Dec 212009

I was about to write a post called “things that fell by the wayside in 2009”. But then that was a bit depressing. I also thought I might do a post about the books I read in 2009 but since I already wrote a longish book post not that long ago, well, and 2009 isn’t really over yet.

The things that somehow didn’t happen this year were about all the new good and healthy habits I had incorporated into my life since 2004 or even before that: exercise, healthy and moderate eating, sleeping enough, cleaning, making music, writing, meditation, you name it. On the other hand I’m proud to report that I made music just yesterday, and last week I actually dusted and vacuumed half the house. Ahem. I’m on it, though. I’m slowly picking myself up again, I have started de-cluttering, and if I go on like this, who knows, maybe even my son’s room will be clean before Christmas.

Last week was even a bit more busy than always with my son turning seven on Thursday. Here’s the usual “table with cake and present”-photo,


taken at about seven in the morning without any light to speak of (and yes, that’s a pink unicorn, sorry, but he loves it), and here the “all his other presents” one:


Well, apart from the bike my parents gave him but we only bought that later in the day after school. As you can see my son has a well rounded personality, he loves both pink plastic princess things and manly machine things. I made the doll myself, it’s another Ysolda pattern. My son loves it so much that he insisted on taking the doll with him all day, and her hair is already starting to come apart. Also he says I need to make her a jacket. And a nightgown and underpants. The book on planes is from my sister (and he loves that too), the other book is a collection of poems for children. His new bike was carefully selected to be manly enough for now and the next three years. (And, but don’t tell him yet, he gets loads of very boy-appropriate Lego “Power Miner” things for Christmas.) And because I’m so proud of the doll (I had to embroider the face!) here’s another picture of her. My son named her Gabriele:


I am very, very happy that I could persuade him to skip the usual birthday party with seven friends, and cake, and games. Not only because I find that kind of children’s party exhausting and stressful, no, I distinctly remembered last year when the party was over and he said, “I never want to celebrate my birthday again!” He doesn’t like chaotic and loud any more than I do. Over the year, of course, he forgot all about it and wanted to celebrate at a fast food place, or an indoor playground or some other crappy and commercial place that other children are celebrating there birthdays at. There is even a local furniture store where you can have your child’s party, no kidding. Needless to say that I didn’t want to do anything like that. So I thought a bit. He was dead set on not staying at home (that would have been extremely uncool, obviously), and he’s new in school with only a few, very few friends. So I thought, why not take his best friend to a museum? And that’s what we did. It was splendid. We went to the Deutsches Museum. This museum is really interesting, and they have a special part for children. My son had never been there but his friend had been often, oops. It didn’t matter though, they both loved it and we went and tried things and looked at things and huge sailboats and airplanes and helicopters. We weren’t there for long, only about 1 1/2 hours but that turned out to be perfect. Afterwards I let them choose between cake and burgers, and we had – burgers and fries.

I know, this sounds like it couldn’t have been fun but that’s only the way I’m writing this. As proof I quote my son’s best friend who said on our way back home (exciting train ride) that she wants to celebrate her birthday at that museum too. Ha! The museum does offer real birthday parties as well but, well, that would have required planning ahead. Also more costly than train tickets and fast food. I didn’t really have to pay for the museum because I had bought a 10-block-ticket years ago, and it is still valid.

My son also wanted to celebrate with another friend, one that he knows from kindergarten and never sees these days. He wants to have a pajama party. I dropped an invitation at his place (very late), and still have to hear back. I think this was all too near Christmas so I’ll phone his mother after the holidays to arrange something. That was the deal, two birthday celebrations. But I’m good with that.

So now it’s only two more days until Christmas (we celebrate on the 24th, of course), and I still have to get a tree and a lot of the food. But we decided to make Christmas even more low key than usual, no big fancy cooking either, and so I hope that everything will be nice and quiet. I already go all the presents (yay me!) but I haven’t wrapped anything, and I think I will leave that for Wednesday evening. We’ll have to work until then, quite late in my case unless my students don’t show up as happened today (the three last students canceled and the one before that just didn’t show up). Then on Thursday we’ll get up late, and then put up the tree, and then make some music or knit or something, and then decorate the tree, and then make our special Christmas food that’s supposed to be dinner but I think we’ll just have it for lunch, and then lazily unwrap presents so that my son doesn’t drive us all crazy. You see, in my husband’s family you have to wait for the unwrapping of gifts until after dinner. First dinner, and then the singing of Christmas Carols, and by then the child is totally freaking out. Since I have a very impatient father we used to unwrap the presents at some time in the early afternoon so you could play with your new toys before having dinner. I hope we’ll do it a bit more like this this year. And then he can put together his Lego for hours and hours and the next day and the next, and I will be sitting next to him, help him read the manual and sort the pieces. That’s one of my favorite memories from last year, spending two days building a ultrasonic space ship or something.

As for the next year I have decided to start the new year right now and my goal is to become happy again. That will be interesting. I have already started, and I hope to gather momentum even before New Year’s Eve. What about you, did you have a good year? A bad one? Something in between? Usually it’s something in between, isn’t it?

  6 Responses to “Still December, still the crazy, and my son’s birthday”

  1. A friend of mine’s son also has a birthday near Christmas. They have a tradition of celebrating his birthday with his friends six months later.

    Do wish you all the best in your pursuit of happiness. An honourable endeavour indeed. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  2. I had a crummy year, but I’m happy.
    My son’s birthday is RIGHT AFTER CHRISTMAS. Nobody feels like having a party right after Christmas – no one! I think we’re going to take him to a nearby city overnight and to the movies and so on. It’ll be fun.
    Merry Christmas!

  3. I haven’t made any progress on my goal to start learning to knit. Maybe this year, but I can’t envision when I’ll make the time. Some things never change: time management remains my biggest problem.

    My son seems to be very much like yours – he will be turning 5 and I don’t think we will have a party for him (other than the family) unless he changes very much – he generally hides when there is anyone at our house. He was a guest at his very first birthday party earlier this month and I called my husband saying, “I think he might be sick, you’d better come pick us up,” but he was perfectly healthy, just not thrilled by the party.

    I’ve nearly finished wrapping all the gifts for all the nieces and nephews who will be here to celebrate on Christmas day, and rearranging the furniture so there is dining space for 19 people. I believe I’m ahead of the game at this point, but I’ve probably forgotten something major AND there are still half of my Christmas cards sitting on the floor behind me, needing to be signed and pictures of the kids put in.

    I hope your Christmas celebration is just as wonderful as it sounds like it will be. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  4. I love that your son loves pink unicorns and a doll. And the simplicity of the presents. Way better than MQ getting tons of stuff she didn’t need at a big Bday party.

    and being happy is a lovely goal. good luck. i would like to be less stressed. which I think would make me happier. maybe.


    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  5. What a fabulous doll!
    I want one.

  6. Happy New Year to you! The doll is amazing. So, is the cake. My daughter had a unicorn birthday this year. 🙂

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