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The Worst Kiddie Birthday Party (Ever!)

When my son’s good friend turned three, we have been invited to attend his birthday party. Though I gamely brought my kids to their buddies’ birthday events and had parties for them, unless I used to be good friends with different mother and father there, I discovered these parties taxing. Not only was I shy, however I used to be secretly unhappily married, and i later realized after my divorce that being unhappily married makes every little thing harder than it might normally be. When dwelling a lie, developing with small talk is complicated.

The one factor that made such occasions more bearable for this mother was a glass of wine (something I confess more about in my book, Licking the Spoon: A Memoir of Food, Household, and Identity). Trouble was, wine was normally not on supply alongside the birthday cake and goldfish crackers — and it’s not like I was going to BYOB. But immediately, the hosts had a plenitude of bottles lined up on the kitchen island with some clearly expensive crystal glasses. The dad provided me a glass and that i gratefully assented.

Just then, my three-12 months-previous son grabbed my hand and said, “I need to go to the bathroom!” and that i gratefully excused myself.

He was within the midst of potty coaching, which would usually mean swabbing up lots of puddles. Nevertheless, he had #1 dealt with. His problem was #2. He most popular not to use the restroom for that. Generally, he requested me for a diaper on the crucial moment. One other time, whereas my good friend Susie was chopping my hair in the kitchen, he ignored the little potty in favor of the kitchen tile. And even when I was ready to sit down beside him, teaching, he hopped on and off, holding his bottom along with each hands, distraughtly shrieking,

“No! No! I don’t need to go! Put a diaper on me! No!” till he lastly reached the purpose of no return, and collapsed on the seat.

We discovered the bathroom down the hallway to the right… and had been instantly bombarded with photos of Kokopelli.

I was used to seeing Kokopelli. The fertility symbol was a ubiquitous sight in Santa Fe and surrounding environs, however even for the Land of Enchantment, this was a bit a lot. There were Kokopelli sconces, a Kokopelli tissue box cozy, hand cleaning soap dispenser and a Kokopelli motif framed stone island clothing in manchester print. Hand towels. Soap dish. Research Shower curtain. His cheerful, bobbing, fertility-stoking likeness was everywhere I appeared, a reinforcement of this surrendered stage of my life and of the suburban overkill of a sacred motif appropriated by Bed, Bath and Beyond. The soundtrack of that day could have been The Talking Heads’ “Same as it Ever Was.”

I sat Nathaniel on the big potty, however he wished to take a seat on Patrick’s little plastic potty, which would make cleanup more of a undertaking. He bought up. “I don’t should go.” We re-entered the party. Nathaniel melted right into a passing swarm of pleased little screamers. But he was again quickly.

“Mommy, I have to go potty,” Nathaniel informed me. We excused ourselves again. He obtained on the potty. He modified his mind and obtained off. I tried to coax him again on the seat but he had made up his mind. He did not should go.

I still had my wine glass. Despite the tempting array, each single mother or father, even Patrick’s dad and mom, had eschewed alcoholic drinks at an afternoon social gathering. I felt self-conscious.

As soon as extra to the bathroom. This time, Nathaniel went. Within the small plastic potty. As I wiped out and washed the basin, I knocked over the wine glass, which toppled sideways and broke on the stone countertop. Its tulip-round bowl snapped off the slender stem and spilled purple wine in every single place.

Hurriedly, I wiped up the wine with rest room paper, completed cleaning the basin, obtained Nathaniel’s pants up, and after a second of frozen indecision, positioned the 2 wine glass pieces in the Kokopelli litter amphora.

I knew that the birthday boy’s mother would empty her litter basket someday soon, discover the ruined wine glass, and remember that I was the one one that drank wine at her social gathering. But that was nonetheless better than popping out of the bathroom with a broken wine glass, because I assumed that everybody would assume that I was getting wasted in the bathroom, so wasted that I broke my glass, and that was too much to encounter. Especially since I had solely had lower than one glass of wine, most of it had spilled. But no less than my son had gone to the bathroom. What a relief.

As we rejoined the social gathering, birthday boy’s mom rushed down the hallway to satisfy us.
“Your daughter wet her pants outdoors,” she stated crisply.

“Oh,” I stated. My daughter had been potty skilled for three years, but she occasionally wet her pants when she was having too much enjoyable taking part in.

“How previous is she ” Gwendolyn requested, pseudo-solicitously.
“Five,” I said.

“Ah,” she said. Ah Care to explain that ah, lady
“C’mon, honey,” I said to my barely shamefaced, wet-pantsed woman. “Let’s go get you cleaned up.”

Fortunately, she fit in Nathaniel’s spare pair of pants. And we left proper after the presents have been opened.

Every mother or father, if they’re trustworthy, will admit that a particular stage of parenthood was especially difficult. For me, it wasn’t infancy. I liked being a mother of babies and toddlers. It’s certainly not grade school. I’ve so much fun with my 9- and eleven-year olds now. I take pleasure in their independence, their eloquence, their impulse control.

It was hardest for me when the children have been in that in-between stage. Mother and father going through a tough time should understand that kids do not undergo stages alone. Mother and father undergo them too. And these stages don’t final perpetually. However the recollections will remain: the tender ones, the hilarious ones and the mortifying ones we would relatively overlook.