Sunday, September 18, 2011

Transitional troubles in birthday land

Wow, I haven't blogged since my cold medicine haze last week!

Coen, my baby boy.  My meant-to-be kid conceived on 2 methods of birth control (I'm not kiddin'!) turns 8 years old tomorrow!  What?! How do I have an eight year old?

Anyway, I swear, kids' social lives rival someone in the royal family these days.  He's got school friends, neighborhood friends, family friends, friends from summer camp, and soccer...  So of course when you think of planning a birthday party, who to invite is always a dilemmna.

What we did was settle on a school friends party and a family lunch today after which all the neighborhood kids were invited over for cake.  And of course tomorrow is his real birthday and we'll do a special family dinner and dessert and MORE presents. SHEESH!

Anyway, my family is good at lots of things..but one thing we are  NOT good at is that lag time between just hanging round home and a big event like a party.  Because of the two-party weekend, we had TWO of these lag times.

Saturday, we decided we'd all ride together to pick up the subs before we went to the Urban Ecology Center for Coen's birthday party number one.  In the car, Tad and I were both tense.  Tad because these kinds of transitions always make him tense and I because we weren't sure how many parents would stick around and I knew the two of us might be in charge of 10 children for three hours.  The kids were both excited and picking up on our tension.  (WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH KIDS PICKING UP ON PARENTAL TENSION, by the way? Its really difficult!)  The two of them were fighting and finally, Tad put on a Shel Silverstein spoken word CD and they fell silent.  It was hilarious.  After quiet had settled, Tad said, "I wish someone could hypnotize me."  I looked at him and then said in a low voice, "When I clap my hands, you will be filled with a sense of calm and peace. You will feel that you can not think of any other thing that you'd rather be doing than hosting an 8 year old's birthday party" *clap!*

Sunday we had an hour before party #2 started and the kids were fighting each and every second we walked away from them at all.  I found myself asking them, how is it that you cannot be left alone for TWO SECONDS without someone screaming or crying?!  But Tad told me (wisely) that I should just focus on them (even though I wanted to focus on doing the dishes, cleaning up the kitchen and getting some party food ready) and I did.  When they began playing nicely, I went in the kitchen and started the readying process.  When I returned to the playroom, I found Coen and Lucy with an acorn that they'd found, attempting to bust it open with a scissors!  "You cannot cut open an acorn with a scissors." I said.  "What CAN you open an acorn with?" Coen asked.  "A hammer?"

Suddenly the house was party-ready and Coen and Lucy were smashing acorns open on the porch with toy wooden hammers. 

Oh, family hood.  Whether through hypnosis or acorn smashing, we'll eventually get better at lag times.

The birthday boy with his cake

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