Baby needs oxygen and gets to stay at the hospital for more tests. I know we are lucky because we don’t have to spend the night. I have both kids with me though and it’s quite exhausting dealing with the worry for the girl and the complete lack of patience or waiting skills of the boy. Baby’s kidneys look the same, thank God but we have to stay because of the diagnosed pneumonia. There are only so many snacks and YouTube videos. At one point, little guy takes his pants off and runs off towards the bathroom, announcing his “plans” proudly for anyone and everyone as I’m busy with baby. Too bad the nearest restroom is at the other end of a very long hallway (that would be my bare bottomed son running by). It must have looked funny with him first, pants around his ankles, triumphant because he remembered “all by himself” that he needed to go, me chasing after, trying to catch him with baby in tow.
My birthday is coming up and I just feel like celebrating, it’s a special year and I want to take my dear friends out for dinner. I know I need to take baby with but since she is the sweetest little thing, I don’t give it a second thought. I ask for nothing else for a gift but the dinner party. Of course the invitations don’t go as smoothly as I would have hoped but the end results seem promising.
I am super excited! We are going to this Spanish tapas restaurant I love. It is super cozy, hidden away by the beach, dark and romantic with a huge tall palm tree out front. The food is beyond delicious and I’m hoping my friends will agree! There is a mix of old a new and these ladies have proven to be the very definition of “true friends” this year. I’m glad they are bringing their husbands and that it is a real “couples’ dinner”, which makes me feel grown up and sophisticated without feeling old.
Finally something to celebrate! We are going all out. Darling husband has promised food and drinks and I order a couple of pitchers of sangria (hoping I get to nurse and then have a glass). We let the restaurant know that we want the back room which is my favorite spot at this restaurant to ourselves and they agree as long as we are twelve people total. We leave feeling like we are going out to an actual restaurant away from home as a couple, meeting people for the first time in years. I could dance with joy! Our son is with the nanny and our daughter seems calm and happy. She loves to meet people and see new places and she is truly such an easy baby. As long as she gets fed-she is all good!
The plan is for baby to nurse first thing, then I can greet my friends, then she’ll fall asleep in my arms and we can transfer her to the stroller (or worst case scenario, daddy’s arms-she is against sleeping alone after all).
Well, what is that saying about plans? I know I often write about my daughter crying…and how loud she can get, but really she is the calmest, sweetest, easiest little baby ever (honestly…not fair to compare with my first one-not at all). First off, she does her sleeping in the car. At the restaurant, she refuses to nurse and she seems to hate socializing at this dinner party for her dotting mother. Hello, some gratitude… She is being whiny and difficult, so unlike her.
My friends try to help by talking to her, even offering to take her, bounce her, cuddle her, distract her. Anything to snap her out of her bad mood – to no avail. She is being extremely antisocial and quite frankly-rude! Just when I think it can’t get much worse (since I don’t even get a second to eat OR drink and forget about any conversation), it does…
Baby girl starts hysterically crying first when hubby tries to take her so I can catch a break at my own party, and then when an old (not in age) helpful friend tries to sooth her. Ok, stranger anxiety kicking in and all that…but she cries just as much when I take her!
It pretty much goes downhill from there. Of course we are sharing the room with another party (even if we are twelve) where someone has the audacity to complain about my attempts to breastfeed (which makes my supportive friends very upset). I even tried to hide myself away on a random couch in between the two dining rooms. My attempts fail as baby girl does not want to eat (how is that even possible?) and they end when she bites me with her tiny and dangerously sharp teeth (actually drawing blood). Hey, ok so I haven’t had the chance to talk to my friends, eat or drink at my own birthday party dinner and in addition I’m embarrassed. I try to hide with baby in the bathroom, thinking she’ll eat there, since it’s calmer and we don’t need to use a nursing cover (she hates anything draped over her face). That’s a no go! She is just plain mad! And then people start knocking on the door trying to use the one and only restroom in this place. I’m starting to regret having this dinner, it took planning and effort and it’s so important for me that my friends are having a good time.
I imagined it so totally and completely different. My husband is treating me and all my friends and now I just feel slightly disappointed. I know I’m being silly and unreasonable but I can’t help it. looked nice enough and smelled good when we left home, now I’m pretty sure I smell like breast milk and baby drool. I’m too fat, my baby is too young and I’m apparently not even “allowed” to have a good time.
I’m trying to decompress with my sobbing eight months old outside the restroom, but then I’m told by passing servers “we are in their way”. Say what??
Going back to the table, we try to get some pictures in but the waiters are getting antsy for us to leave (already? Didn’t we just get here?). All the delicious potatoes are gone (if you knew how good they are, you would understand my anguish). Baby keeps quiet for about five minutes and ends up chocking on a big piece of bread instead (nice going mama!).
I love this restaurant, the food, the people, the ambiance. I have an amazing husband and wonderful friends who are all here for me tonight. It’s time to snap out of it. No more pity party. Because the truth is, there is no pity in the way I’m feeling. Digging deep, I discover I feel GOOD, content, satisfied, even happy! So what if my baby is crying? Babies cry! So what if I didn’t get to eat much or drink, or talk to my friends. I’m not a single girl, partying the night away. Nor do I want to be- at all! I’m a new mom, I’m not alone in the not being able to do… well, anything but be a mom. And to be honest, that is what I love. My friends are moms, they know, they can relate and they certainly all understand.
It is a nice warm, beautiful evening in December and I am amongst my closest friends with my husbands and baby girl. I’m beyond blessed and should never forget it. Wanting to celebrate my birthday after a tough year, wasn’t the wrong decision. I got to spend it with my favorite people!
Walking back to the car, talking, laughing, now holding a quiet young lady close, I’m convinced; it was a great night and little miss’ behavior will be nothing more than a funny story we’ll look back on fondly!