Teen Birthdays: Burlap and Jack Johnson

Not THAT long ago

Not THAT long ago

April 4, 2000 was one of the longest, most grueling days of my life. After weeks of strict bed rest I woke up on my due date and said in a non-loving-more-like-loathing tone to Chris: “this baby WILL be born today!” Fortunately, one look at my Redwood sized ankles and the crazed look in my eye and my OB (whom I loved) announced that it was time. “We will induce you now!” His proclamation sent waves of joy through my unsuspecting soul.

Induction began with a large tablet (the size of those things you put in the toilet tank to keep it fresh) being thoughtfully wrapped in burlap before being SHOVED into my birth-canal so as to get it “real close to that stubborn cervix.” OB nurse #1 was not my favorite.

After hours of indescribable pain, finally, in the most despicable piece of medical equipment ever made (the labor mirror) I began to see tufts of my baby’s thick black hair.
Six hours of pushing came next and yet that tuft of hair was not getting any bigger. Maisy was no closer to meeting the world than she was 6 hours before.
By now, the OB (I used to love) sat in the chair with his legs crossed. He looked comfy in his blue scrubs. I was not comfy. There he sat with my chart splayed open on his lap. Suddenly, he slammed the chart shut. By the look on his face, I swore he was going to tell me I had to go home and be pregnant for another month or two —I began to cry.

The vacuum had failed he explained gently. FYI–loud sucking snapping noises and the beet red face of the OB you used to love emerging over your still pregnant belly are NOT comforting. As he told me I had to have a C-section, I began to weep. Not because I was not going to experience the passage of my baby through my war-torn birth canal. All I could think as tears streamed down my face was “WHY DIDN’T YOU DO THIS FOUR HOURS AGO YOU BASTARD???”
Fast forward to yesterday, 4/4/2014


When 5 o’clock rolled around I had no choice. Some unclear number of teen girls were to be at my house for a party and sleepover. They would need food. Despite the miserable fight the birthday girls and I had the night before, I had to be happy-hostess-mom (ever prepared while remaining invisible.) The fiasco began with my call to Chris.

“Maisy wants pizza, Haddie wants sweet and sour chicken, and I want that thing I got last time —but not the last time we had take-out, the last time we ate there…but not dinner…the last time we had lunch there..you know the thing I love…you know? And don’t forget a cake…she wants ice cream.”

Thankfully glares don’t come through the iPhone 5. Before pulling out of the parking lot, I called the Chinese place and the pizza place.

“Oh Hi! Want your usual Wednesday night order?” I sighed and with the nice lady’s help was able to finally order EVERYONE’S requested item–including the lunch thing that wasn’t his usual thing but the thing he really liked but hadn’t had for take out…

The good news is that right next to our Chinese place is a pizza place and right next to that is a Hallmark store and all of those are right down the block from a Dairy Queen.

While I waited for the food, I picked out a birthday card, a bracelet, and some wrapping stuff (the gumdrops were for me…Shut up, I totally deserved them.)

After carrying three pizza boxes into the Chinese place only to have people stare at me like I had forgotten my pants, I juggled Hallmark, gumdrops, lomein, pizza and sushi to the car–barely making it without dropping the whole mess. One stop at DQ for a little cake and I was finally on my way home. Not unlike this very day fourteen years before, I felt like I had been through the war.

I staggered into an empty kitchen (that is what happens when male people in my house suspect I will be needing help–they disappear) where I was greeted by squeals from the basement. I don’t know how many there were..but it was A LOT of girls.

“I know! RIIIIIIGHT?? Oh. My. God. NO–He SAID THAT?? Nuh-uh! I do not have a crush on him! That was so LAST year!”

Maisy and her friends pounded their way upstairs for food and she gave me a smile of thanks. Apparently she is too cool to say “thanks” especially after last night. It had been a nasty one. She screamed–I screamed. Sam and Lucy hid and Chris played referee. In the end we both went to bed angry.

Digression: I am a grudge holder.

Earlier that morning I had given her a cursory-non-smiling “Happy Birthday.” I was sure her celebration would be disastrous…after all we were not speaking. Little did I know about the anatomy of mother-teen daughter fights.

Before presents, all umpteen girls broke into Elsa and Anna duets belting out “Let it Go” so loudly, the house actually shook. I got a few goosebumps actually. Little did I know that musical teens hang with other musical teens.

I handed Maisy our gift bag and held my breath. She gave me a “you think you are so funny Mom!” look as she glanced at the card I had wept while reading in the store. She smiled politely at the bikini that cost more than all the bathing suits I ever owned put together. She ogled the bracelet for two seconds and then got to the bottom of the bag (the REAL present.) M then screamed so loudly, that she actually startled the other screaming girls into silence. After a quick but heartfelt hug, she flapped the papers at her friends. “Jack. Johnson. Live. In. Concert. And. I Am. Going. Oh. Yeah.”

“Oh. My mom actually knew him in Hawaii!” chimed one girl. And just like that the screaming and giggling resumed. As the girls began to file back down the steps to the basement, I felt a little melancholy. True. I had gotten a hug and she seemed really pleased with her gift but….I don’t know…something was missing.

Just before the door slammed behind them I heard: “That is an AWESOME gift Maisy!” To which my non-grudge holding daughter replied “I know–RIIIIIIIIIGHT??? My parents are pretty awesome.”

Did someone say burlap? What burlap?

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