Sunday, September 16, 2007

the girl who wants her medal...NOW!

So yesterday, the fabulous Miss Island Jen hosted a party for her little guy, Draven's 3rd birthday. She chose Lake Lotus Park waaaaaay on the other side of town from me. I mean, really, Jen. You should be more considerate and host all of your get-togethers close to me for my convenience! tsk! tsk!

Anyway, so I loaded all four of the kiddos into the car, got a full tank of gas and off we went. The boys had thoughtfully wrapped Draven's present (using more wrapping paper and tape than I believed possible. And yet, there were still plenty of gaping corners and Draven could have breathed heavy near it and the wrapping would have come off. Some weird kid physics I must have forgotten when I grew up.) so that was one chore I didn't have to do. I did, however, dress them all in pirate shirts since Draven's party had a pirate theme. Poor Matthew didn't have a pirate shirt, so we remedied that with a foam stamp and some acrylic paint. Pretty proud of myself for that one!

Matthew's improvised shirt

So off we go, fortified with Gatorade bottles and directions from MapQuest. Let me tell you, those directions SUCKED! I got to the very end to the critical part and got lost. Someone out there needs to come up with "Directions for Chicks" you know, "Drive down until you see the McDonalds next to the used car lot and take a left. Drive until you see the pepto bismol pink house and then look for a street to the right. Turn there and when you see the house with the tacky mermaid statue in the front yard start looking to your left, we're about three houses down. If you run into the dark purple house with the green trim, you've gone too far." You know, directions that make sense!

Not "Travel East 2.9 miles on 414-W going towards N.Lake Destiny Drive. Turn right on Gateway, travel <.9 miles and arrive at your destination." NOT!!! And I am not even exaggerating. I am quoting!

We arrive at the party an hour and a half late after three stops for directions and four complete circles. But we got there. As soon as I got off the tram with my crew, it started to rain. Typical. Luckily it was only a brief shower and enabled me to get my kids under cover. I think the party was running smoothly up to that point!

Jen gets ahold of Eli

Within five minutes of our arrival, I had dumped Eli into Miss Jen's arms, prepared three plates of hot dogs and chips, Matthew had received his first face bruise by falling on the playground, I had improvised an ice pack, the park ranger came by with animals and I had to juggle the kids, food and baby while trying to get my camera to take pictures of the kids with the baby alligator, Zack was interested, Ian was terrified, Matthew was missing and Eli was sweating. The ranger brought out a tortoise, Zachary was bored, Ian was interested, Matthew tried to take the Ranger's golf cart for a joy ride and Eli was sleeping.

meeting the critters

I retrieved Eli so Miss Jen could take pictures of her own and then I tried to eat. The entire day was me trying to keep track of where each of my kiddos was. Zack was constantly underfoot trying to be the boss of everyone. And he had a willing follower in a cute little girl named Parissa. (I think) She was adorable, obviously infatuated with Zack, and he was oblivious. Ian kept going off to play on the sidelines, as he is prone to do and Matthew kept trying to leave completely. There was another party being hosted at the next pavilion over and he kept crashing it. Unfortunately, this meant either someone else was always either chasing my kids or holding my baby while I chased my kids.

Zack and Parissa

After trying to rein in Zack's eagerness to "help" with the present opening, Matthew's method of "eating" the provided cupcakes (licking off all the frosting on top, dumping the actual cake part and then going back for more), and Ian's tantrums over his party hat breaking, I took advantage of Jen's offer to take the baby into the car's A/C to cool down. It seemed like a good opportunity to feed him too so I gratefully accepted. So that left my kiddos running wild and free under the watchful eye of Jen's dh, TJ.

the boys hard at play

After 20 mins or so of blissful silence and cool, I buttoned up and decided we should probably pack up as the party was winding down. I do a head count and come up one short. Ian is missing, but so is TJ, so I'm not panicking yet. I figure they are together. Then Jen gets a call on her cell from TJ requesting my presence at the bathrooms.

Poor Ian! He had evidently let loose before he had his pants completely down and had dribbled, um, a "mess" all down the back of his pants. Did I have spare clothes for him? Of course not. That would imply that I was prepared! So we improvised by taking a bath in the restroom sink and rinsing and twisting his clothes out thoroughly. I'd rather have a wet child than a "dirty" child and to be honest, in the heat, he was probably more comfortable that way. The strange thing is, that his underwear disappeared somewhere along the way. I asked TJ to check the men's restroom, but they weren't there. I am deathly afraid that my son may have flushed them down the toilet to get rid of them.

So once I get rid of that problem and start heading back to the pavilion, I come across Matthew eating "grapes." I think it was a flower and not an actual berry, and I would assume that the Park Rangers would not plant a brightly colored, berry-looking plant next to a playground if it was poisonous, but we did a quick manual clean out of the mouth and had him rinse and spit, just to be safe. I woke up this morning with as many children as I went to sleep with, so I assume everything is ok.

the flower/berry culprits

As I pack up to leave, I tell Jen that I my feelings won't be hurt if we don't get an invite next year, and laugh nervously....

saying goodbye

When we get home, I immediately go into the frantic "clean up and make it look like you accomplished something in the house before DH gets home" with three wound up kids and one somnolent baby (Thank God!) Apparently the (much shorter) ride home was just long enough for them to doze under the blissful tunes of radio Disney (I am a masochist, aren't I?) and refresh themselves. So they had fully recharged and were bouncing off the walls when we got home. I put them to work, cleaning when I had this conversation:

Ian: (to Matthew): "You're a Loser!"

Matthew: "Am Not! Mommy! Ian called me a loser!"

Me: "Boys! We don't call each other stupid, or losers or anything bad."

Zack: "Yeah, because if you do then you're bad and you'll get yelled at. That's the Circle of Punishment."

Such wisdom at such a young age!

So I survived, my kids survived and even Draven's party survived. I still think I deserve a medal, especially after this morning.

This morning, Mr. Mouse came at me with this:

"I don't like you Mommy."

Said very matter-of-factly, with just enough attitude to let me know he was serious. This after trying to poke me awake this morning, giving up and leaving after giving me a sloppy kiss on my forehead. I have no idea where it came from. I, of course, responded with MY Mom's standard response of, "That's too bad, because I love you!" It didn't do much to change his mind. I switched tactics and said, "Too bad, because this is my house, so you're going to have to live with me even if you don't like me." To that, he replied, "Mommy, I leave the house."

Ahh, if only!

I kid, I joke. I know that one day, 18 to 20 years from now when I do have a completely nest, I'll probably be lonely. Of course, there's a good chance I'll be a grandma by then--the kids are 8 years apart after all. Then, one day, one of their children will come at them with the infamous line: "Daddy, I don't like you!"

And the Circle of Punishment will be complete!


island girl said...

HEHEHE....awesome little recap! and i always love it when you have the camera in "skinny mode" especially on me! lol!!

i loved all your photos...and of course you're invited for next year!! :-)

Keela said...

Hi! I'm a fan/lurker of yours. Someone sent me your blog link back when you "had" little Eli and I've been hooked ever since. I have three boys (almost 8, 5 and almost 3) and can sooooooo relate to the things you say! I crack up and am in tears as I read your blog! LOL! Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone. I don't have the "gift of words" like you do, so my blog is boring, but feel free to stop by. My 5 year old - he just turned 5 on Friday - says to me "You're not my friend!" Can't wait for that "circle of punishment"! LOL!!! :)

jenscaleshr said...

Oh. My. Gawd.

That, my friend, is the funniest post you've ever written! BRILLIANT!

Is it wrong that I'm laughing at your little adventure? And yes, I'd give you a freakin' medal.