As Westley was got out of the bathtub, he announced for the 73rd time today, "I can't wait for my birthday!"
I glanced up at the clock. Five years ago that minute, I was walking up and down my parents' hallway, in pain—but not, I was sure, in labor—despairing. Rob was on the phone with Geraldine.
"Five years ago right now, I was in labor," I told Westley. "The midwife was getting ready to come over."
"Wow!" Westley said, sounding genuinely impressed. "Congratulations!"
* * *
Today was tough and wonderful. Westley aced his five-year well visit. I held him in a tight bear hug while he scream-cried through two shots (his first two shots as far as conscious memory is concerned). I kissed his cheek over and over again, just like I did when he was a baby, just like I do with Ivy when she cries. For a few minutes, life felt like it was just him and me and the hurting.
Westley bounced back pretty quickly, but he told me several times over the course of the day, "I didn't like getting shots."
Word. Shots suck and I hate them.
* * *
Westley's lunch today was a giant, post-shots strawberry Frappuccino and most of a sourdough baguette the size of my arm. He wasn't hungry for dinner, which surprised no one.
Eventually, he asked for baby carrots and a clementine.
* * *
Westley spent an hour this morning "playing family" with all his stuffed animals and soft toys in a space ship made out of his snowman bed sheets. Then he dressed up as Darth Vader for a while. When it was time to get dressed for real, he chose his bright red Spider Man T-shirt and bright red sneakers to go with the gray corduroys I'd picked out. Westley's favorite color is bright red—not just red, bright red.
After an hour or so of relative silence (even imaginary space is quiet, apparently) Westley talked non-stop about his birthday tomorrow, turning five, his party, his friend Sarah (who, unfortunately, is the only friend able to attend the party—but, fortunately, is his favorite friend at the moment), playing games, and the robots he will invent when he grows up to be a scientist.
He sang all the music he knows from various Sonic the Hedgehog levels to Ivy while she got her diaper changed.
Westley was patient and helpful while we shopped for birthday cake ingredients and a few regular groceries. It was a little upsetting to abandon our shopping cart for a mid-shopping bathroom trip (he wanted me to come in with him but to turn around and face the wall), but finding it again was great fun: "This one's ours, right?" He was absolutely delighted with the tiny Mr. Freeze toy I had waiting for him as a post-check-up surprise. He thanked me several times over, though he confused the character with Captain Cold, referring to him as "Captain Freeze."
* * *
When I asked Westley what he wanted to his birthday dinner? "Pumpkin pie."