So mommy blogs. Yeah. There are like, a million and five mommy blogs, and I doubt mine will be any different. But it’s mine, so you get to deal with it. I have another blog, but it’s mostly geared toward spiritual insights. There may be some crossover, so forgive me if that happens.
Birthday parties are the best and worst things ever. They’re the best because the kids have a stupid amount of fun and end the day so exhausted that bedtime means no argument, which is awesome as a parent. They are also the worst things ever, regardless of whose party it is. If it’s your kid’s party, the reasons for this are so obvious that I don’t even really have to expound upon, but I will briefly anyway, because you need me to annoy you. First of all, there’s the weeks-long prep to undergo. Decide on theme: check. Decide on cake: check. Change mind about theme: check, check. Change cake order: check. Secure venue: check. Search frantically for Bob The Builder invitations because NO ONE has them: check. (Get free thank-you notes from Etsy seller: bonus check.) Order the cutesy birthday shirt that says So-and-so is turning X: check. Get sister matching shirt to avoid fight: check. Order party favors: check. Have heart attack because shirts and party favors arrive THE LAST DAY BEFORE THE PARTY: check. Pick up cake, purchase food, hope no one is allergic to strawberries and cheese: check. Have meltdown before party: triple-check. It goes on for a while so I’ll stop here.
So why is another kid’s party the worst thing ever? Well, let’s take for example the party we went to this weekend. It was a pleasant little gathering with food, cake, fans, and a waterslide (which, I might add, makes the party ten times more fun and the kids at least twice as tired.) We left the house in swimsuits, but forgot earplugs and swim diapers. (Both kids have T-tubes; thankfully only one is still in diapers.) So, already we have a Walmart stop planned and we’re already an hour late. Mark lets me out at the dreaded retail giant and goes to get gas while I shop. So, twenty minutes and an anxiety attack later, we’re on the road again (still late, in case you forgot.) Then, arrive at party. After putting in earplugs, fighting kids, changing diapers, and just general mayhem that goes along with anything water-related, the kids are finally ready to go sliding.
And then, it happens. The inevitable diaper explosion. There’s nothing like diarrhea that’s been washed in pool water. In a swim diaper. That’s just leaked into a swimsuit, and has now worked its way out of said diaper onto the slide. And of course, there are thirty seven-year-old kids in the pool, so the fact that the baby’s diaper leaked on the side of the slide has just been broadcast to the entire neighborhood. It never fails, too, that this is the one time you left the diaper bag with the wipes in the car. Great. Dad is left holding a poopy kid with poop running down both kid and slide while you run through waterslide runoff in dollar store flip flops to get the wipes out of the car. Meanwhile, the other darling angels are flipping out and embarrassed parents are telling their miniature public service announcement vehicles to kindly shut their mouths for Pete’s sake because not everyone wants to hear about poop.
Alright, poop cleaned up, diaper changed, swimsuit back on. We’re geared up for round two, because round one lasted exactly eight minutes. Intermission clocked in at an astounding twenty minute ordeal. Now we have roughly eighteen minutes until cake and “everyone get the hell out,” because we were an hour and fifteen minutes late, remember. Oh, ok, baby decides she’s done with the water. So, I just spent five minutes and three tries to get this suit on you and you don’t even want to swim? Awesome. Can someone please make a little girl swimsuit that’s easy to put on? No, that’s a stupid question, because women’s suits are hard enough to get on, and I am pretty certain that fact has nothing to do with the size of my behind.
Let’s focus on big brother for a minute. First of all, he’s four, and all the other kids are at least seven. (This is a one-year-old’s party, FYI.) So he’s the smallest, the slowest, and the most easily injured. Do the other kids care? Nope. Will they walk over him if he’s too slow climbing the ladder to the top of the slide? Yep. I don’t understand it. Kids that normally behave rationally on a playground turn into mindless sugar monsters when water is involved. They do stupid things. They forget the playground rules of engagement. Pushing someone out of the way on a regular slide is a blatant violation of the playground ethos, but it’s fair game if water is involved. Also, it’s now acceptable to slide on top of someone, even if that means crashing into their head, kicking them in the back, or otherwise breaking them in half. What am I witnessing? I ask myself. Are the other parents concerned? Maybe I’m being the helicopter mom? But I’m a former lifeguard, I remind myself. If I think some water-bound activity is unsafe, it probably is, because, after all, I’m a trained professional. Never mind that my certification expired a decade ago. Ok, so now what do I do? Am I that mom that calls the other moms out? Do I let it go? Or do I just tell the host the baby is sick and we have to leave, dragging a screaming four-year-old along with me? Luckily for me, the party ended before I had to make a decision. (That didn’t change the screaming four-year-old part.)
Essential insight: Parties are the best thing in the world for kids because they have a ton of fun, but they are the worst thing in the world for parents because they consist of multiple breakdown-worthy events. At least I had two tired kiddos after the fact and I got to take a nap with my baby girl. Oh, wait, no I didn’t, because when she’s sleep-deprived she turns into a raving lunatic and runs around squealing.