I don’t know if it’s like this for all moms, but when it comes to holidays or big events I like to make a big deal out of it. I’m that mom who throws a Halloween party for a bunch of one year-olds (they don’t even care), or takes a million pictures of Addison’s first day of daycare (it’s not even real school). So, when Addison’s second birthday was just around the corner I made some big plans. Will she remember her 2nd birthday? Probably not. But I just love being a mama, and for me that means making my girl feel super special and having the best day ever, even if she won’t thank me for it, or even remember it 5 years from now.
We woke up this morning with smiles on our faces and a full day of fun ahead and almost immediately things started to go downhill.
Addison wakes up around 8:00 am every morning babbling to herself until one of us go into her room to retrieve her. This morning I heard her and headed in. As I dove into my best rendition of “Happy Birthday to You,” she immediately started saying “no!” repeatedly and pushing away from me. No matter. I’d start breakfast and make the BEST EVER pancakes for my birthday girl.
It was here that I realized we had only half a cup of pancake mix left, not enough for more than a couple pancakes.
So there went the spirited, love filled birthday pancake feast I had planned.
After (our meager) breakfast, we packed up Addison and headed to our favorite kids cafe, Star Kids.
As soon as the doors of the elevator opened, I knew.
All of the lights were off and Star Kids was closed. Now, we have been there frequently enough that Addison knew exactly where we were, so when we headed back into the elevator and down to the car the tears started flowing. She was so upset that we were leaving and not letting her stay to play at the cafe. At this point I felt awful. Addison was legitimately sad, and I felt like the worst mom ever for not knowing the cafe was going to be closed. To top it all off, there is NOTHING to do with a toddler in our area indoors and any outdoor activities were out because it was raining.
So what did we do?
We took our baby to McDonalds.
Before we had Addison we always made these huge proclamations about our future as parents, as so many do.
We wouldn’t let her stay up late. We would never lose our temper. She won’t taste a single french fry until she is at least 5!
Well, when you finally have kids, you learn that those big promises you made to yourself are pointless because what were you thinking talking about parenting like you had any clue what it would be like.
So at 2 years-old our little lady had her first Happy Meal and it was the first time all day I felt like I had actually made her birthday special.
After McDonalds we all went home for a lazy rainy day nap. Once Addison woke up we chose to honor Addison’s love of waffles with a special birthday trip to Waffle Bant in Pyeongtaek.
For dinner we had Addison’s favorite dinner: homemade macaroni and cheese.
And then we let her stay up until 9. (gasp!)
This birthday wasn’t exactly what I had hoped for my little lady but in the end it gave me a real lesson in letting go. Sometimes things just don’t go according to plan. You’d think I’d have that figured out by now with this crazy Army life we live, but I never fail to need a reminder every now and then. What is important is that today Addison felt happy, content, and above all else: loved.
That is all I could ever hope for her, now, and 50 years from now.
Happy Birthday to my sweet little lady, we love you more than the moon.