Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Big Party

Ah, I did not need to worry. My daughter went to her first non- family birthday party, and survived. No meltdowns were had, by any of the kids. Even mine. It was a good party. There were about 12 kids, all girls and 1 boy. The cake was probably good. I wouldn't know (more on that later). It was cute, cupcakes with gob- loads of icing forming a solid top. Mmmm, icing.

Of course, I was the only mom who stayed. There was the mom of the birthday girl, and a friend of the moms', who was the owner of the single attending boy and had obviously been trapped into helping out. It surprised me, how everyone got there exactly on time and left the same way. On. The. Dot. In fact, most of the other parents kicked their kids out of the car and ran away fast. A few never even slowed down. Just bzzzzzzzzzz by, opened the minivan side door and the girl jumped out and rolled into a summer- sault up to the house with the minivan going 25 miles an hour. It was suggested on the invitation that the girls dress as a fairy or a princess, so Genea dressed as a fairy princess. And if I do say, she was the prettiest one with the best hair and costume. Too bad the Oscar Committee was unavailable.

Beautiful eh?

How I wished to be one of those parents, who could rip past the house, toss their kid out, and leave. I imagine them going back to their houses and taking a nap. Or reading a book. Or just relaxing, resting, listening to the quiet. Was I jealous? Put it this way, I have always looked good in green. Just call me Elphaba. No, I understood ahead of time. I knew, even when we adopted Genea, that milestones for all kids would come and go, and that as her mom, I would be responsible for a big extra chunk of decision making. There will always be events like this, that as her parents we will have to think through another level of precaution and planning. It is just different. When Teena goes to her first party, she will probably arrange a taxi to do her transportation and we will never even know what happened.

Fact is, all those other parents probably went home to do laundry. Or dishes, or pay bills. Or clean litter boxes, and take care of the other kids they have. This is what I am telling myself. The grass is always greener for sure.

So it was a good party. Like I said, I stayed the whole time. I had let Genea know ahead of time that if she was comfortable and okay with it, I would leave and go back for her at the end. Within the first 3 minutes in the house, I knew that would not be happening. Nope. None of the other parents even walked in past the door mat. And frankly, a few of them probably should have stayed with their kids (the girl popping herself on the head for attention comes to mind). Of course, everyone knew each other. It is a strange place I live in. It is a medium- small city, but everyone seems to know everyone anyway. Like they all went to school together or something. Not a lot of people move to here, and not as many as I would think move away. So people know each other for decades. I mean, not me, the other people.

It's a cute thing about kids this age, 5 and 6, that mom's are interchangeable. You are either, mom to that kid, or you are in the Mom Pool. And members of the Mom Pool can be approached at any time with a problem. Bow on your costume came undone? Mom Pool. Spilled your drink? Alert the Mom Pool. Don't want to throw away your own garbage you little shit? Hand it over to the Mom Pool! I will probably crack my image a bit here, but I think it is sweet. A whole little group of short people who think I can help them maneuver through anything. Just cuz I own 2 of them myself (huh, if they only knew)!

They had pizza for lunch, with chips and soda- cranked up the sugar load early on and dosed the kids with some good old fashioned semi-toxic food dyes and crap. I helped out, with everything, while also trying to hang back quietly. This was a really funny moment, their dog was whining and the mom said it was the dog pretending she was sad behind the gate. I said, hmmm, sounds like a fake cry to me, who else has a fake cry. I swear, 5 of the girls raised their hands and started doing it. Very interesting! They went on to talk about it, how they do it and why/ when, who falls for it. Genea had to sense to keep it zipped for that little conversation!

So, I was never offered anything. To eat, to drink, to snack. I just stood there, wasting away, helping all the kids and picking up garbage for them. When plates were handed out, I was skipped. At first I thought it was because they might not have enough. But, they did. Same with the soda. Nothing. But, the most heinous of the social protocols to be ungraciously ignored was the cake. I am a fiend for frosting, especially butter cream frosting. That's what it looked like on the cake, a monstrous dedication to the newest chick to spend your money on- Tinkerbell -and butter- cream frosting. It was chocolate cupcakes with a frosting shelf built over them. Never even offered. Seriously. Everyone else was specifically handed a plate. Oh, and there were plenty of cupcakes left too. Sure I could have asked, or just taken, but I just wasn't feeling it. Really, you do nothing but promote a stereotype when you hog all the cake! (Here in Wisconsin folks are known for being, well, sturdy. No wind gonna come knock down any residents in this state). So I don't know what was up with that. I hate using the phone so I had The Husband call and RSVP us. I made him ask if parents were able to stay if needed, and she told him parents could stay if they wanted to but she wasn't expecting that people stay. So she knew it was a possibility. Now this is just occurring to me, party mom might have thought it was weird that I stayed when I so obviously had this well adjusted child capable of being on her own and that I was clearly being over protective in the extreme. Thinking of me as the Dumb- Ass Mom who insisted on staying. Still though, everyone offers! Oh well. Better they think I was the one with the exceptional needs!


  1. See....southern etiquette would have required you to eat at least 2 pieces of cake of the 5 pieces that would've been offered.

    So tickled Genea survived (and you too).

    Loved the fake cry story.

    Thanks for my morning giggles.

  2. i do believe in two types of kids, drop off kids and non-drop off kids. My kids are non drop off kids....lol. I had the experience of having a non-drop off kid where the parent dropped the kid off. It was a nightmare. So, from a non-drop off parent to another, thank you. I wish all non-drop off parents would stick around as a 'just in case'. I actually missed my younger sons party due to attending to this kids issues. As for them not offering you anything, thats just rude. I actually make sure I go out of my way to take care of the non-drop off parents as they were kind enough to stay and usually help out. Oh, one more thing, as they get older, mine have become drop-off kids. And yes, your day will come to go home and take a nap or read a good book....lol. I totally identified with your post. Being a dad is even worse, these 'mothers' just put you at the kitchen table and ignore you. I actually had to get up and ask for a slice of pizza as I was starving.

  3. Being a Wisconsin native, I am utterly shocked at the rudeness of not being offered cake!!!

    I think I would have body slammed the bitch!

    Seriously though, she was definitely not the hostess with the mostest!

  4. Glad you both survived as well. Me, I'm stealing the cake. I'm ok with being more rude. Which is probably why they don't invite me to lunch.

  5. Thanks- yeah, I thought about body slamming for some cake, but I didn't want to mess up their house. Seriously though, I never even thought of it as I was there helping, with my kid who would have needed help otherwise, that is a good point. Surely that should have been worth some cake or a sucky little piece of frozen pizza!

  6. Very weird about the cake, indeed!

  7. Hrmph, the more I think about the cake, the more annoyed I am. I was busy feeling good about how well Genea did.
    That really is SO rude.

  8. she does look cute! as for the cake, i would be like you and not say anything either. However if i saw that you or a friend weren't getting food i would be the first to say. did the other mother get food? the one with the only son? i wonder. its great that genea did so well, i am glad for her and for you. i am sure that you will not worry so much next time. As for drop of moms, i guess they have other things that they need to get done. like you say house work and stuff??!

  9. Yay for Genea! Great progress! :)

    When Alena went to her first (and second and third...) party in kindergarten you better believe I stuck around. I wasn't sure what the "protocol" was, but I didn't care. I didn't know the people, I certainly wasn't just going to drop her off and leave. With Katrina, being my more independent and assertive child, I stayed for her first party but have been sticking around just to make sure I'm comfortable (and she is, too) for the subsequent ones and then I take off. If she asks me to stay, I stay. So far she's been fine with me leaving.

    As far as not offering you food, kinda strange, but possibly something I would do as a "hostess." I get so preoccupied with things that I forget to ask, 'something to drink?' or whatever to guests at times whether they're here with kids or for adult conversation. (I don't always see myself as the "adult" yet (at 44 years old!). Just something that stems from being the youngest of 8.) I'm not saying that's what happened because I wasn't there, but if it were my kid's party, I would have no problem with you grabbing a cupcake for yourself. Especially since all the kids were taken care of first.

    In any case, I'm glad your baby did well. It's got to be a relief for you. :)

  10. Yeah, the other mom got 1 of everything the kids got. I am guessing she probably just had things planned out in her head and I wasn't on her list. I was surprised that none of the other parents stayed because I was not the only one who appeared to not know them. Strange.

  11. And, Heather Forbes of Beyond Consequences says to STAY. Even if you look like a ridiculous, overprotective mom and are the only one, stay. Funny huh! I figured I better finish the book before I go, and there was a big segment about birthday parties!


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