Yesterday was my birthday. It was not one of my top birthdays ever. I had a really bad cold, Cute W was out of town, and I’d gotten my birthday present early (I’d been in dire need of a laptop after my last one died, literally with a quiet puff of smoke). So I basically ran errands.
One errand was taking J to the doctor. She’d had a bad cold for weeks, and I finally decided that she needed professional attention. This is because every time one of my daughters has a lingering cold it morphs into an ear infection. In yesterday’s case, the pediatrician took a look and actually said, “Wow.” Apparently there was bulging and copious yellow pus. So that’s awesome. This seemed particularly comical because she’d sworn that her ear didn’t hurt her at all, and yet she hadn’t been hearing us too well. After we were done with our appointment, we hung out in the exam room so that J could do some (more) homework before I dropped her off at her 3-hour-plus gymnastics practice. Because rest is for the week. I waved good-bye and sang out, again, that she shouldn’t take it too hard if she fell off the beam more than usual.
Wait, I was going to talk about how nice I am! I’m getting off-track.
The point is, that yesterday, J was pining for the latest Rick Riordan. She’d just finished The Martian (yes, Cute W totally forgot how much swearing was in it when he recommended it to her, but then she was hooked. And yes, we’re totally going to see the movie), and her big plan was to get to school extra-early (okay, she does that every day) and go directly to the library, because the school librarian planned to buy it over the weekend. Then the librarian was at a meeting in the morning, and when I picked up J to head to the doctor she begged to stop by the library, and it turns out that our librarian had forgotten to buy the book over the weekend (hmph! trying to have a personal life over a holiday weekend! the nerve!) and so now J was in a fix, completely bookless and without access to her book.
Well do I know the sorrow of Booklessness, and, when coupled with Book Pining, it is a true tragedy. I decided that surprising her with the book after gymnastics would be a perfect birthday pick-me-up. M, hearing that her Sugar Mama was heading to the book section of Target, tagged along and was overjoyed to discover The Heir, the latest novel in The Selection series. Two children super-excited about their new books is a fabulous birthday gift, indeed. It was only after I reported my Birthday Triumph to Cute W that he said, “And. . . did you buy yourself a book?” The truth is that it hadn’t occurred to me at the time, but I’m well set-up, because my Mom had given me an Amazon gift card. Ah, the Mother-Daughter Book Joy abounds.
I am also an extraordinarily nice mom because today I dropped everything and ran out to get M some ice cream. We had had some mint chocolate chip ice cream in the house, but due to the exceptionally rare confluence of both a landmark birthday and PMS (I told you it wasn’t one of my top birthdays ever), our supplies ran out unexpectedly quickly. M lost a soccer game, studied for a science test, and labored over math homework. And then she shut her math book with a decisive thud and said, “I’m going to have some ice cream!” And I just looked at her, stricken, and she may or may not have burst into tears (although, when ice cream is at stake, she’s an excellent faker). I hustled out and got a new half-gallon. Hell, that girl totally deserved ice cream. But for my own protection, I got the cookie crumble variety that I do not prefer.