My beautiful, pugnacious Last Baby turned six yesterday.
We also call her our April Fool’s Baby: She was due on April first, but tricked us all by turning herself right-side up at the last minute, necessitating a sort of planned emergency C-section* that really wasn’t that funny at the time.
Luckily, her sense of humor has developed a bit since then.
She had a lot of birthday: an Easter service with balloons, cake,** a candy-egg hunt, pancakes, another candy-egg hunt, more cake,*** a dinosaur egg dinner,^ her own birthday cake (see above), and presents that included a some-assembly-still-required Disney Princess bike and her very own MP3 player, the charging of which drove her bonkers.
She also chewed her first piece of bubble gum (house rule: you have to be at least six to chew gum) harvested from one of her eggs.^^
“What do you think, honey?”
“It’s okay . . . But when do the bubbles start?”
By bedtime, she was wired for sound, and proved it by singing herself to sleep. Loudly. Any references to her age and supposed abilities to self-soothe fell on deaf ears—as did her sister’s complaints about the noise.
I visited twice to retuck her, remove all reading materials and birthday presents, and tell her to go to sleep now.
Finally, she appeared by my elbow and asked if she could cuddle with me on the couch until she fell asleep.
“I’m sorry, sweetie, but your Dad is watching the game.”
“It’s my birthday.“
“I know, but you need a quiet room to sleep.”
“I don’t mind the game, Mommy.”
“No, honey. You aren’t allowed to watch TV after bedtime. There’s school tomorrow.”
“But I won’t even watch it.”
“No. You try to sleep and I’ll check on you after the game is over. Scoot.”
She stomped away. “How come he gets to do what he wants?” she hollered from the bedroom.
“Because he’s your father. And he’s also thirty-eight years older than you are and he deserves his own way once in a while.”
“What?!” Sunny hollered. “Thirty-eight? Are you sure? “
“Wow,” Jane said.
“And your mother is thirty-six years older than you,” my husband said, not looking away from the game. “So you should do what she says.”
The bedroom was silent.
“That stunned ’em,” he said.
Is it any wonder she’s my Last Baby? It isn’t the hassle, it’s the fantastic—how can we possibly expect any other kid to follow her act?
*Necessary by the OB’s standards, not mine—if my grandmother could give birth to a breech baby in 1932, at home, with only the help of a slightly tipsy physician (who was called in because her regular doctor was handling another emergency) with no harm done to either mother or son, I don’t see why she and I couldn’t have managed in a hospital setting.
**Which technically belonged to the baby who was christened during the service, but the birthday girl was given the big pink icing rose, so it totally counted.
***Which technically belonged to a teenaged birthday girl, who let Sunny blow out the candles, so it also totally counted
^Tiny smoked hot dogs enclosed in crescent roll dough. If you leave both ends open, they’re pigs-in-blankets. And no, I don’t really want to discuss how much of my cuisine centers on Oscar Mayer products, thank you.
^^They candy ones, not the dinosaur ones. I’m not that far gone.