Connor had an amazing seventh birthday. He was treated with cupcakes the day prior, with tons of sweet treats and love notes the day of (the significant benefit to having a Valentine’s Day birthday) and a party of some sort for the succeeding three days.
What mama couldn’t have anticipated was the yuk that was slowly invading to put a nice little topper on the festivities. Connor had been pretty sick earlier in the week but it seemed like a 24-hour thing. He felt better as the week progressed but then the night before he would turn seven, he fell asleep at eight. I commented on that in my last post (oh, how sweet it was) and that I was slightly worried. For good reason, I would later discover.
As his birthday wore on, I started to feel the yuk. I was suddenly warm and my eyes felt glassy and heavy. I debated even going in for his party at school but in my continuous pursuit to surround myself with as many germs as possible, I opted to attend anyway. We came home after school and chilled for the rest of the evening. Well, he mostly chilled and built new Lego sets while I wigged out about baking my first gluten-free cakes. Plural.
After I ruined the first one (you know how you soften butter in the microwave and forget that you did that? no?), I called in reinforcements and Jon brought the extra cake he had over.
On Friday, Connor seemed okay and I was feeling at least well enough to help out at school and work for a few hours before final party prep. That afternoon was hectic trying to frost and perfect these cakes I wasn’t even sure would taste good. I’ve made several cakes for Connor and I’ve come to really enjoy creating my own interpretation of someone else’s masterpiece. I’ve hit some home runs, actually. My favorite was his race track cake that was ginormous (and delicious). Score.
This cake, though? It seemed forced. I just wasn’t loving it and I knew I was working under a deadline and some people do not frost well under deadlines. I would be one of those people. When I was time-checking and realizing I still needed to make Yoda Soda and load up the car and feed the natives, I deemed it sufficient. Yuk. I hate sufficient. When I told Connor it was ready he came in and, in his infinite cuteness, said, “Mom, it looks good. You did your best.”
I just smiled and thought, ‘hey, he’s my audience, so I can consider this a win.’
Connor had a great party. We rented a party room at the local pool and several of his friends and a couple cousins came to celebrate with him. The official Jedi guest list included Nolan, Micah, Lindsey, Natalie, Sage, Cory, Lindsey and by extension, Logan. I had a hunch something was amiss when Connor stopped swimming before any of his friends were done. He came and sat by me and just said he needed a break. We decided after a few minutes to get our friends out of the pool and have some cake and ice cream.
We sang, Connor made a silly face the entire.time and then everyone dug in. After chugging some Yoda Soda, Connor started having a coughing fit reminiscent of when he was just a little guy. I say reminiscent because I sensed it was coming and when I say ‘it’, I mean, what he’d eaten. And, just shortly after he started coughing, there it was. Thankfully, few of his friends actually noticed the raucous and we quickly cleaned up.
Of course, Connor immediately jumped to concluding it was the soda, or the cake. And then he asked if I was sure they were gluten-free. Knife, meet heart. When he’s older, I’ll remind him how badly he made his mother feel for suggesting she tried to poison him with gluten. For the record, coughing tends to trigger his gag reflex. The end.
The bummer was that both of us wound up relatively lifeless on Saturday and Sunday. He woke up feverish and I could hardly breathe for a good chunk of the day. I think we watched three movies? He felt better in the afternoon and celebrated his birthday with Jon’s family in the evening. I mustered a trip to Meijer before coming home and crashing again.
Sunday was much the same except that when we got to my parents’ house, he started feeling punk again. He did liven up for another rendition of happy birthday and opening of presents but that was about it. I do want to point out (just because I don’t ever want to forget it) that my mom also attempted a gluten-free angel food cake for the Sunday celebration. Let’s just say that it resembled something like a sponge brick? But, that was okay. She did her best. (It didn’t taste awful either … it just had a unique … texture.)
By Monday, we were both starting to come out of it, but it was such a bummer way to spend a birthday weekend. I apologized again to Connor for not having been in more of a celebratory way but he was quick to forgive. He knows that, despite the yuk, I did my best.