Holden's first birthday was last week on the 28th. We're having his party this Sunday at our house; let the stress rain down.
God, our house is a dump. The garage is full of crap. Shelf upon shelf of musty, dusty, often mildewed books "rescued" by Mark from other people's trash line two of the walls. At least 20 large boxes are stacked four and five boxes high, forming a wall barring access to the books and housing all the things Mark can't throw away: movie stubs, binders of his work in high school and college, boxes of pens and reams of paper. A third wall houses all the games we never play and with which Mark can not bring himself to part. A large, never-used table saw, an air hockey table (likewise virginal), and a dining table and six chairs given to us by Burgundy's grandmother eclipse any hope of actually parking in the garage, and our cats live in there. Enough said.
Inside the house, our pantry's contents have found their way out and onto the floor in front of the pantry. The laundry room exists in a perpetual state of overflow. Our dog lives mostly outside, but at night he sleeps in the guest bathroom. Guess what that room smells like? Well, dog and dirty diapers; Holden's diaper pail provides a heady, pungent aroma that permeates the back half of the house, eclipsing the fragile wisps of candle smoke competing for recognition in our olfactory palette. My craft room has a treacherous, 3-foot long, winding path by which I can reach my desk to sigh over unpaid bills and pray for a rain of money. The hallway is crowded with about 10 boxes of Christmas decorations, more than half of which never went up in the first place.
Throughout the house, baseboards are mismatched in both size and color, and walls bear the distinctive striping of people rubbing against them in an attempt to traverse a pathway without knocking something over. The front and back yards are overgrown (in January!); our lawn mower is broken, and I have no idea where to even start with getting them cleaned up.
Somehow I must organize, clean, disinfect and somehow apply the mask that I keep in a jar by the door to my whole [profanity redacted] house by Sunday while attending to all doctor appointments, keeping Holden fed; keeping him from sucking on electrical cords; keeping him in dry, unsoiled diapers; keeping him from eating the dog and cat food (in all honesty, I sometimes give up on the latter in order to buy myself a precious 5-10 minutes in which to wash, dry, fold, and put away all the laundry in the house); making and cleaning up from dinner for the family; driving Burgundy all over creation with a happy smile on my face, and employing grace and dignity while dealing with all the minor emergencies that populate every human being's day to day life. All with 3-5 hours per night of sleep interrupted every 60-90 minutes by Holden's near obsessive need to suck on my teats. It goes on. And on. And on.
Once I've disguised our trashy hovel as the respectable suburban manse the world expects, I have to bake a cake for everyone and a cake for Holden, ice the damn things (can you believe the standards people hold me to?), and decorate the house for our illustrious guests.
I'm honestly tempted to pick up a cake at Wal-Mart, set the house on fire, buy a plane ticket to Paris (France, y'all; I don't think Paris, TX has an airport. Holy crap. Paris, TX has an airport), and let Mark handle the rest of the birthday party.