Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Kid Parties

So I took the younger two to a party for one of their friends this weekend. DH usually has birthday party duty but he had a soccer game so it was up to me. It was a pool party at a small house in a neighborhood not too far from us. Things did not go well, at least on my end of it. We get there and go to the backyard (it's a pool party) where we are greeted at the gate by a guy with a cigarette and a beer in his hand. Great! My favorite things- beer and cigarettes at a kids' party! We're off to a terrific start. We head inside the house to deposit the present but it's not clear where it should go; someone gestures in the general direction of the living room and we see one other present there so The Middle Child puts ours next to that one before we head outside again. There's a table full of party food on the way out which looks very nice, but the kids are too excited about the pool. They jump in the pool with about a billion other kids all jumping around and screaming, and The Youngest, aka The Wild Child, immediately finds one of those giganto super soaker water guns and proceeds to squirt anyone and everyone. We're not gun people, not even water guns, so he can't resist the novelty. There are nerf bats and water noodles out there too, and I see several kids hitting each other with them. Oddly enough, there don't seem to be any other parents supervising the little darlings. I'm parked in the screen room where I have a clear view of the pool; I'm not taking my eyes off my kids. There's one other mom watching her child too so we chat a bit. Other than that, I didn't really talk to anyone. I mean, hasn't anyone heard of hosting anymore? As the host of a party, shouldn't one of the birthday child's parents, mom or dad, at least make sure each guest and their parents are greeted in some fashion? Unless the beer and cigarette guy was dad, I never was welcomed. It was the oddest thing. It's also a wonder none of the kids drowned. There was an adult in the pool when we first arrived but she quickly got out, and after that there wasn't anyone officially watching the kids. There were some other adults in the screen room but they were talking and eating and definitely not watching the kids. I was horrified, truthfully. Oh, and the adult guests! Lovely sorts- the kind with T-shirts with insults written on them. Oh, what did it say? I wish I could remember so I could share the eloquence with everyone. The guy with the insult T really made an impression on me, let me tell you! So witty and clever. He's the one who corrected a kid for calling a watermelon rind a rind. "It's not rind with a 'd', it's rine, r-i-n-e." Such genius!

Suffice to say, it was an introvert's nightmare and I couldn't wait to get out of there. The party was supposed to go from 2:00 to 4:00 but as of 4:20 the kids were still in the pool. It was crowded, it was hot, and I was miserable, so I gave the 10 minute warning; no way was I waiting around for the kids to sing Happy Birthday. We were out of there by 4:30 just as they were getting ready to beat up on the pinata, another of my favorite party activities- encourage kids to hit something with a baseball bat and then push and shove each other in a mad dash to grab candy. Let's encourage violence and greed!

The party made me realize something about myself. I'm a snob, a total snob. I can not stand ill mannered people. The guy with the rude T-shirt, setting a bad example for kids by drinking beer and smoking in front of them, lack of parental supervision... it all sets my teeth on edge. Shudder.

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