Every year Aya has a Valentine’s Day party that’s not on or near Valentine’s Day. Tons of women come over and fill the house with scents of perfume and fancy shampoo while they indulge in foods and talk about their feelings. What makes this year so special is that Aya decided she wanted to announce the pregnancy to her friends at the party. So not only were Aya’s emotions high, but so were her hormones, making the day-before party prepping very eventful.
The party is always on a Sunday afternoon (Actually, as stated in last year’s post on the event, she insists on it being called an afternoon soiree). So we have all day Saturday to clean, prep, and cook. And this year, the food prepping would be ever so important as Aya requested me to make cakeballs with a very specific vision. And as I learned early in the year, we would need an assembly line to perfect the process. So Saturday would be the day, and my mom would be the third person in the cakeball assembly line.
But come Saturday morning, Aya woke up less than enthusiastic. The sun was shining, it was the day before her ultra-happy glorious Valentine’s Day Afternoon Soiree and she was miserable lying in bed. Why? I’m not sure. This had been a common occurrence lately. She only had four emotions she was experiencing lately; happy (ecstatic actually), sad, nauseous, and opinionated. And any one of them could come and go at anytime for no reason.
I had to leave the house to take care of a few things and was cautious about getting too emotionally invested in her current state. It was possible when I returned she’d have dilated eyes and be bursting with energy. “HI! LET’S MAKE A CAKE!”
But when I returned three hours later, the upstairs was a disaster because Ellie had been “playing” with everything. Clothes, books, toys, pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, and diapers where scattered everywhere! Ellie sat in her chair with a big smile “reading,” while Aya was still in bed crying. I knew she was feeling nauseous, but I’ve never seen her cry from it so I was getting concerned that something was really wrong. It’s also not like her to lie in bed for hours.
A little worried and afraid of what her response might be, I asked cautiously, “Are you okay?”
“(Sniff, sniff, whimper) Noo,” she replied with tears running down her face.
“Is there something wrong? Did something happen?” I asked in a very calm tone of voice.
“No. I’m (sniff) just (sniff sniff) so (sniff) sad. (Bwaa),” She replied.
Oh boy. This was tricky. All I was thinking was, “Really, is that all?” But I knew I couldn’t say that. I was reminded of the time I made her cry at Babies R’Us when we were registering for Ellie’s baby shower. And by cry, I mean Aya snapped, burst into tears, shouted “FINE!” and shoved the scanner into my hands and stormed out of the store in tears. I stood there being stared at like I was the biggest A-hole in the world by all the pregnant women in the store. I dropped the scanner off at the help kiosk and did the walk of shame out of the store. I had to choose my words wisely this time.
So I said fearfully, “Is there more?” I figured that sounded a little more thoughtful than, “Is that it!? What’s wrong with you girl!?”
While trying to navigate Aya’s emotional state, I did manage to coax her downstairs before my mom arrived for the cakeball assembly line. But shortly after she arrived, Aya fell asleep on the couch. Our cakeball assembly line was a person short before we even started.
Aya was very specific with her vision of how she wanted things to look. This vision was never communicated clearly and she was now nauseous, hormonal, and asleep on the couch. My mom and I did as much as we could until it was time to coat the cakeballs.
By this time, Aya had woken up and partially resembled a human being and was able to help in the assembly line. Not without intense intermittent pauses of silence from her though. She’d suddenly stop and hold the counter and close her eyes. When asked if she was okay, she would either not respond, or just give The Hand to silence me. This was usually followed by some dry heaving over the toilet. If it wasn’t the near puking moments, it was the constant commentary.
“I don’t like that shade of pink. Can you make them pinker? I don’t like that font, can you redo it? Can we cluster them closer together? What, no glitter? Small polka dots, pleeaaaase?”
Of course I felt bad, but I couldn’t help but grumble inside. This was her shindig yet I was doing the majority of the work. I just kept thinking, “Once she goes public with her friends tomorrow, I can’t wait to tell them this story and get some sympathy.”
Long story short, we all managed to put everything together exactly the way Aya wanted. Not only the cakeballs, but also the hand-dipped chocolate potato chips, roasted squash, garlic roasted broccoli, and the ravioli pasta. Her friends loved and enjoyed everything, blissfully unaware of the drama that unfolded the day before to make everything happen. So finally, towards the end of the soiree when I was taking pictures of everyone I got to tell the story. And while I was expecting to hear, “Aww, poor Matt,” all I heard was “Awww, poor Aya.”
It just dawned on me I was expecting sympathy from the wrong crowd. Not only was this a group of women, but Aya’s best friends. Of course they would take her side.
Now, I realize that Aya has the more important and more inconvenient job when it comes to growing a baby. She’s the one that has to alter her body and no wonder she has a million mood swings with all those extra hormones she has. With me, there is no excuse for my mood swings and if I feel nauseous it’s probably because I ate too much ice cream.
So if all I have to do is make pink cakeballs on demand for her and her friends, I think I can handle it.
But I really hope next year’s party prep involves a lot less crying.