Saturday, April 24, 2010
No Birthday Shall Pass Without Cake!
Every year Mr T insists that he doesn’t need a cake on his birthday and every year I buy one, but in 2008 we were pretty busy on his birthday, so when he insisted he didn’t want one, I foolishly relented. As soon as I said, ‘Okay, we won’t get one,’ it felt wrong. I believe a birthday should be celebrated with cake and presents, the more, the merrier (cake, presents and people), but I couldn’t shake the feeling that we’d ruined Mr T’s birthday by not including a cake in the celebrations.
It wasn’t long until that feeling became fact. Boywonder and Tomboy were tucked in their beds for their afternoon nap while Mr T and I settled on the couch to enjoy a cuppa and one of the videos Mr T had received as a birthday present. Boywonder was the first to wake and at first we didn’t think anything of the fact he had woken much earlier than he usually did. He walked into the lounge room with his cheeks flushed and his eyes looking very glassy. As soon as I felt his forehead I knew his temperature was well above normal. I left him standing where I’d felt his forehead while I retrieved the thermometer from the kitchen. As I re-entered the lounge room Boywonder placed his hand over his mouth, his eyes bulged and his cheeks blew up like a blowfish. The next few seconds played out in slow motion; I knew what was going to happen next, but also knew there was no way I could stop it happening. All of my brainpower was focused on trying to prevent what was about to unfold, so my mouth was unable to communicate to Mr T or Tomboy. I looked back through the doorway to the kitchen for a suitable container, but there were none. I looked at where Boywonder stood in the middle of the lounge room carpet. As I started to cross the few steps that felt like ten metres, vomit began pouring out of Tomboy’s mouth and onto the carpet.
This stirred Mr T into action, but it seemed all of his brainpower was focused on communication, because apart from sitting up in shock, he was unable to move from the couch as his mouth started uttering incoherently, ‘What the …? Oh, man! What …? How …? Aargh …’
I grabbed Boywonder’s arm and coaxed him to the kitchen as fast as I could, but we still seemed to be stuck in slow motion. By the time I had him standing on the kitchen tiles, he’d finished coating the lounge room carpet in something that looked like chicken and vegetable soup, but smelt like sour milk mixed with rotten oranges.
Now that the emergency was over, we were moving at normal speed and the parts of our bodies that were left without power were once again functioning.
‘This is what happens when you don’t have cake on your birthday,’ I told Mr T as he surveyed the carpet in disgust. I knew from past experience that I’d be the one cleaning it up. If Mr T attempted to clean it, I’d end up having to clean up two lots of vomit.
As fast as Boywonder’s tummy bug appeared, it disappeared. The vomitous explosion was just what Boywonder needed to reduce his temperature and make him feel good again. Despite the afternoon’s disastrous turn Mr T was still in the ‘birthday’ mood that evening and enjoyed crawling about on the floor (upstairs away from the earlier disaster scene), acting the fool with Boywonder and Tomboy.
While they played I ran the bath. The sound of the water thundering from the tap into the bath makes it difficult for me to hear anything more than 30 cm from my ears, so when I heard a loud thud in the hallway, instinct insisted I investigate. I found Mr T lying on the floor, holding his head in his hands.
‘What happened?’ I asked.
Apart from a quiet groan, he was silent.
I moved closer, bent over him and asked again. I was starting to worry until he finally answered me.
‘I spun around on my knees and smacked my head on the stair railing. I think I nearly knocked myself out,’ he explained, still holding his head in his hands.
After a few more moments of silent cursing (the children were also watching and waiting) Mr T got to his feet.
‘Are you okay?’ I asked.
‘We should have bought a birthday cake,’ I replied with raised eyebrows and an ‘I told you so’ smile on my lips.
As usual, I forgot to check the weather for that night and the next day, so Mr T volunteered to go downstairs and find out. Halfway down the stairs Mr T slipped and landed very hard on his behind.
‘Are you okay?’ I asked as I looked down on him, his shoulders slumped in defeat.
‘We should’ve bought a birthday cake,’ was his sad reply.
So from that day forth a new birthday law was passed in our house and it is ‘no birthday shall pass without having cake’. The good thing is that now we sometimes buy two cakes; you can never be too cautious.
Mr T has come a long way in the last two years. He not only agrees to have a birthday cake, but participates in choosing which one he wants. And this year he even went as far as complaining when the rest of us ate the leftover cake the following day while he was at work. Did he really think he’d be able to have his cake and eat it too?