Apologies for my absence. It's becoming clear that a nervous breakdown is a luxury I can't afford right now.
We've been dealing with some heart-stopping financial problems, coupled with tenants handing in their notice. Good times. We've slapped a bandaid on one of the issues and now it just feels like I'm no longer going through a heart-attack, but one further shock may just kill me.
People have been very kind, offering such time-worn adages as 'it's always darkest before the dawn' (what dawn?), 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger', 'worse things can happen', or 'wow, you guys are fucked'.
I hadn't intended to write about this, mostly because we're still very much in the middle of things and quite frankly I spend 95% of my time worrying and writing is supposed to be a hobby, so I'd prefer to write about the girls instead. The reason I'm alluding to it is, one of the hardest things about having your world come crashing down around your ears is the people who don't know what's happening. Those who still expect a reply to their child's playdate offer, or want you to consider 'nature camp' or to chair a meeting or commit to the fall drop-off schedule. People who assume you know where you're going to be this time next month, hell, this time next week. All the time you feel like you're walking around with 'my world is ending' tattoed on your forehead, but everyone is completely oblivious and you still have to function because a nervous breakdown is far too self-serving.
Which is exactly what it felt like on Anna's 5th birthday party when I had to slap on my 'happy face', all the time wishing I could smack that pinata within an inch of it's life just so I could beat the crap out of something. As it happens we had to, because that unicorn pinata was built out of papier mache and 100lbs of tape and would not die. In the end 10 under 5s watched my husband brutally murder a defenceless white unicorn and then eviscerate it to release the candy (which had all come out of their wrappers due to the prior abuse).
Pinatas: an odd tradition I feel.
Anna was happily oblivious. She had been looking forward to this birthday for approximately 364 days. The event had morphed from a horses party to a unicorn party to a pegasus/unicorn/pool party. She wanted everyone to dress as a pegasus (vetoed), and requested we feast on cooked rabbit (I need to check her nighttime reading, because she is coming up with some weird stuff). By the way, you know you have a 5 year old daughter when you have to ask yourself what the plural of pegasus is? Pegasuses? Pegasi?
We've been writing thankyou cards and I asked her to say what her favourite bits of the party were, 'the pinata' (death by beating) and our cake (requested: unicorn cake with a white body, red horn, rainbow tail, golden hooves, rainbow background with castle):
As you can see, I cunningly slapped a unicorn on top of a homemade pink cake and allowed Anna to go crazy with the candy flowers and silver balls. What a confection I think you'll agree.
It tasted wonderful, even after the unicorn had sunk into the second layer.
So there you have it. She and her friends had a wonderful time, I felt like I was going to crack at any second (and did), but life goes on, and after a gentle prodding from a few of you, I've also decided to keep blogging because in the midst of all this financial heartache, the girls are having a childhood that I want to try and remember.
Oh, and by the way, the phrase any parent on a budget dreads to hear 'Mom, now that I'm 5 I want to learn to ride horses!!'