Welcome, Mamma Crew!  Today is Kiddos Tuesdays when I discuss issues related to the kids.

So I don’t know about you guys but this quarantine is really bringing me down, especially when it comes to the kids’ birthdays because we had some special birthdays planned this year. I’ll talk about the girls’ birthday in a later episode. Today I’m gonna concentrate on my little, cute Bug — the kid that drives me insane and I can’t live without!

So he turned five — can you believe that?! I remember the heartbreak that I went through the girls when they turned five. I was at Target (oh… I love my Target! And of course I can’t go right now).  But in any case, I was in the toddlers’ section, and it hit me — they were too big for toddler-size. 

Now when they went to kindergarten, I didn’t cry; when they went to pre-school, I didn’t cry; when they went to the first grade, I didn’t cry. When they were happy to see me drop them off at school and didn’t miss me anymore, I didn’t cry. But when I realized that I could no longer fit them into toddler clothes, I cried. And I cried like a baby!

So the day of his birthday came and I had hung the boxes with these little surprise birthday gifts the way he wanted. He got his little Mario obstacle course. He got to dress like Mario from Mario brothers (in fact, he didn’t want to take the outfit off for several days! Yeah. He stank! But we finally did get him out of it). And we had a wonderful family dinner, with cake and food and our little celebration.

So much so that this lady that was shopping actually stopped and asked me if I was okay. And then, of course, I told her, “My kids no longer fit in toddler clothes…” Yay! She related! Totally got it! She didn’t think I was completely insane like my husband did, who was standing a couple of rows away and probably wanted to stay away because, well, there was his wife crying in the middle of Target. Fabulous! So we commiserate over our kids growing up. So seeing Bug, my buggy Bug, turn five brought all of those memories — understanding that we left toddlerhood behind and re-hitting the BIG KID YEARS.

Now this year, he wanted everything all Mario — he is in a full Mario game craze! Yeah, Mario from the 80s. Or at least that’s when I remember Mario from. Nothing from recently but then, you know I’m old. I’m in my fifties and I’m not into video games. So off hunting for Mario outfit, Mario surprise boxes. Mario! Mario! Mario! And if you, like me, depend on Amazon to get things right now, you know that you have to order waaaaaaaay sooner than you need it because otherwise, it won’t get to you on time. It just won’t. That’s part of what we have to live with during this current situation. 

So I had to order, like four, five weeks ahead of schedule, and of course, there were not as many options as there typically were. But hey, I was happy I was able to find what he liked. So that was pretty happy. I got him the Mario outfit. I got him the surprise boxes. And I was ready to build an obstacle course because some way or another, that’s what he wanted. He wanted the Mario obstacle course to come to life.

I also managed to get him a bike. That was a little bit of an early surprise birthday gift. He was really excited about it until he got on top of it and realized he was gonna have to pedal. Yeah, you got it — he wants me to push! And let me tell you when I was in my 40s and I was pushing the girls around, it was okay — so maybe I was dying by the end of the day but I could still do it. But my fat butt can’t be pushing this boy around and he does not want to pedal! He gets like this! He was like that when I first got him the scooter. He didn’t want to use it. Now, of course, I can’t get him off of it. So I’m hoping it will be the same thing with the bike.

We also got the kids in the homeschool co-op that we belong to, to sing “Happy Birthday” to him, which absolutely thrilled him because Bug had been going part-time to a day-care situation so that he could be around kids his age. I mean the girls, my twins, and my other girl (I guess I should call them the triplets, huh?), well you know they’re all twelve so I wanted him to be around other kids, so yeah, part-time playgroups, so to speak. And unfortunately, we are not able to stay in touch with those little friends. So the kids in the co-op were sort of a little bit of a consolation prize for him. He is going a little stir crazy. 

Now the real challenge was when he asked for a mango cake. I’m sorry — what the hell is a mango cake?! No idea! But you know how it is when your kid asks for something for their birthday. You wing it! You come up with it! I have to be honest with you — it was not a tremendous success! It didn’t taste bad. But let’s just say that nobody was asking for seconds. In fact, I think it’s the only cake that’s ever made it in our refrigerator for 14 days. I actually threw the last pieces away. And again, it wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t good — it was a neutral kind of cake, I guess you could say. Not delicious, despite my best efforts.

But things were different this year. He is older, my little Bug. And for the first time, he was asking about his birthday party. Why didn’t he get a birthday party? Why didn’t his friends come? And your heart just tears. And you want to cry. And you have to bring the dreaded words which you just don’t want to say anymore because you’re sick of hearing them yourself. And because you don’t know when there will be an end to this world pandemic. Yup, I had to do my best to explain. Dad had to do his best to explain. But there’s no reasoning with a five-year-old. They don’t really understand. And for that matter, I don’t think that my 12-year-olds are going to understand either. Yes, they would be able to understand on a logical level but on an emotional level, they won’t. Any more than I will understand it on their behalf.

So it hurt — it really hurt when he was asking for his friends; when he was asking why he didn’t get a party this year. He was so looking forward to his little birthday party. And it was really difficult to know that he, as a child, understood that he couldn’t have these things. He was a sport about it when we explained, yep, pandemic. Yet again. But he was still sad.

Fortunately, he was a toddler (well, not a toddler — big kid now. I keep forgetting that. I’m still in denial). And soon after, he was fine. You know, there was a surprise birthday, boxes and the obstacle, and the outfit… So he got beyond it. I, on the other hand, did not.

I just want to put it out there in the universe — I feel very grateful that we were able to do what we did and that he was a happy… birthday party-er. But I also want to put it out to this universe that I’m sick of this. I want this to be over. I want my children to go back to having a normal life. Normal birthday parties with normal friends that drive me completely crazy! Bug’s friends, they break everything. They tear everything down — yeah, you know. Typical four-year-old boys. Five-year-old boys.

But I am so missing that and I am so looking forward to that! And I promise I will not complain about the mess that their friends make or how crazy they drive me for one year after we go back to normal. Whatever the new normal is, as long as we can have those kids in our home. I miss that. I miss their friends. And I miss all of them driving me crazy.  Who would believe that huh? Well, there you go. There you have it. Still an imperfect mom.

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