Monday, May 12, 2014

Kiddie party plus ones

Ah, birthday parties... What a wonderful way to get together with friends and family to celebrate each year of your precious little one's life.

A few years in though, sh!t gets weird. The precious little ones go off to school, and now in addition to your beloved friends and family, you are also including their new friends at these celebrations. And these new friends don't come alone (cause that would be strange). They come with one or sometimes both parents. People you may or may not be that familiar with from your day to day passings but with whom you become increasingly more familiar with through a series of interactions at each other's kids birthday parties.  Some will become your friends. Most will not.

Here is a list of some of the worst parents that will show up to your kid's birthday party:

The favor of a reply is requested... for most parents, but not RSVP Optional Parent: We sent you a card in the mail, chased it down with four email reminders, but still you keep us guessing. Will you or won't you? Can you or can't you? Are you coming or not? It's really not that hard. Figure it out and let me know, preferably before the day of when you send your regrets, or worse, show up having given me no notification. Favors don't grow on trees you know... unless you're that kind of parent, but I'm not, so a little heads up would be appreciated.

The Early Birds: Hey, what has two thumbs and likes to party? This girl. But if I ask you to come to my party at 1:00, you aren't doing anyone any favors by arriving at 12:45. We just arrived. We're setting up, taking family pictures, fixing the kid's hair. And here you are.  Standing there looking like you want me to entertain you. Not gonna happen my friend, and by friend I mean person I am actually never going to be friends with. Please just wait outside for another 14 minutes so I don't have to keep flashing you sweet yet frustrated glances as you sit there looking bored. Of course you're bored, there's no party going on yet!

Dad who didn't read the invite correctly: Great work dad, you've managed to get the kid washed, dressed and out of the house to give mom a little time to herself (or time with your other kiddos). Either way, you did it. You showed up to a party. I should probably take this opportunity to tell you that the party you are attending is not actually the one you RSVP'd to. I don't know you, my husband doesn't know you. Your kid doesn't look familiar to my kid. You are at the wrong party. We get it, it's a big space. There are four other parties going on here at this very moment. Just make sure you figure it out before the pizza or prepare to look super awkward when you read the kid's name on the cake and realize you were headed to Jacob's party, but you are currently watching Ava blow our her candles.

Stripper Mom: Hey, I get it... we weren't always milk machines who's primary goal is to not forget a child at the playground while running to get another to a class less than ten minutes late. Some of us even still manage to shower most days. And hey, I like a bit of mascara when I think of it. Come to think of it, I wear jeans most days of the week... like real jeans, not even pajama jeans (though I have considered them). I put in a little effort. I like dressing up too. However I believe that there is a time and a place for dressing up, like say Friday and Saturday nights, when you're out together or with friends at a trendy restaurant or nightclub just before that "G-D I'm old" feeling sets in and you have to head home before midnight because, well because it's midnight and that's pretty late even though you can't believe this place is just getting going now. Did we seriously used to do this every weekend and twice during the week? That's nuts. But where was I, oh yeah, dressing up, totally great in some circumstances. You know when it's not that great? How about a small kid's birthday party? We're all pulling our kids in and out of the ball pit, then throwing them onto a trampoline in a slightly too warm, over-crowded gym and the kid is asking for pizza, but there's still over 20 minutes before the pizza and cake come out. This is when we dress for comfort. It is 2:00 in the afternoon and stripper mom actually looks better suited for a Vegas Saturday afternoon pool party than the kiddie gym party she is at. Louboutin stilettos and a mini skirt are a great look, but no one here is thinking that. We're all thinking, "anywhere but here"... no, "anywhere but here and school drop-off and pick-up"... no wait, "anywhere but here, school drop-off and pick-up, the grocery store, any of our classes"... oh forget it. It just looks silly here. Take it down a notch.

Social Butterfly: As I said in the beginning, birthday parties are a great time to get to know other parents. Whether it's getting together to make fun of the other parents (and some of the kids - sorry, but it does happen) or just shooting the sh!t over a craft table, please enjoy yourself. That's why you're here. Well, that and to watch your kid. Oh yeah, remember your kid? He's the one that just poured a tub of glue onto the birthday girl's head. Yeah, you might want to do something about that. Then you can go back to your conversation. I was serious about the fact that you should enjoy yourself too... just make sure your kid's not being an arse first and then chat away.

One Way Mirror Parent: The interesting thing about a one way mirror is that while I can see myself, from the other side, you can only see me. Now let's pretend that mirror also divides our children, so while I can see my kid and her actions, you can only see my kid and her actions. So when my kid, after being pushed and pummeled by your little lad six or seven times finally decides she's had enough and blows back, you are very quick to rush over and point out that my kid just pushed your kid. Might I ask where you were when your boy did much worse to my kid numerous times before she finally snapped? No? Didn't see that? How interesting. Maybe we should get you a fresh lens to look through. Oh, and you should also know that yelling at a toddler (particularly one that is not your own) is so unbecoming. Maybe if you spoke to them calmly they wouldn't suck up all the negativity and use it to breed anger and then develop into a little monster just like your little... ah, yes, ok then, that all makes perfect sense now.

The parents of the kid who thinks it's her party when it's really not: Hi guys, welcome to our child's celebration. Feel free to make yourself comfortable and help yourself to some snacks and refreshments. Enjoy the activities and have a good time. Oh, I see your little one is having a real good time. She seems to have made herself very comfortable in the birthday boy's seat (as denoted by it's rather conspicuous placement at the head of the table and clearly marked with a bevy of ribbons, streamers and balloons). Yes, but an honest mistake. Oh, and she seems to have commandeered the birthday boy's special birthday hat as well. Yes, it does look smashing on her. Oh, and look at that, she's helping herself to his cake. Isn't that precious. And now the birthday boy is asking her to give him his hat back and get out of his chair. Well articulated birthday tot, but the kid that thinks it's her party isn't listening. As for her parents, well their lack of action is noticeable. Do you believe your daughter is entitled to the birthday hat and chair for some specific reason or are you just waiting for the kids to sort it out between themselves? Ok then, moving on. Ah yes, by not getting out of his chair, eating his cake and not giving him his hat back, she has officially made the birthday boy cry... at his own party. And you continue to stand there watching and doing nothing. Yes, that's certainly a strategy, not sure it's working though. Thanks for that. Now I have to calm down a crying birthday boy when all you really needed to do was, hmmmm, how did one of the other parents so nicely put it? Oh yes, "Get that f#$king kid out of the birthday boy's seat. Are you f#$king kidding me?" Yes. Please do that, won't you.

Chubby Hubby: This one does not actually refer to chubby people and does not apply to just husbands... maybe I could have come up with a better name, or maybe I'm just in the mood for some ice cream. This one refers to the parents who take it upon themselves to push their way in front of the three hired helpers who are working diligently to distribute pizza to all the children in a timely fashion, to really go above and beyond and start helping to serve the pizza to... oh, no wait, you were just taking that one for yourself, never mind.

Cake boss: So the aunt of the birthday boy has made a pretty spectacular cake. It's got two layers, filled with chocolate icing and topped with vanilla icing. On top there is a 3-D volcano made out of cake spouting Twizzler lava and marshmallow puffs of smoke, coated in grey buttercream. But please, disregard the time and effort that went into that when you loudly proclaim to the host mom, "Oh, your sister was very stingy with the icing." I can assure you, the sister was not stingy with anything but b!tch slaps, which she managed to hold back on despite her deepest desires. For the record, cake bosses don't only critique the cake, but will also let you know if they've had better pizza, when the pizza is too cold or too hot, diss the snacks on offer, etc. Hey, cake boss. What's the best kind of food? That's right, free food. Pipe down over there.

Porn party parents: Hey there you two. That's really sweet that after five or ten years of marriage you both still have the hots for each other. But honestly, your smooching during the parachute was a little too hands on for some of the smaller onlookers. In addition, your grinding during that freeze dance party was, how you say? inappropriate. And frankly, when you seductively feed your spouse cake in front of everyone else, it really just puts us all off the cake... and I hate being put off the cake. Just stop. It's creepy behavior for a kiddie party.

So, now that you know who to look out for, please enjoy the party. And enjoy the silver lining. Yes, there is a silver lining to all of these crazy parents attending. It is the process of sniffing out the other parents who are also staring, mouths agape, eyes rolling, desperate to talk some major sh!t with you about them. And that is how you find the ones you can actually be friends with. So you see, the crazies serve two very important purposes, entertainment and driving friendships together. How can we ever thank them? How about the extra party favor they just pocketed on the way out... wait, seriously? Yup.

If you've met any of these parents or know someone who has, please share. If you haven't, you probably are one of these parents so please share... You're famous!

Good times

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