Monday, December 04, 2006

Screwing the pooch, single working mom style

Oh, man, it happened again. In my ethno-centric (or whatever the term is for filtering everything through your individual point of view and that term could be self-centered, me? never) view of the world, I had Nora and Mimi all cleaned up for a birthday party at a local pool on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. Yeah, I had them bathe first because it was the civically responsible thing to do, trust me.

When we arrived in the pool area, wahoo, double bonus points, there were Nile and Kim who were parked at the edge of the pool deck over-seeing their 5th grader’s birthday party. And as their guests were arriving, I got to see even more old friends and colleagues, so good day for mom. But it got to be 2:15 pm and I don’t see anyone who looks like they should be there for a 6-year-old b-day party. Finally, I get a little concerned and I ask Nora and Mimi for the b-day girl’s last name so we can check at the desk to see how I might have messed up. I’m starting to get that feeling that, once again, this single working mom has screwed the pooch and not in the way you may think (and, no, not literally screwing the pooch, that’s a literary reference, sort of, remember Gus Grissom in Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff?, he “screwed the pooch” and that phrase has always stuck with me, but maybe I better find a different phrase if I feel compelled to explain that one to this extent, hmm?).
Mimi has no idea what the b-day girl’s last name might be (that is typical for Mimi, she still can’t tell me the names of the kids she plays with at school), but Nora, bright as a button comes up with the last name because “Hanson, then Green,” well close, but she did remember that the b-day girl’s name is always called close to her name in alphabetical order at school, she just got the before and after switched. Ellie ran back from the front desk with the information I already suspected to be true: the b-day party was FRIDAY at 2:00 pm.
Crap, I read the invitation and calendared the time/date on the BIG BOARD OF LIFE and in my handheld device, so I didn’t FORGET the party (although I have done that too), but I did ASSUME that it would be on a Saturday because who the hell can get their kids to a b-day party in the middle of the work day on a Friday? So why would I even think that the party would be on any day except Saturday, well, here’s the answer: I wouldn’t think it. And the really pathetic part?, I pulled this before two years ago. Standing on Laurel’s front porch with Ellie one Saturday afternoon, brightly wrapped present in hand, ringing and ringing the doorbell to no response because the damn party was a memory from the day before and Laurel’s whole family was somewhere else, going on with their lives, even though I was stuck living in an alternate working parent universe.

So, I took some time and visited some more with Nile and Kim, let the two littles swim, held YuYu as she silently cried (she didn’t have a swimming suit on and couldn’t get in the water), paid on the way out the door for 30 minutes X 2 of County Rectaculous swimming (didn’t want to miss a “values” moment, even though we got past the desk on the way in for free because we were going to a damn b-day party, I wanted them to know that we still needed to pay to swim) and vowed to never pull this stupid trick again.

Friday b-day parties, sheesh, have you ever?


Anonymous said...

Oh, Marji! What in the world is with a Friday afternoon birthday party? I was laughing albeit nervously because I came perilously close to making a similar mistake last weekend. I had it in my mommy brain that Kristen's friend's party was Sun afternoon. I had to make elaborate plans because Kristen and Marissa would be at different parties at the same time and decided before I did that to doublecheck the invite, just in case. In fact, K's party was SATURDAY. Ahhh. close one.

Anonymous said...

Sheesh! Fridays! I took my 6-year-old daughter to a similar soiree, but the mean check-in lady couldn't find anyone that matched the last name. Then I noticed another familiar name on the list -it wasn't Ben from HER class, it was Ben from my 9-year-old SON's class having the pool party. Quick trip home for a present and child switcheroo, and back we went. Poor daughter, I didn't even let her swim.

Amy said...

Yes, well... I've completely avoided at least two parties that Genevieve was invited to recently, because they are people we hardly know (the Tues./Thurs. families from the preschool, or whatever). I was feeling guilty enough to send the families gifts for their kids anyway, but frankly - I just didn't need the drama of "Party at Bounce-A-Rama." Screaming, overexcited kids and lots of sugar - yippee. I was justifying this in my head by thinking, "These aren't even school-aged kids. These are kids who are just old enough to get really cranky and make everybody miserable at something like this. Why would any sane person coordinate a party that includes a bunch of toddlers?" Still... I felt like mean mom of the year.

Could we just come swimming with you guys instead?? We'll make sure it's a Saturday. :)