Wednesday, February 20, 2008

the elephant cake

Today is Isaac's third birthday. Happy birthday to my not-so-baby. And happy birth day to me.

This day marks an enormity of change I am still coming to terms with, and still, I look outside and the world moves along in its routines as if nothing special occurred at all. I admit to feeling a bit disconcerted.

If I were a normal person, an eloquent blogger, or a mother in line with the social mores of other mothers, this is where you would find a long entry filled with irresistible pictures that began “Dear Isaac” and waxed on and on about all the ways my son has brought joy into my life over the last three years. I am none of those things listed above, however.

What I am on this day is overly emotional, sick with a head cold, and pissed as hell at my husband, again.

In three years, I am no closer to knowing how to deal with tiffs or blow ups or any other form of argument. In trying not to traumatize my son, I attempt not to fight in front of him which usually means I hold things in and then, we... what? discuss it rationally in all that free leisure time we enjoy by ourselves? Yeah, right! I add it to the last three things that I wanted to choke him for and it all bottles up until I'm ready to chew through steel. And it's not as if there are not fewer arguments after you have a child, there are more, MANY, MANY MORE. Should I name some topics? No, I won't bother, the list is long and tedious, let's just suffice to say we fight about how to fight too.

What makes me maddest of all is that if I want to resolve anything, I will have to be the one big enough to bring things up again because darling dear is fond of the method by which you just wait quietly until such a time as things die down on their own, when your sweet wife lets things go and begins to look at you without glaring and speak to you without gritting her teeth. Men are chicken shit.

Besides the little party we gave Isaac on Monday at home, they celebrated on his real day today at preschool with his friends there. Mike and I were invited to attend the ceremonies, for which we provided a cake - Isaac's second homemade cake in three days, baked and decorated, of course, by his father. Anyone who knows three-year-olds can tell you if ask them a question about what they want , you will get myriad answers over time. Isaac wanted strawberry, apple, chocolate cakes in shapes ranging from rectangle to jungle animal.

His newest request as of bedtime last night was a chocolate elephant. “Okay,” Mike pronounces nonplussed.

A few minutes later he shows me the plans he's drawn up on paper. In a carefully measured engineering feat, my dear husband has designed an elephant out of a single round cake pan. The real thing came out well, like every other bloody thing Mike does.

So at preschool today, after we watched some games and took some pictures, the kids all sat at their places for cake. Isaac's teacher passed me the knife to start divvying it up. And as I looked down, there is was again, staring right at me, the elephant in the room.


Anonymous said...

wow, a husband who can bake creative birthday are so lucky! sounds good to me...

bobbie said...

Bet you loved THAT comment!

I congratulate you on a most restrained and rational blog entry. Believe me, I do know what you are feeling today. And I know it doesn't help much to hear it, but - we all experience this, or something similar, in marriage - in life - whatever. I only wish I had an answer for you. Mike is really a great guy, and surely there is some way to get him to talk this out - during all that spare time you find. Guess that's a real problem - finding time and place.

OK. I'll shut up now.

Dianne said...

as usual I can not match the wisdom of bobbie.

happy belated birthday to Isaac.

all I can add is that if I laid out all the conversations I wish I could have with my loved ones I'd be able to travel really really far.

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