so. i survived june. i thought maybe it was going to go a little better this year, my grace in handling it, but really i guess it all boiled down to the same intense craziness and thoughts of flailing in dark waters. i mean, there was this weird level of not thinking about it quite as much, but there was still tons of work going into it. okay, it was a little better.
day 1 of the downhill slide was oliver's birthday proper. i rounded up his buddies, catie and miriam, and their mothers and siblings and we met on a rainy morning inside the museum of nature and science. literally on my drive down there, my boss, with whom i had previously notified of my plans, texted and said HEADS UP WORK'S COMING IN, and i was like, really. here is why this job drives me fancy nuts.
i managed to not have my membership card with me and experienced relationshipism from an employee named veronica who would not honor my membership status regardless of the fact i lived at the address on the account. all i could figure is she did not like me being a rainey and him being an ellis. we moved to another line and andrea got me in. within 15 minutes of brian contacting the museum, i had been added to the account and inquiries had been made by the museum into what the fuck veronica was thinking. in the time betwixt, veronica gave some other brand of shit to delayna. fuck you too, veronica.
while we waited for delayna, andrea and i corralled the children into a room filled with science-type contraptions and caught each other up on our work histories. then we watched in a relaxed state as the children tore up the sand pit. after that, it devolved into mayhem. there were all these groups of visiting daycare kids in brightly colored, matching shirts and our six children kept mixing in with them in different directions and not following the i-need-to-be-able-to-see-you rules and, of course, a museum has one hundred and one displays to disappear around the corner of.
at some point, one of the other moms had the great fortune to notice the top of the heads of one of our older children disappearing down the stairs. seriously. they decided to just take off to another motherfucking floor on their own. who's raising these people? i was the only one without a stroller and so grabbed violet and took off after them while the other two tried to get on an elevator. delayna's two year old, aaron, was also going after them and i had to frantically wade through a wall of the shirt people while he started down the stairs on his own. kids! i caught up to him and found the older three at the bottom, watching the big hot air balloon go up and down and i read them the riot act about not taking off and they said OKAY. AND THEN TOOK OFF. they went directly off into another room and while i caught up to them and read them the riot act, part II, for about three seconds, aaron took that opportunity to disappear and i panicked for .7 seconds until he came tottering back out from the playroom next to us.
did i mention this museum is sheer, child-losing madness?
then they wanted to go to the farm area, which has one million corners to disappear around, and i kind of stood in the middle, taking constant inventory of five moving targets, praying delayna and andrea were going to show up and find us. and then it occurred to me... does anyone have maya?! as i was frantically texting andrea, they showed up. the elevator had refused to arrive and they had resorted to dragging their strollers down the stairs. and, they had maya.
we stressfully made our way through the rest of the museum and then we skedaddled back through the sprinkle drops so i could return to see what working glories awaited me. at some point, we found time to go to whole foods and procure three, obscene vegan cupcakes from the cakery counter and a lemon tart suitable for brian's sensibilities.
our traditional birthday evenings are a trip to the park on lovers lane for mommy pizzas, cupcakes, presents, and the playground. but the ground was soaked and the sky ominous. so i felt panicked about where on earth to go. we finally tossed in the towel on anything out of the ordinary and met brian at cosmic cafe. we took the liberty of dining in a booth out front. i don't remember everything he was doing to make me crazy, but oliver's behavior was out on the moon. i know he seemed perfectly gleeful about it as i sank quickly into the mire and wondered why he was being such a sociopath and hell-bent on destroying his very own birthday dinner. we tried having him sit at the table behind us for a time out, which didn't really do any good, and then brian began sending him out to the little lawn for time outs and oliver would practice balancing on top of the cement bench and looking at the figurines and indian bric-a-brac out there, just having the fucking time of his life, while i seethed into my vegetables and rice.
he came back and started asking for brian's rice and he was eating it with his fingers despite my protests and then, he started just shoving his fingers straight into brian's food and that's when he went for his final time out while i scarfed down the rest of my dinner and hauled him to the car while brian and violet finished. i was steamed.
i had calmed a bit by the time we reached home and i unveiled the present mountain for oliver.
and then, there was cake.
we've taught oliver to fear fire. brian trying on his i-told-you-so look while pecking at his dainty tartlette.
i'm way behind on a new family portrait. this one is three quarter length.