I like to publicise my birthday. Otherwise, how can you expect anyone to remember it? Nevertheless, I was surprised by the record number of people who remembered my birthday last Wednesday. It was non-stop emails and cards. Even our babysitter brought me flowers. I was most pleased. In this pantheon of virtue, I would like to give special mention to my brother who replied to my birthday reminder email as follows:
“Of course I knew today was your birthday, it’s deeply embedded in my subconscious, it’s a survival instinct, sort of like the way you instinctively know not to jump off the top of a building.”
Thursday and Friday, however, were grim. The Princess came down with a rotten cold and was very miserable. She likes those around her to share her feelings so it was pretty miserable all round. At night she couldn’t sleep because of her cough. Our little baby sounded like she had a 40 a day habit. She spectacularly threw up both Calpol and Nurofen (which, as the drier has died again, has incidentally created a mound of wet bedclothes). Since I was trapped indoors with a sick baby, Mr. Waffle went to the chemist to get baby remedies. He came home clutching two packets of suppositories. The Princess felt that this was the final indignity and screamed accordingly. However, they did the job, her temperature came down and her cough eased. A bizarre, and not entirely unwelcome, side effect is that her dirty nappies smell of eucalyptus.
Saturday morning and the Princess was largely better. Mr. Waffle kindly? inded her all morning while I slept the sleep of the just, having had a sick baby in my arms for about 48 hours on the trot. At lunch time, we had the following conversation:
Me: Would you like to take off this afternoon and do something on your own?
Him: Um, no. Do you like surprises?
Me (warily): Good surprises or bad surprises?
Him: How would you like to go shopping for the afternoon with your friend D?
The doorbell rang and there she was having flown over for the weekend for my birthday. How cool was that? She came clutching gifts for me and the Princess. She got the most beautiful little dress for the Princess, have spent half an hour looking at it open-mouthed this morning. My scarf is very nice too, I hasten to add, but the dress is phenomenal.
That evening the three of us went out for dinner. Only it wasn’t the three of us, it was loads of people that Mr. Waffle had arranged to have there as a birthday surprise. I had a wonderful time and made a spectacular present haul. Excellent.
My evening was, however,?overshadowed by the knowledge that I have NOTHING planned for his birthday on Friday.? I am now paralysed by fear. A friend suggested that I should give him a moral victory. I passed this on to him in jest. He is distressingly taken with it. Yes, how about we do more recycling (he is very “save the planet”) or buy the Princess another sling? The Princess hates sling things but Mr. Waffle fancies himself as modern parent with a baby in a sling…every time we pass another father with a baby in a sling, he sighs in a pointed way (a difficult sigh to master). For reasons that have never been entirely clear to me, he is convinced that I have put her off the sling.? This is most unfair, I am just against making her cry when it’s not strictly necessary (yes, sometimes it is, see paragraph on suppositories above). I am rapidly arriving at the conclusion that I am not a good enough wife to give him something he actually wants. Probably a book and a CD then.