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My mother is down visiting for our birthdays (I was born the day before her birthday, possible the only time in my life I have evinced great timing) and it’s been nice.

Owl is completely enthralled with her/her Samsung tablet, and demands her constantly, leaving me free to move about the house unencumbered in a way that I have not experienced in two and a half years.

I took a couple of days off of work, which was nice because I’m just SO TIRED. Now that I am working five days a week AND the post-Christmas puppy season is at its height, I had been really scraping the bottom of the barrel for energy lately.

I’m not feeling overly rested, because Owl has taken to waking up at five forty five in the morning lately, but I have at least had time to sit and not work and not train. It’s a really nice change.

My birthday itself was not all it could have been, though.

After three straight days of Owl in the house, even my mother was beginning to get her fill of “MORE PUZZLE, NANA. WATCH DAT VIDEO, NANA!”

We planned to drop him off at daycare and have a mother daughter day shopping.

It’s not that I didn’t want Owl around on my birthday. I love him and his company. But motherhood and fun birthday celebrations don’t really go together well.

Yeah, about that…

Twenty minutes after I dropped him off, Daycare Lady called and said that Owl was crying for me and she thought he might have a fever. Since Owl NEVER cries for me at daycare and since Daycare Lady hardly ever calls to ask me to come get him, I went right out there.

So we lugged Owl to the mall with us. He seemed perfectly fine, if clingy, and the thermometer didn’t register a fever. But anyone who has tried shopping with a toddler will agree with me that it is not the same experience.

Twice I had to leave my mother in a store to guard the things we had set aside in a change room for me and carry Owl halfway across the mall to one of the TWO restrooms.

We had to interrupt our shopping for his midday nap, and then wrestle him back into coat and shoes to continue it once he woke up.

The simplest exchange between my mother and me sounded like this:

“Oh, dear, I think that looks, Owl, don’t do that, come over here please, thank you. Yes, dear, I think that it looks, Owl, don’t pull on your mother like that.”

“Yeah, it feels comfortable but the material is, no, Owl, honey, I can’t pick you up right now, Mommy needs to take this shirt off. Here, do you think I should try the, no, honey, fingers aren’t for eating.”

“Do you want me to get a larger Owl, stop that, you’re going to knock me over.”

and so on.

By the time we got home, I had a new outfit and an ottoman that would double as a toy chest for Owl, so it was ultimately a successful day, but we were so wiped that PH and I cancelled our plans to go to a movie.

Taking my exhausted mother and saying “Okay, can you put him to bed for us, thanks, bye!” seemed a little too cruel.

So instead we stayed home and went to bed early.

That’s a MOTHERHOOD birthday, that is!

The next day was my mother’s birthday, and it went better. I dropped Owl off at daycare again and he was just fine. Mum and I registered my business license at the town hall, went to Chapters, went to lunch, downloaded and played my cousin’s game Diamond Find (a fun little speed-reading choose-your-own-adventure which is filled with his quirky humour).

We organized Owl’s toy chest, and put on a load of laundry.

It was a good day.

I like this not working thing. Yes, it’s exhausting dealing with Owl all day, but it beats trying to meet people’s expectations in the real world.

Mum leaves tomorrow. Next… Disneyland!

The real world can suck it for ONE MORE WEEK.