It turns out Christmas is not an ideal time to have a baby. Actually, I have always known this to be the case, having been born at Christmas myself (on Dec. 18th to be precise). The best thing about having a Christmas birthday is that is provides a wonderful opportunity to whine, complain, and feel slighted every year. I can't say I have been cheated too much in the gift department, although I have heard from other December babes that it is quite common. I guess I am particularly skilled at guilting my loved ones into buying me things for my birthday. Kevin, for one, lives in terror the rest of the year that he will not do my birthday up big enough, which usually works out quite nicely. One year I got a surprise trip to see U2 in another city. No, my biggest gripe has been that most everyone is just too busy to make a big deal over you if you are born at Christmas. No one has time to come to a birthday party because they have a more exciting Christmas/holiday party every single night in December. Either that, or they are out of town. As I am fond of saying (in jest, God, really!)--Jesus is a massive attention hog. And I hear theologians don't even think he was born in December! It's just an outrage to the December birthday community, one of the great overlooked and oppressed minority groups going today.
Given the complex I already had over my birthday, the fact that I am having a December baby just adds insult to injury. Not that I am absolved of all responsibility. Kevin in fact suggested we skip a month, if I can be delicate about it, in our quest to have a second child so as to preclude such a horrific occurrence. But since we are so ancient, I thought we couldn't afford to miss any opportunity, so here we are. As usual, he was right and sensible, and God was a comedian and a little bit cruel. Now that Jr. is also going to born at Christmas, I figure last year was my last official birthday, I won't stand a chance from now on. This year of course will be particularly awesome. I am going out to dinner the weekend before my birthday with friends--friends who can't scrounge up a holiday party to attend instead--but I will weigh close to 200 lbs, I will undoubtedly be wearing overalls (literally the only thing left to wear, thank God I went ahead and bought them), and I won't even be able to binge eat without great pain and agony. But I'm sure it will still beat out my actual birthday, which will be spent in the hospital recovering from major surgery and doing my absolute favorite thing, every 2 hours, and really every hour if you consider it takes a newborn almost an hour to eat: breast feeding. And the jig will be up in terms of how fat I actually am, which I'm guessing is severely, since last I checked, people don't usually have 50 lb. babies. But, hey, I will have a son, who I will one day love, right after I stop breast feeding him that is.
But all that aside, I somehow did not anticipate how physically and logistically difficult the Christmas season would be when 9 months pregnant. I would have just skipped the whole production, but this is the first year we can begin to properly indoctrinate Charlotte, now that she speaks English pretty well. So I have gone to herculean efforts, given the level of my disability and exhaustion, not to mention all the baby-prep we have inevitably left to the last minute, to give her a real Christmas. There have been crafts, there have been Christmas books read to her daycare class, there have been Christmas cookies, there has been Christmas-tree-decorating, there have been Christmas cards for her teachers, and of course there will be gifts. So far, she has proven to be a huge Scrooge about the whole thing. The crafts have been a disaster because the skill level they required slightly, SLIGHTLY, exceeded her actual skills, so she got frustrated, I had to help her, she threw a fit, and it was so much fun, not to mention festive. The cookies she did not want to decorate so much as stuff in her face as fast as she could. The book reading at school also upset her because she apparently thought I would decide to trade her in for one of her classmates while I was there (Not a chance. They are all 2, as well, but I'm not related to any of them). And the Christmas tree--Oh the Christmas tree--well, she just completely boycotted that. I had made her her own basket of unbreakable ornaments that she could put on the tree without drama. She just flatly refused to cooperate. Went and watched a DVD. Meanwhile, it took me the rest of the day to recover from the exertion of fluffing the branches on our (fake) tree. Now she says at least 4 times a day, "Look at our Christmas Tree! I didn't help." At least she doesn't do what so many adults do and take credit where it is not due.
I am thankful for one thing, however, and that is online shopping. If I had to go to a mall right now and actually purchase gifts the old fashioned way, and without a wheelchair or even handicapped parking space mind you, I can tell you that no one would be getting a darn thing. And some people in that mall would probably not survive to see the new year, as I am very short-tempered these days. As it is, my loved ones are getting whatever came up first when I entered "toy" or "sweater" or "book" in Amazon.com search bar. I've also farmed out some of the gift buying to my mother-in-law, God bless her. If any of the gifts I have purchased myself end up wrapped, well, that will be a Christmas miracle all on its own. It's hard to cut wrapping paper when you can't even reach the table.
So Merry Christmas to all. May you sleep in heavenly peace, because doubtful I will be doing that anytime soon....