Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The more realistic birthday post

Who let me adult? I can’t adult!

I saw that on the internet a couple of days ago and was like, “Wow – I’m not the only one who feels that way!?” That thought has subconsciously gone through my head every single day since I became an adult, and now I have words to go along with it. I have a house (or at least a mortgage), two respectable vehicles (finally!), a job, and most importantly, a family that I am responsible for. Three children in school and extra-curricular activities, including one child halfway through grade eleven who is starting to make decisions that will affect her future paths. Who gave me this much responsibility?? Why and how do they think I am capable of pulling it off? I look at other people – my age or younger – and they seem to be adult-ing so easily: buying furniture at Bombay Company, throwing dinner parties, sewing costumes for their kids and being on boards and committees and task forces. Sure, there are few things I know how to do, but it doesn’t come easy.

Neve’s birthday is a good example. I made it sound all simple and effortless in the last post, but it wasn’t. I don’t mean to complain because I love her to pieces and I wanted her to have a special day and it was all worth it on some level. But pinwheel sandwiches don’t make themselves (unless you’re smart enough to buy them ready-made, which I’m not). A phone call to Safeway to order the bread, a special trip to pick it up, a few you tube videos to remind myself how to make them, and the better part of an hour rolling them up and wrapping them up to set overnight, cutting and arranging them the next morning. And that was just one tiny part of the celebrations.

The trifle that I made for Sunday’s celebration was a nightmare. It sounds so easy – tear up cake pieces, a layer of pudding, raspberries, some whipped cream, and repeat. But it took me over two hours, and that’s not counting baking the cake, which I did the day before. I won’t go into all the boring details, but between trying to combine two recipes, not having the proper supplies, the whipped cream not getting fluffly, it just didn’t work out like I dreamed. It looked impressive, but it didn’t even taste that awesome.

Moving on from my food inadequacies, scheduling is also not a strong point. Spencer has acting class on Saturdays at 1:30 but since he’s in a play in March, so he’s been going at 11:40 every other Saturday for rehearsals. He had a rehearsal last Saturday, so I assumed he didn’t have one this Saturday. He really wanted to come to Mordens to make chocolate, so he decided to miss the first half hour or so of acting class and then Dale would take him to class as soon as the party was over. Well, at 11:30 on Saturday as the guests are arriving and Neve and I are greeting them at the door and hanging up their coats and the parents leave and more guests arrive, Spencer comes to me with his jacket on and says, “Are you going to take me now?”

Turns out he was supposed to be at rehearsal at 11:40, so Dale jumped in the car and took him, leaving me on my own with a houseful of little girls, some of whom were like crazy little tornados, but louder. Luckily Chloe was there to help, so we got them fed and then moved on to the present-opening. Then Dale came home and we herded them into three different vehicles and headed to Morden’s. After Dale dropped off his bunch, he hurried to the Forks to pick Spencer up from his rehearsal. As soon as the party was over, he rushed off to bring Spencer back to his acting class. It was ridiculous, but it was sprung upon us so suddenly that we didn’t have time to formulate a better plan. As it turns out, I did have the rehearsal in my calendar but it didn’t quite register with everything else going on.

And speaking of not looking closely at my calendar, I only noticed on Saturday afternoon that it was my week to bake muffins for a baking group I’m part of that supplies muffins to less-advantaged kids at inner city schools. So in the middle of everything else going on this weekend, I made five dozen blueberry muffins. I also had to make two pans of Rice Krispy cake, clean the house, wrap presents, decorate, and a million other little details. 

So yeah, I pulled it all off. If you didn’t know what went on behind the scenes, it might have looked easy. I know we all have our strengths and weaknesses, but sometimes I feel like I’m way below the normal range. Is it like that for everyone? Are we all making it look effortless when it’s really not? Or am I the only one missing an “adult” gene? Please make me feel normal!


Daniel said...

We can just barely adult, and that's WITHOUT kids. I have no idea how you manage it all, without being institutionalized. You're doing awesome.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, Ellen, even your description of behind the scenes seems to make me feel like I am failing at adult-ing. There is no way I make all those things happen for a birthday around here. Kids get cake...often from a box mix...with icing...very plain, one-coloured icing. There are no balloons, streamers, themes. We usually go and do something (like bowling, mini golf, etc) so I don't hand out party favours either. Yo, kids, I paid for your food and your fun. Thanks for coming. (*boot to the curb).


Anonymous said...

hahahahahah Sheri-lee!!

Um, I constantly forget that I am an adult. I am half way through life and I only JUST bought a real life couch and dining table!! Any idea of cooking or baking requires me to put on a jacket and head to restaurant!!

Ellen - I think you are awesome. Crazy behind the scenes and all!!

xoxo Sio

Anonymous said...

Ellen... I have never loved you more than I do right now!!!! Thank you for that post.


Anonymous said...

What's all this 'adultery' talk?!?! Jim

Anonymous said...

You are doing your best, as is everyone else. Whether we serve home made or box cake-we are still serving cake. And should it look effortless? We are raising humans who are frustrating, unpredictable, suprising and delightful all at the same time. You are as "normal" as you should be-whatever that is.
I so enjoy reading all your blog posts-your voice that comes through in your writing and how you tell a story are definitely above normal!!

-Cousin Carolyn