Call it perfectionism, call it an impossible dream, or call me crazy, but I wanted the best for my daughter’s baby shower.
It was the night before the awaited event. All the food was prepared, the prizes were wrapped, and the games were printed out. The bee-themed décor was tucked into boxes waiting to be packed into my car. Only one thing was left to do before heading to bed: place a thank-you sticker on each of the baby shower favours.
You know, the parting gifts given to guests to thank them.
I thought the chosen favour was perfect. Since my daughter was expecting a baby girl, I’d been hoping to find something in pink to give away. When I stumbled upon a potted pink plant, called Polka Dot in a cute little pink pot, I knew it was the right choice! Immediately, I placed an order.
I picked up my plant shipment the day prior to the shower. There were two large boxes, of 18 plants each. The florist said she would remove four plants as I had ordered 34 only. (I had purchased 6 earlier, which would add up to 40 for the most expected guests.) We had a bit of a discussion about this. I thought 18 x 2 = 36. Subtracting 4 plants would leave me 32 plants. I would be short two plants. The florist disagreed with me. She scurried away, consulted a calculator and then handed me back two plants.
Next, the florist brought me to the check-out where the cashier scanned each plant. The cashier told me the grand total. I paid what I thought was an unexpectedly high amount. The clerk told me, “Thank-you! Bye!” But, I said, “Just a sec, I need to check something.” I rounded the corner to where the same flowers were displayed . . . for $1 per pot less than I had paid. Which was the amount of the original quote. I don’t like to rock the boat—to be the difficult customer—but I couldn’t let this pass.
It was tedious doing the refund. They scanned all the plants again, had me sign paperwork, called over a manager, and then issued me the refund. Next, the plants were re-scanned. I paid, and everyone wished me a happy time at the shower. They were thrilled with the idea of the pink pots and plants as shower favours. They also gave me one plant for free because of their error!
It was late at night when I started putting the thank-you stickers on the plants in the first box. The plants were packaged close together. Looking down into the open box, all you could see were pretty pink-and-green leaves. You could visualize the pink pots only when you pulled them out of the box. Yay! One box was done!
I opened the second box! Oh, no! The plants were in the original brown pots, not placed in an additional pink pot. And, not only that, but they were covered in soil.
My hubby insisted they would be fine. I think he said this as he didn’t want me to totally lose my sanity in my quest for perfection. I thought the pots looked filthy. Not suitable gifts!
I reviewed the situation. I could clean the pots and just put a sticker on them. I could get up extra early and try to convince the store to hand me over some pink pots. I knew they had about ten similar plants on display. Not enough! I remembered how complicated just paying for them had been. Or, I could take matters into my own hands . . . with a glue gun!
Now, anything involving myself and a glue gun doesn’t usually end well. I was on a mission. I had pink, lacy ribbon and I planned to gussy up these plain old containers. I’ve never been good at arts and crafts starting with being unable to stay in the lines when colouring with crayons. I was a hot mess!
However, I was determined. I glued the ribbon onto each pot. I burnt myself several times in the first few minutes but by the last pot, I had it down to a science. Measure the ribbon twice, cut once! Put a few drops of glue around the pot. Press lightly. Voila!
As I toiled late, I started thinking of how this was the epitome of motherhood itself. There will be late nights and fatigue. There will be unexpected crises. Sometimes you will get burned. Choices will have to be made to either “let it go” or try to fix things up. But, in the end, you do your best. You get out of it exactly what you put into it. And, you do it all with love.
So, I must tell my daughter, Giselle, not to worry. She sees a pregnant friend posting pics on Facebook of her pregnancy “bump” weekly. I’ve told Giselle not to compare herself to others. What makes one Mom-to-be or in her case, Mom-to-bee, happy, may not the cup of tea for another.
Run your own race, Giselle! Do your best with your newborn and do it with love. What you put into motherhood is what you will get out of it. So, love with all your soul and that will get you through the fatigue and the hard times. Love, love, love! And, be prepared for your heart to swell with joy when the little bundle is placed in your loving arms. Congratulations!