I’m a magnet for disaster.
I suppose that in itself isn’t particularly shocking.
But the thing is…
A disturbing percentage of these incidents seems to be birthday-related.
It’s astonishing, really.
But you have to admit, the timing is utterly impeccable.
I mean, I’m prone to chaotic situations in life.
But as my birthday started to get closer and closer, it became glaringly obvious.
Case in point:
On my very first birthday as a mom, my baby managed to get ahold of a dangly earring.
He innocently toyed with it.
And then the little Hulk yanked that sucker right out of my ear.
Well, they say love hurts, right?
A couple of years later, we decided to take a day trip to the Grand Canyon.
I was 7 months pregnant, but up for an adventure.
At least, I thought I was.
When we arrived, a thick fog closed in on us.
It obscured the entire view of the canyon.
The fog was so thick, and visibility was nonexistent.
If that wasn’t bad enough, droves of hail started falling from the sky and pelting me in the face.
And in my big baby belly.
We left the Grand Canyon without ever actually seeing the Grand Canyon.
Talk about a memorable trip.
Then there was that year of pink eye fun.
First, my oldest had gotten it.
Damn school and their teachings of sharing everything.
From crayons to chicken pox.
Anyway, a week later, he passed it along to his brother.
But lucky me!
I escaped without incident!
So my husband and I went to Las Vegas to celebrate.
My birthday, that is.
Not the kids having pink eye.
We went to a kick-ass Steel Panther concert at the House of Blues.
For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of going to Vegas, it’s basically a city that never sleeps.
Where parents bring their kids to roam smoke-filled casinos in misguided judgment of what constitutes quality family time.
Where trucks advertising topless dancers fill the streets and abandoned pornographic trading cards are plastered to the sidewalks.
Where moms push strollers at 3 o’clock in the morning with one hand, while balancing twenty-inch cocktail glasses in the other.
Very interesting place, that’s for sure.
Especially on The Strip, the best place in the world to go when you need to feel better about yourself.
I mean, aside from Walmart.
But all good things must end.
And so we returned home.
The next morning, I woke up with pink eye.
Evidently, there’s no escaping the great conjunctivitis epidemic.
Another year, my mom and I spent the day at the beautiful resort where my husband and I had gotten married several years prior.
After strolling the scenic tropical oasis grounds, we decided to head indoors and explore some more.
We marveled at the magnificent brunch setup we’d stumbled across.
Then realization dawned on us when we saw a giant Welcome! banner.
We had unwittingly wandered right into an Ophthalmology Convention.
It was a bit awkward, but we hung out for a while and acted like we totally belonged there.
In retrospect, we should’ve grabbed some coffee and a bagel or two on the way out.
Maybe next time…
Another year, we’d dropped the kids off at school and hit a local casino.
I’m hardly a gambler.
Mostly because I lack the attention span and get bored easily.
Besides, how many slot machines can one play before their eyes glaze over and their butts become permanently fused to the chair?
When it was time to leave, I didn’t even bother to cash out my big winnings of the day:
A whopping 34 cents.
But the highlight of that day, by far, was the email I had received from my oldest child’s teacher:
“Happy Birthday! Your son asked me to wish you luck at the casino today!”
I’ve had my share of other memorable birthdays since.
We’d gone to Chuck E Cheese.
We’d gone to Legoland.
We’d spent the day on a pontoon boat on the eerily brown waters of Lake Texoma, where I didn’t dare to dangle so much as a single toe in the water for fear of contracting something that would surely lead to some sort of unfortunate mutation.
And, of course, there was that one horrifying, traumatizing day with Princess.
But this year wasn’t so bad.
My darling sons repeatedly threatened me with a trip to Cabela’s (a.k.a. Vegetarian Paradise).
Complete with dinner consisting of moose.
Fortunately, they didn’t make good on that promise, and we ended up having a nice family day a few weeks before my birthday.
At the zoo.
Because we hadn’t been to a zoo in several years.
At least it was a beautiful day.
But on the night before my birthday…
I accidentally gave my little one a fat lip.
While it may seem like payback for that Easter nearly a decade ago, when he knocked me in the face with his hard head and I had to go to work the next day with a fat lip, this was totally a freak accident.
You see, the little sneak had been watching clips of The Walking Dead on YouTube.
That night, I turned out his light and tucked him in.
Next thing I knew, he was on the floor, sinking his teeth into my leg.
Presumably, he had been protesting bedtime.
The little Walker zombie’s role-playing earned him some brain rattling, lip splitting action when I landed on his bed and our heads collided like asteroids.
Do we know how to celebrate or what?
~Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you’ve had a great week, and enjoy the last weekend of April!~