We went blueberry picking yesterday! I harangued Larry into taking a day off work (because today's my birthday), and then I decided we should all go blueberry picking and he had to agree (because...well...today's my birthday); and a mere 50 dollars later, we walked out of there with 12 and a half pounds of the yummy fruit (plus what we had managed to stash in our bellies, which was quite a lot).
The excursion would have been blessedly uneventful, but (and you knew there was a but, didn't you?) Susie decided to poop. So she did. Which was sort of smelly, but we figured that it was the compost or whatever that the blueberry growers use to make their plants grow; so we ignored it, until Susie informed us that she was a walking manure pile. (A cute one, though, I must say.) Larry and I bickered over who should change her (did I mention that today is my birthday? Oh, I did? Well, then...). You would think that, after 6 kids, we wouldn't bicker over things like that anymore; but old habits die hard. He felt the incident was my fault, because I had said we didn't need a diaper on her, so I should be the one to clean her up (even though it is my birthday today)(but, I've mentioned that). So I pouted. He ignored me, for a while. But I won.
Larry won the other argument though. We could hear bird calls everywhere as we picked, and at one point Larry said, "Listen to that one! It sounded just like something electronic." Which made me launch into my "No, electronic rings and trills are modeled after bird calls, not the other way 'round. That's the problem these days - we're so disconnected from nature that we forget where all these sounds originally came from, even when we experience them directly, blah, blah, blah" speech, all the way down the row and into the next row, where we discovered a box hooked up to some speakers, with the words "BirdGard" emblazoned on it.
Come to think of it, we hadn't seen a single bird the whole time. Apparently, the electronic hawk calls being broadcast keep the birds from eating the berries. So...I had to eat crow on that one. (Ha, ha, ha - I couldn't help it!)
It's my birthday, I can pun if I want to...
When we got home from our farm labors, I went straight upstairs and took a 2-hour nap. It was heavenly. I swear, there is nothing I like better than a mid-afternoon siesta. I think I've been programmed to expect a midday break from the daily craziness by 16 years of napping babies. Ever since Susie gave up her nap, I've been pining for my quiet time.
I made blueberry buckle when I got up. It was delicious. We put 3 candles in it and called it a birthday cake. There were more candles, but the girls got a little overeager and stuck them in the cake before it cooled down sufficiently. They melted. Yum.
Anna gave me my birthday present early by having a nice little tantrum yesterday evening; we let her go have a bunch of fun all day, and she was angry that that experience wouldn't be repeated today. We had the nerve to suggest that it was, in fact, our desire for her to have fun at work camp all next week that necessitated her staying home today to help us prepare for her and her father's absence. (Larry was dragooned into being a driver and work crew supervisor for the week.) In Anna's words, "Him? I don't even want him to go!"
Be involved, the experts say. Show the kids you care. I am starting to think that the "experts" never actually had any teenagers of their own.
Theo's present to me was taking it like a man (truly) when we decided that he couldn't go to work camp after all because he would miss too much of his Arabic class. His reaction was impressive - no histrionics, no door slamming, just a resigned acceptance of losing the only fun thing we had planned for him all summer. Heck, I was more upset than he was. I cried. (In my defense, it was an emotional time of the month for me.) (And...it was practically my birthday...)
The little kids cried, too - they had been anticipating a dairyfest of epic proportions for the week he was to be away (Theo's dairy allergy is severe enough to preclude our cooking any cheese in the house while he is in residence). They had planned homemade pizza, quesadillas, whipped cream, and baked ziti. Given that I probably would have gained 10 pounds over the week from this menu, I'm sort of glad those plans fell through.
Well! Time's a-wastin', and I need to take advantage of any free moment I can get today. I think I'll go to the bookstore and just sit there. Quietly. You see, if I stay home, I have to keep reminding people that it's my birthday; because they expect me to do the things that I have to do on ordinary days. Maybe I should just give them a list:
Things I Don't Do On My Birthday
- Settle fights
- Serve meals
- Button buttons
- Kill centipedes (all right, I never do that)
- Listen to tantrums
- Share the bathroom
- Eat sensibly
- Get off the computer before I darn well want to
I leave you with this, as a little present, though I don't feel like crying. Still, it's a birthday song. Again, look at those back-up singers. Look at how clothed everyone is. I think Anna fears that that is how I want her to dress.
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