Children’s birthday parties. More specifically, school friend birthday parties.
Did you get a little tummy flutter? Did you picture ponies and gift bags? Then you are not my people. Move along.
Did you cringe and feel sweat bead up on your brow? Did you reach for a nearby cocktail? If so, read on.
It’s not so much the screaming over-excited kids that I mind. I dont even particularly mind the germy venue. The cold pizza and token veggie plate dont bother me either, it’s the chit chat. The chit chat with other people I only barely recognize from car windows as we pass each other at drop off all bleary-eyed and zombified. It’s figuring out how to start a conversation with someone I dont know and will likely never see again. (because after this school year we are switching districts) I’m no good at big parties, and i’m only marginally better at smaller shindigs. I’m more of a friendly suaree partier. If I’m in a known group of people, it’s fun and I have even been known to enjoy myself. Those conversations mean something. I know the parent they are bitching about. I understand the tantrums and attitude of the small human they are rearing.
So today began with us preparing our newly habitated house for our son’s party next week. It moved onto my kid being snubbed out of a neighborhood birthday playdate, and ended with the school friend party.
Last weekend our neighbors had an impromptu potluck gathering. We know this only because when my daughter went to play with Kid K, her mom mumbled something super noninformational about it in passing. Later on the driveway across from us was decked out in tables, food, and people from all over our street. After things got underway, and after my daughter and I were standing on the driveway obviously waiting for a “oh hey! Come on over” wave, we received an apologetic half assed invite to which my husband and I bowed out of as we already had plans to go to a friend’s BBQ.
So today as i’m washing my car I notice Kid K and all but 1 of the kids my daughter has been playing with in the neighborhood for the last 4 weeks running all around and having a fabulous time. Tables are set up at one house and one kid excitedly shouts, “Thats so cool it’s actually her birthday today!” And they all scamper around the lawns together.
Three of the moms cozy up in chairs with wine across from my house….again…and I just minded my own business and washed my car.
I should have just swallowed my ridiculous pride, totally interrupted their guzzling, and just slapped a plastic smile on my face while overzealously waving and shouting, “Hello!!!” to all of them.
I totally should have. Maybe next time I feel dismissed I will.
But my kid had a birthday party to go to she didnt have to crash theirs.
She had a great time at the class friends party. I, however, sat off on my own after an initial ‘Hello’ and tried to look entertained. After a few minutes i just hid in my cell phone. I began to wonder if the person who wrote The Hunger Games was inspired by a similar situation resulting in Sponsors. I would have done nearly anything to see a parachute drop a martini down to me at any point during that party.
I was able to chat a bit, met a couple parents who said they had heard a lot about my daughter from their kids at home. I felt bad having never heard my kid talk about their children.
It all ended well and good until the exodus. Everyone left and as I was holding the door for the person behind me, my daughter tuns at the same time I do and BAM! She twirls ear first into my hard nail head purse.
Fiery bolts of lightning charge from her eyes and green poison flies out of her mouth as she starts screaming at me and alternately wailing into my chest over getting hurt.
It wasnt a scene, it was the entire play.
One sweet grandma asked, “Oh no, what happened? is she okay?” and through the mist of fury I call out by accident she got whacked with my purse, but was fine.
That parking lot emptied faster than a box of Thin Mints. Tumbleweeds. I quietly, but hauntingly, explained the situation my kid just caused to the demon that had obviously overtaken my kid. At some point the horns broke off and my kid was returned to the front of the identities and we resumed our party exit.
I despise going to these parties and quite frankly may just be otherwise engaged for any more classroom invites.
In fact, I did receive one today and I think I may just RSVP no and say “I’m sorry, we have the exorcism scheduled for that day.”