Festival of Four-ness

Posted: September 21st, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Daddio, Husbandry, Kate's Friends, Manners, Miss Kate, Mom, Paigey Waigey Wiggle Pop, Parenting, Walking | 2 Comments »

I’m not going to lie. I spent a lot of time crying by the clothesline at the birthday parties of my youth.

Well, not A LOT of time, and not at other people’s parties. Just some intermittent spells at my own parties, when things were happening like other kids were winning the games, or someone else got the big pink frosting rose (even though I’d already been given the bigger pinker one).

I mean, I was THE BIRTHDAY GIRL. Did that not count for anything? In my childhood concept of that term all would bow down before me, I’d miraculously (blindly) reunite the donkey with it’s tail, and Lynn Froncillo wouldn’t show up in a dress that was prettier than mine.

I remember my mother or dad coming over to pry me away from my clothesline-clinging Zone of Despair, but in that way that you have a memory that’s a photo, not a video. I can picture them with me, but hell if I remember what they said to get me to pull it together enough to re-enter the party mix.

So Friday night, the eve of Kate’s big birthday throw-down, I went into her room as Mark was about to read her bedtime stories. Channeling my best inner June Cleaver, I smoothed my skirt, propped myself at the edge of her bed, and serenely said, “I’d like to talk to you a bit about your party tomorrow, Kate.”

I went on to say that sometimes parties can be disappointing. Sometimes your friends don’t do what you wanted them to, or don’t come when they said they would, or don’t sit at the place with the pink paper plate even though they’re a girl and shouldn’t be sitting at the place with the green paper plate. I said that sometimes you get presents you don’t like, or want, or already have, but you still have to be polite and say thank you.

And just when I felt I was getting warmed up and was awash in my own brilliant sage mothering I see Mark dragging his finger across his neck, eyes popping.

Turns out I’d beaten away at my points somewhat excessively, leaving them in tatters like some ravaged, child-attacked pinata.

Well, either all my blather worked, or I never even needed to go there. The party was a blast. No tantrums, no tears, no jumpy house injuries, and no four-year-olds in the liquor cabinet. Kate and the guests appeared to actually–gasp!–have fun! What’s weirder is, Mark and I did too.

The worst behavior the birthday girl displayed was a repeated refusal to open the present her cousin so sweetly followed her around with, holding out to her. Well, that and her lack of interest in digging into gift bags after skimming off the first item. (Note to self: Develop bedtime tutorial on deep-diving into gift bags, with follow-up lecture on expressing appreciation for even the bottom-most layer of presentry.)

The gaybors brought Kate a gift they’d been billing for days as “the gayest gift EVER.” When she opened the stuffed Yorkie in it’s pink-and-purple leopardskin and gold patent leather carrying tote (replete with collar, leash, and hair accessories) she squealed and ran into the house to stow it safely away from potentially-thieving guests.

Speaking of gay men, the best gift we got this weekend is that Paigey started cruising! No, no, not trolling around public parks for action… She’s walking by holding onto the couch and the coffee table! She’s making her way across the house by leaning against the toy shopping cart!

Our little lax-muscled toddler is finally gaining the fortitude of body and spirit she needs to get ambulatory. If she continues to progress at this pace, I’m hopeful we’ll be hosting another party quite soon, the promised She’s Finally Frickin’ Walking! champagne-drenched Paigey-fest.

Anyway, back to Kate’s festival of four-ness. Once all the kids were dragged home for naps and low-blood-sugar transfusions, some of the neighbs stuck around under the pink mesh tea party tent. It was lovely. We indulged in more daytime beer drinking, cupcake eating, and general catching up. There was even an engagement story to savor.

I’m so grateful the party was a hit, and that unlike her dramatic mother, Kate didn’t let the less-than-perfect moments prevent her from enjoying the day. But I can’t help but wonder if it all went off like it did because we don’t even have a clothesline.


2 Comments on “Festival of Four-ness”

  1. 1 Lori said at 7:28 pm on September 21st, 2009:

    Gavin told me today that he was sad because he missed California. I assume that he means the people he loves there, not the state itself.

  2. 2 Carrie said at 9:37 pm on September 23rd, 2009:

    This was all hysterical but the big news about your daughter Paige made me so happy!! Go Paige go! And cheers to the parents for all your hardwork too!!

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