An avalanche of birthdays

Carolyn Aldis
Carolyn Aldis

THOUGHTS OF A FRUITCAKE: By Carolyn Aldis

So, last week was a pretty busy time in the Aldis household as we had 3 birthdays within 6 days. April usually comes round fast but I feel like I took a little nap during the Queen’s speech and have woken up on the eve of my daughter’s birthday...the fact it snowed didn’t help.

I used to be able to slow life down a bit by detoxing - when you are hungry, the hours crawl between the celery and the cucumber, but even this hasn’t worked recently, mainly because I keep finding Easter egg stuck between my teeth - it’s a mystery…

The first year that I had the craziness of 3 birthdays in 6 days was by far the hardest. It started with the birth of my 3rd daughter at 4 o ‘clock in the morning. 2 days after her birth, which just so happened to be her Daddy’s birthday, I made a huge pink castle cake (not for him, obviously.)

4 days later, I ran a 5th birthday party for my eldest daughter, making crafts and playing games with 20 children; at the end, when I was doing the Hokey Cokey for the 3rd time, I could see blackness coming down in front of my eyes and realised I might have overdone it.

I wonder how on earth I did it, with little sleep, a feeding baby and the iron levels of a gnat. The pressure I put on myself then was immense; I found that I would either keep going, pushing through the pain barrier and emerging on the other side, albeit a bit woozy…or the pressure would get too much and I would have a bit of a meltdown.

For example, when I had my first child, I was a strong Christian, who had sorted out a lot of issues, one of which was swearing; I didn’t do it anymore. After the birth, things settled down and we got into a routine of her waking a couple of times a night for a feed, which only I could do. Then there was one night when I couldn’t settle her, she was fractious and wouldn’t feed. I was getting frustrated and at a place where I finally understood the term “bone tired”, I literally ached with it. When I finally settled her and put her down, I got back into bed, alongside my peaceful, sleeping husband and as the baby started bawling again, I let out a shriek of obscenities. The swearing habit that I thought was gone was resurrected on a tidal wave of anger and I was a blubbering mess as my husband picked up our baby, who promptly fell asleep.

Getting the right balance of pressure in our lives is a good thing…too little and I find I stagnate, not moving forward, not much use to anyone…too much and I explode, fizzing over and affecting everything around me…no wonder my baby couldn’t sleep.

My “baby” turned 17 a few days ago and I’m glad I have finally got the balance of pressure right…otherwise sitting with her while she drives my car might be problematic…