to the childless side of the room.
See earlier comment about fine print.
And on Sunday I was relieved when the birthday boy wanted to hang out around the house. I bought our favourite birthday cake from Costco and we sang to Shaune right after lunch so we could dig in – Deaglan went practically catatonic when I at first suggested we’d be having it after dinner.
I wished I’d thought to take pictures of Naveen shovelling the cake in.
While at Costco, I also grabbed a giant case of raw chicken wings, I don’t even want to guess how many chickens had to contribute. I believe this to be a show of how cool and uncontrolling I can really be. Shaune was thrilled. Even if he had to cook his own birthday meal. He made the wings Cajun dusted, deep fried with honey garlic and medium on the side. It’s how we used to eat them at Stokes Inland back when we were dating.
Shaune said it was a good birthday. He thanked me for "letting" him have wings for dinner.