third runner up in the lamest spouse category

It was John’s birthday today (well, yesterday, seeing as it’s now after midnight), and I’m ashamed to say that I had no present for him. His birthday sort of sneaked up on me, and then jumped out at me from behind the bushes a couple of days ago. “I’ll have time to figure something out,” I thought to myself. And then promptly set aside all thought of the date.

In a last ditch attempt to disqualify myself from the lamest spouse competition (in which I have been a strong contender for many of John’s past birthdays), I determined that I was going to bake a cake.

And lo and behold, I baked a cake.

More amazingly, I managed my first solo outing with both kidlets. You see, we needed groceries in order for me to accomplish my baking goals.

I felt ever-so-capable as I let John sleep in, and managed to get Phoebe breakfast, eat breakfast myself, wrangle Phoebe into her clothing and get myself dressed, while intermittantly either feeding or otherwise tending to Theo. I got Phoebe into her shoes, strapped Theo into the infant carrier/carseat, and we headed out to the car. Stepping outside I realized it was much colder than I’d expected. So we headed back in to get Phoebe’s jacket. Then after running around looking for the jacket, and further toddler-wrangling, we headed out back to the car. I realized as we were in the driveway that I had told Phoebe we’d bring some milk in a sippy cup for her, but not wanting to delay further, I pushed us forward. I plopped Theo’s carrier into the carseat base, buckled Phoebe in, and we headed out. And it was barely past 11:00.

We were about 3 houses up the road when I realized that I’d forgotten our cloth bags for the grocery store. “Gah!” I said. After some internal debate, I turned around and went home. I decided that I should get Phoebe the promised sippy cup of milk, and a snack for the road, too. I bundled us all back into the house, gathered the bags and provisions, and bundled us all back into the car once more.

Amazingly, we made it to the store before noon. I wore Theo in the Bjorn, and Phoebe rode in the cart. (Lifting Phoebe, who weighs a good 35 pounds, was quite a challenge while wearing Theo.) And we shopped without further incident. (At least for the most part. There was a minor meltdown from Phoebe when we arrived at the parking lot when she realized we had forgotten to bring her book, and when I told her we were not going back for it.)

As for the baking, I wasn’t able to make any pretense of surprising John with a baked cake. But bake it I did. Yes, from a mix. But I preheated, measured and stirred with love, dammit.

The cake, unfrosted.

The cake, unfrosted.

Phoebe helps frost the cake. (This photo does not show her stabbing the cake in her enthusiasm for the task.)

Phoebe helps frost the cake. (This photo does not show her stabbing the cake in her enthusiasm for the task.)

Phoebe sprinkles on the sprinkles.

Phoebe sprinkles on the sprinkles.

Phoebe proclaims the cake decorating to be done.

Phoebe proclaims the cake decorating to be done.

Phoebe loves birthdays.

Phoebe loves birthdays.

The whole party. (Notice the phone, which had John's parents on speaker phone.)

The whole party. (Notice the phone, which had John's parents on speaker phone.)

12 responses to “third runner up in the lamest spouse category

  1. Ha! It makes you wonder how people with MORE than 2 ever leave the house doesn’t it? Our personal best is 9:15…today though we’re shooting for 8, which is why I’m up at 5am getting ready (or reading blogs). =)

  2. Wow – you are amazing!

    I’ve always wondered about those people I see out shopping with more than one kid under 5. Especially mind-boggling are those with toddler twins. I am at once impressed and very very happy I am not them. ;)

    Great looking cake too – lucky John!

    And that Phoebe gets prettier every day – how is this possible?

  3. i am happy to be in such illustrious company in the lamest-spouse category. it all started several years ago, when g claimed he didn’t want a fuss made over his birthday… ha!

    i’m bowled over by your multitasking capabilities, though. impressive woman, you are!

  4. far from lame, sister. far from lame.

    happy birthday to john!

  5. That sounds like a lovely birthday to me! How can you not be thrilled with such masterful cake decorating! Phoebe is so adorable.

    Well done on surviving the first outing, it just gets easier from there!

  6. Lovely cake and congratulations on getting out of the house!

    And a belated happy birthday to John.

  7. you know, the best present John probably *could* get would be the quiet morning and homemade (homestirred?) love you doled out. surely the opposite of lame!

  8. Hooray! And much belated congratulations on beautiful, beautiful Theo!

    Going anywhere with two kids means that once you are completely ready to go out the door, you’ve got 20 more minutes of stuff to do before you can actually leave. It’s an actual fact. Newton would have surely penned it as a Law if he had been blessed with a uterus.

    Forget the whole Lamest thing. Going to the store AND baking a cake rocket propels you into World’s Best categories.

  9. It amazes me how tough it is to wrangle 2…totally impressed you baked with a newborn.

    And phoebe is just gorgeous. What a whole lot of love in that house of yours.

  10. Sleep… goooood.

    Cake… yuuummy.

    Sprinkles… cruunchy.

  11. (Happy Birthday, John! belated…)

    I noticed all the amazon boxes in the corner. read much?


  12. Great cake! It looked yummy.

    Good for you getting out with both kids–it took me 4 months before I dared take both out at the same time.

    You’ll get quite skilled at swinging Phoebe into the shopping cart. I usually have 24 pound James on my chest and then swing 30 pound Becca up and into the shopping cart. It’s quite a feat!

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