So ten children ages 7 (x 1), 6 (x 2), 5 (x 5), 4 (x 1) and 3 (x 1) makes for an interesting afternoon. There were games! There was laughter! There were owies and/or boo-boos! Tears! Mayhem! Cuppycakes! Delirium! Chaos! Dora the Explorer party favors! And eventually, an absence of children, and peace, and the kind of silence that can only follow a child’s birthday party.
Still, way better than Chuck E. Cheese.
The biggest hit was the decorate-your-own cupcakes. Also the trampoline.
We had a few guests from the preschool. Surprisingly there was one mother perfectly willing to drop her precious angel off at a total stranger’s house for two hours of God knows what. Two other moms stayed for the fun. The child who was dropped off was dressed in shorts and a fuzzy long sleeved top and must have been just roasting, but rebuffed our offers of a loaner t-shirt. She seemed grimly determined to participate in everything and was almost eerily quiet. Her mom (or at least the woman who dropped her off) barely made it to the front door, shook my hand like a politician, chucked the gift into my hands and dashed for the car like she was escaping from prison. The pickup was similar but in reverse. I hardly know what to think about it.
At any rate, the highlight of the party for me was, as always, pretending that Mr. Ex-The-Lovely-Rhonda was welcome in our home. I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say that next year the party will be at his house so that HE can do all the work while WE sit around with Rhonda’s family and chat and do nothing, and then get grumpy for no apparent reason and abruptly leave without saying thanks. (His family said thanks; I don’t want to malign them, they were perfectly nice as always.)
We could not have picked a better day for it, 80 degrees and breezy and just perfect. We had postponed it by a week due to illness and although the illness lingers, at least the weather was vastly improved. It rained buckets last weekend.
We have this friend who comes and hangs out with us on occasion. He’s more or less the perfect friend in that he doesn’t loathe our children (any more than we occasionally do; let’s face it, they’re not all rainbows and unicorns ALL the time), he enjoys sitting around doing more or less nothing, he helps us with our computers, and — ladies, pay attention — he’s rather tidy and not afraid of housework or yard work and, inexplicably, heterosexual. Oh, and he’s not terribly into sports or cars or guns or hookers or blow. As far as we can tell.
He is a pasty-skinned gamer, but it’s a small price to pay for this kind of companionship.
This weekend he not only mowed the lawn for the party while The Lovely Rhonda coughed and I cleaned the house, he stayed on — willingly, without promise of remuneration — and performed yard work with me while The Lovely Rhonda coughed and then brought us treats from Dairy Queen. He gave our Cousin It tree a haircut and then helped me lay down weed suppression cloth on the side bed. He even expressed a possible willingness to continue assisting me with such projects, despite the dirt and the being outdoors and the sweating and the mild sunburn.
We’re not sure what we have done to deserve this kind of friendship but we hope it continues at least until the grounds are completely landscaped. Wonder if he’s any good with laying pavers?