Saturday, May 19, 2012

Not My Best

Ellie's EIGHTH birthday fell on a Sunday this year, and after much deliberation about whether or not to have a "friend party" or not, Ellie opted to have one! The Saturday afternoon before her official birthday was declared the day of choice.

I wish I could tell you that the best memories of the party are of the t-shirts we let each little girl design and color, or the cute bracelets they each made. Or even the present opening, or the games. Except those memories have already faded into the recesses of "typical childhood birthday party" and instead we are left with the memories of...
**Mike, Joshua and Luke returning home 15 minutes into the party, dirty and muddy and in desperate need of clean clothes. I couldn't bear to think of them walking upstairs dusting their path with mud and instead insisted on them each stripping down in the garage and running quickly upstairs wearing just their underwear. My job was to distract the little party-goers from threatening any of the boys' dignity. In my defense, there were several little girls at the party, and so I really had no idea that one of the girls was standing there staring at her friend's dad, big brother and little brother as they streaked through the house. (On the bright side, at least their underwear wasn't muddy and so I hadn't requested that be removed too.)

**Mike was very tired from his early morning, (working in aforementioned mud) and previous long work week that he was pretty sluggish when I politely asked him to please send the girls outside for the next activity. Somehow Mike didn't get them outside fast enough, and Ellie got distracted on her way outside with the china platter of hot pink cupcakes and attempted to carry it amidst 11 giggly, moving around 7-8 year olds. I got frustrated and nervous she was carrying my favorite platter full of cupcakes and as she attempted to set it down on the table to calm her mother's nerves, she bumped it against the edge of the table and cupcakes spilled everywhere. On the bright side, when I exclaimed an "Oh my h@##!" and began to not so kindly ask Ellie what in the world she was thinking, the girls all got outside in a much more timely manner than Mike was originally getting them out there.

On the not-so-bright side, I felt like a pretty crummy mother for hours after the party as I replayed the scene over and over in my mind. What really would it have mattered even if the white china platter had smashed and 12 cupcakes were ruined completely? Ellie says she has forgiven me, but I am still fully prepared for this to be one of those memories she will never quite erase from her memory.

** The neighbor children around here know Mike is kidding when he begs them for anything they are eating. On the other hand, most of the little girls at Ellie's party don't know Mike well at all. So when Mike sat in his chair outside asking for particular pieces of candy from their pinata loot bag, the girls were timidly handing pieces over to him. I quickly put a stop to it after I saw a little girl's face as she was handing over the begged for candy. I demanded Mike return each piece of candy and tried to explain to the not-so-smiley girls that Mike was playfully teasing them.
It really wasn't one of the better birthday parties I've hosted. And I've hosted a lot!

They say "It is great to be eight" but in my defense, Ellie's birthday party was held the day before her birthday, so she was still seven. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

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