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24 Hours Of Birthday…Part 1

Saturday, March 19th, 2011
The following took place between 8:00 AM and 3:50 PM


8:00 AM
Mr. Hilarious shook me gently. “Honey, honey wake up.”


“C’mon babe, you gotta get up. It’s the Baby Jesso’s birthday.”

“Gave birth – you do it.” I tried to bury myself deeper into the bed.

“Woah. And you gotta help me find that cat.”

I bolted up, eyes wide. My head spun and the room swam out of focus and back again. One dog was sitting quietly next to the bed. Two more were lying on the bed, staring at me. None of them were barking. None of them were moving. I tried to eyeball my husband. My head hurt too much.

“What cat?”

“The one that snuck in here and last night and shit in your mouth.”


I flopped back down. “S’not cat. S’ big-ass-bottle-cheap-red-wine.” Groan   “Wha’ were we thinkin?” Ungh. “An why you so chipper?”

He grinned. “It’s called a tolerance.”

I grimaced. “Go way and le’me lone.”

“C’mon woman we got stuff to do. This house looks like a war zone, presents need to be wrapped, people got lacrosse and haircuts and come four o’clock there’s gonna be ten kids running around here.”


“Already made. LET’S GO!”

I hit him with my pillow. I wished it was a two-by-four. I shuffled to the bathroom and cleaned the cat shit out of my mouth. I went to the kitchen and poured a cup of coffee. Then I did what I always do when something ominous looms. I grabbed my laptop and headed back to the bedroom. I just had one little thing I needed to finish. I was writing a post and I wanted to get it perfected before the chaos began and ten screaming ten-year olds overtook my life.

9:00 AM
Mr Hilarious, aka Todd, stuck his head in the bedroom. “I’m leaving in a few minutes to take the boys to their lacrosse games. You got all this?”

My head was still pounding. It was all I could do to focus on my laptop screen. “Sure, hon.”

10:00 AM
Fourth cup of coffee. Still working on laptop.

11:00 AM
Sixth cup of coffee. Still working on laptop.

12:00 PM
I shuffled to the kitchen to find something to eat. I opened the fridge. There was a jug of milk and a jar of pickles. That’s it. I was standing there staring at the jar of pickles when I remembered that not only was it my youngest child’s tenth birthday, it was my half birthday. Being half a year older wasn’t helping my headache. I closed the fridge and ate two Excedrin for lunch.

The phone rang. “Hey hon. Can you call and get haircut appointments for me and the boys at 2:00?”

“Why are we doing that today?”

“Because we are.”

I hung up and went back to my laptop to find the number for the haircut place. I called them and scheduled. I went back to my writing.

1:00 PM
I finished my post and sent it off. Just then, my oldest, Boo, came in the bedroom with her friend.

“Mom, were leaving now. Don’t you need to start getting ready?”

“Uh-huh.” I nodded. “WAIT! What time is it?”

“It’s 1:32.”

Shit! Shishitshitshitshit!

“Mom, what’s that smell?”

“It’s cat shit!” I jumped up and headed for the shower.

“Wha’? When did we get a cat?”

“WE DIDN’T! It’s just – never mind that! Can you guys wrap presents for me before you go?”

“Sure – where’s the stuff?”

I found all the wrapping stuff and gave it to the girls. I took a shower. I got dressed. I wondered how bad the day would get.

2:00 PM
I stood in the living room and looked around. The whole part-time husband thing did NOT become me. Ever since Todd had been stationed three hours away and only came home on weekends, I’d been letting things slide.

I grabbed a garbage bag and started picking up trash. I piled a mountain of dirty laundry in my bedroom and shut the door. I did the dishes. I cleared a month’s worth of mail off the table. I took another Excedrin. I looked at the floors and the golden retriever tumbleweeds floating around.

Floors? Screw the floors. There’ll be ten kids in here later.

Boo and her friend came downstairs with the wrapped presents.

“Did you remember to take the price tags off?”

Boo rolled her eyes at me.

“Go take the tags off and re-wrap them.”

“Are you serious? He’s ten, he doesn’t care!”

“I care! Just do it! I gotta go to the store.”

3:00 PM
I careened through the grocery store. My cart had a bum wheel and kept pulling to the side.

Squeak squeak squeak squeak squeak…

Chips, sodas, tonic water, limes, definitely going need a gin and tonic later…egg salad sandwich? Yes!
Ice cream, ice cream, and don’t forget the cake, don’t forget the cake…

My mouth was full of cotton, my stomach was growling, and my head was still hammering.

Stupid wine!

Squeak squeak squeak squeak squeak…

I got to the cake counter. I did my absolute best to put on a smile for the bakery ladies.


They weren’t buying it.

More cheerful this time. Louder.  “Hi! I ordered a Spongebob cake?”

One of the ladies flicked her eyes at me and then turned and walked to the back.

I waited. My lips were stuck to my teeth.

Eye-flicking-cake-lady returned. Her hands were empty.

Oh, no. Oh, no no no no.

My stomach churned. My head throbbed. I almost passed out.

“What was the name fer that cake again?”

I gave her my name. She walked to the back again.

I waited. I broke out in a cold sweat.

She came back with a box.

YES! We have cake!

“There was nowhere to write his name on this here cake.”

“It’s fine. It’s the Spongebob cake with the giant pineapple right? That’s what he wanted.”

Eye-flicking-cake lady was not convinced that all was fine.

“Well, we could write his name and Happy Birthday on a separate cardboard sheet.”

For some reason this made me laugh hysterically. I tried to compose myself to no avail.

“No thanks! I’ll pass!”

Eye-flicking-cake-lady huffed.

I kept cackling all the way to the checkout. I stopped abruptly. There was a line. Only two registers open. I looked at my phone. 3:37 pm. Party at 4:00 pm. I looked around in desperation. I glanced at the self-checkout at the end of the row of registers. The infernal machine leered back at me. I was just about to go kick it when I heard a voice.

“I can help someone on five.”


I raced an old lady with two items in her cart to register number five.

I win! Nanny-nanny-boo-boo!

I got through the checkout, took forever to remember where I parked, and loaded my purchases in the van; carefully placing the cake on the back seat.

Something was missing…

The balloons!

I checked my phone. 3:50 pm.

TO BE CONTINUED…(Someday when the painful memory of the all night Nerf war isn’t so fresh…)


One Comment

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  1. March 24, 2011


    You’re killing me, Smalls!

    You’re killing me!

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