Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Barney's Not Dead and Baby Dolls Don't Pass Gas

We had a birthday party last week for my neice, my husband’s brother’s daughter. She turned two.

Let me preface this story by saying, my sister in law and I could not be any more different. I am the grounded on planet Earth with practicality and my low maintenance ways. A jeans and t-shirt, let’s play in the rain kinda gal. Meanwhile, she is out on planet Pluto, spinning in a world of gross impracticality, where water and money appear to be interchangeable, and high maintenance people rule. It is fitting that I ended up working in an engineering environment while her career is in fashion. And… she is DAMN good at her job. It takes all different kinds of people to make the world go round, we just don’t identify with each other much. There have been tense times, to say the least. I do like her, however, and she would do anything for me. We

For my eldest’s first Christmas, we bought him a ball, put a bow in it, the end. Oh, we had some clothes we bought on sale for the next year for him to grow into, that I wrapped up and put under the tree just for picture taking sake. You have to have SOMETHING under the tree. But your first couple Christmas’s with your first child, are the cheapest you’ll ever get away with. It should be relished.

I felt the same way about their birthdays. I don’t do big birthday parties, especially when they’re toddlers. Good grief, what a waste of money. Big parties for small people are for the big people, really. A birthday party in my house consists of MY making a home made cake of their choice, family comes over, we sing happy birthday, we take pictures and video, eat cake, open gifts, Boom, it’s over.

She hired Barney for her 2 year old and had a big party. $165/hour and she had Barney. I rolled my eyes, but it made them happy, so we went. The night before my kids were singing this song about Barney being dead. I was not amused. I looked at them and said, “Listen to me carefully boys, you will NOT sing this song at your cousin’s birthday party, do you hear me?”

“Yes,” said the boys.

I replied, “No, I’m serious. All three of you, connect with me. Have I made myself perfectly clear to you that if you sing songs about Barney being shot in the head, that you are in big big trouble with me? Big trouble.”

They assured me that they truly understood the depth of the deep doo doo they would be in should the Barney Death Song be sung at this party. I can’t even imagine the conniptions my sister in law would have if she heard this song.

The only question asked by Son#1 was, “Mom, do I actually have to HUG Barney?” to which I told him that no he did not, but he did have to be polite. Hunh. If I only knew.

We go shopping for my niece’s birthday gift. Into the doll department we walk, where I hear a shriek from Son#1… Mr. Drama… hands over his eyes he is yelling, “Do not make me go further! My eyes are burning out of my head! AAArrrrggghhhh!!!! I cannot be in this department. It is full of… of… dolls!!!!” I roll my eyes, pop him in the head and tell him to knock it off. We have a gift to buy for his cousin.

Dolls, dolls, everywhere and not a truck in sight. We were in a foreign land. Everything with Pink! I was getting a headache from being over pinked. We’re looking at dolls and Son#3 who cannot read picks one up and says, “Well, Mom, this one is OK I guess. It has a bottle.” Son#2, starts reading the box and says, “Hey! This one Pees!” and suddenly I have high energy on my hands and shouts of “Yeah! We gotta get this one! It pees!”

The only thing that would have made their day more exceptional is if that damn baby doll passed foul gas or pooped. So we bought the peeing doll.

I’m stressing over what to wear to the party because I’m in one of my snits. It’s a Sunday, my husband has been out of town all weekend and has just arrived home. I'm beat. It’s a 1 hour drive to the party and I don’t want to deal. I want to do a jeans and t-shirt day, no shoes, and just hang at the house. I definitely don’t want to ‘dress’ for anything and that is exactly what I would have to do… for a frickin’ 2 year old’s party. And then there is the inevitable small talk.

So casual but tasteful clothes I don and off we go. People are arriving and I really am doing my best to make small talk. Fighting the urge to flee, I am asking everyone about their kids, and they were CUTE toddlers, but you can only ask so much. I didn’t know anyone. And most appeared to be in the fashion world so that meant I had exactly ZERO in common with them.

My father in law sat down and watched the Packers game. This is where a little guidance from my commenters is really welcome. I looked at my spouse and said, “Hunh. I take it that my getting my book and sitting in the corner and reading is out…” I got 'the look'.

So dear readers, why is it perfectly acceptable for men to watch a football game during a kid’s birthday party, yet it is considered ‘anti-social’ for someone to read? Trust me, the men who gathered to watch the game were not talking amongst each other. They were watching the game. Just watching.

Barney arrived. The kids were hiding behind their Mother’s skirts in utter fear that the 2D purple dinosaur they watched on TV was now 6 feet tall and not only towered over them, but also some of the adults, such as myself. My kids were being nice. They went up and shook Barney’s hand. But then the unthinkable happened and my sister in law said to them, “Will you boys let me take your picture with Barney?”

What in the hell was she thinking? Oh. Wait. I know that answer. Our family’s favorite movie is A Christmas Story where the little boy wants the Red Rider BB gun. “You’ll shoot your eye out”, he’s told throughout the story. Great frickin’ movie. OK, if you’re seen, think to the Christmas morning scene where Ralphie opens his gift from an Aunt I believe, and it’s frickin’ Bunny Pajamas. He looks ridiculous. Well, that Aunt would be my sister in law. C-l-u-e-l-e-s-s.

But the horrible evil Mother that I am, I could not quit laughing as my eldest continued to give me the evil eye. They had their picture with Barney, to humor my s-i-l, then they came over to me, hands on hips and an exasperated tone and said, “NOOOOWWW, can we go out and play baseball???”

With that, the 5 of us went outside and the four who own y-chromosomes in my family played ball in the cul-de-sac… while I broke out my beach chair from the back of my van… and read… until pizza.

Finally it was over and as we were leaving Son#3 said, “Aunt, can you put those batteries in that baby doll so we can watch it pee?” They have been promised that when we come to visit next time, they can witness the peeing baby doll. I am unsure what they are expecting, but I feel certain it will be anti-climatic.


Blogger Graumagus said...

"New! It's Hemmoragic Fever Frita! The doll that breaks out in weeping sores and craps it's own organs!"

Oh god, I have GOT to stop blogsurfing when I'm on medication...

12:55 AM  
Blogger VW said...

ROTFLMAO. I'm wiping the tears from my eyes. I know you had told me about it, but I could just picture it again... besides you left out the football/book part. The whole thing is too funny.

7:01 AM  
Blogger Harvey said...

One of the (many) advantages of manhood - you're not expected to socialize or nurture.

If it's any consolation, your boys give you an excuse - "They'd rather go play, and, well, YOU know how it is... and SOMEBODY has to watch them - even though I *hate* to miss this party..."

Having boys is the next best thing to being one :-)

11:57 AM  
Blogger PractiGal said...

With the football thing... yeah, not fair! You could pretend to watch while listening to your book on tape!? Why is it OK for guys to just chill like that?

5:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chilling out is a natural reaction when we get dragged somewhere we don't want to be. We can.... so we do.
TGOO */;-)

8:34 PM  
Blogger Contagion said...

It's okay for guys to go watch football, because it's football. And I know that explination doesn't make a lot of sense, but if you are a football fan, it's hard to not watch the game. Especially if it is a team you like or a game you are interested in the outcome. My Packers play Minnesota on Christmas Eve. My father and I have already pushed back 30+ years of christmas tradition to make sure we catch the game.

8:36 AM  
Blogger Quality Weenie said...

I don't mind family parties because I get to hang with the guys.

This is because all the females in the family, when together, all they talk about is children. Really, there is nothing else going on in this world but their children. Since I don't have kids they get this she has idea what it's like (1) so they allow me to go off and hang with the guys. It's great!

(1) - Guess they forgot about the Education degree I was pursuing at one time and the Day Care assistant certificate I hold.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

It's not really just a football thing. It can be any sports show on TV, even bass fishing. With guys, so long as we're doing something together we are socializing.

See? Sometimes it's good to have that reputation of being neanderthals. ;)

10:03 AM  

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