I suppose if you added the two days together, you could maybe scrape up a decent celebration, but neither one was much of a Brandon Celebration, which is too bad because last year didn't work out so well either. It would appear that in fact I'm just not doing very well with anyone's birthday. I really need to work on that.
Back before Eleanor was born, I had some grand ideas about picking Brandon up for work and surprising him with lunch, but then Darth Baby hit and the chances of someone taking five children for several hours in the middle of the day when from slim to nil. So instead we all came and picked Brandon up from work after he was done for the day. He was nursing a nasty, nasty cold (which we all got to share later) so he tried to take a nap while reading but instead hid in the bathroom constantly blowing his nose. Eleanor and I were sleeping and he didn't want to wake us up.
After I woke up from my nap, I took all of the children out so he could have some time to himself to read. But unfortunately, I left Eleanor with him. She had been sleeping peacefully so I figured she would keep at it. Wrong.
While we were out picking up cupcakes, buying candy at Target (I think the cashier was less than amused by the time she rang up the third candy bar and was handed a fistful of sweaty change to pay for it), and waiting at Red Hot and Blue for some pulled pork, Brandon was rocking fussy Eleanor.
Normally I make a delicious cake and dinner all from scratch, but I had to lower my standards this year. Brandon kept on swearing that he'd rather have cold cereal and calm than chaos and a gourmet meal, so I took it him at his word. I will forever be ashamed, however.
So after getting home and getting Eleanor to sleep, we attempted to watch a movie with the children while eating dinner. Then we sang to Brandon and he opened his presents, while the children attempted to surreptitiously stick their fingers in the cupcake icing and smear them over Brandon's new book. Then we put all of the children to bed and by then it was time for us to go to bed.
Today started out a little better - I managed to make breakfast for Brandon (crepes with caramelized apples, buttermilk syrup and whipped cream) and even took care of baths and dishes so Brandon could read. But when we made it home from church, the wheels came off again. Brandon ended up helping me cook and strip the disobedient ones down for cold showers because they wouldn't just sit down and eat their dinners. When you have small children, it always eventually devolves into chaos. It's just the way life is. I don't think that I've ever had a single day with them that didn't have at least a half hour of chaos in it somewhere.
But they're all in bed now and Brandon is reading his book that he bought with birthday money from last year (thanks, Mom and Dad!) on the Kindle that I bought him this year (yes! A two-Kindle family!). And even though life is crazy, he's still a year older and a father. Another year I got to spend with him and father of my children. So in the end, I guess that's all that counts. Maybe.
Next year, I swear it will be better. Really. I mean it. For real.