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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Why I Hate Parties Sometimes

I went to a goingawaypotluckkidsincluded party last night. Our friends the H's are moving and taking their three kids with them (which I guess is normal.) I love their kids; B is pretty much O's best friend and I know how much they'll miss each other.

I felt very twitchy. To be honest, I might not have been in the best party mood ever. I had been with my own kids and my friend's three boys all day so she could pack. So, I spent my day with two nine year olds, a seven year old, a six year old, a four year old and a one year old. All boys. Some louder than others. G, the seven year old son of my friend, spent at least 20 minutes on the way to the pool telling us in his surprisingly deep and gravelly voice everything anyone had done to torture him over the past day or so. Most of the torture was at the hands of his older brother B, or so I ascertained before I started some serious Pranayama and blocked it out. AND THEN HE PUT ME IN A HEADLOCK AND PUNCHED MY FACE! AND THEN HE TOOK MY TOY AND YELLED AT ME AND THEN HE TRIED TO TAKE MY CANDY AND I WOULDN'T LET HIM AND HE GOT MAD AND KICKED ME! BLAHBLAHBLAHPUNCH BLAHBLAHSCRATCH BLAHPUSH BLAHBLAHBLAHKICK! I zoned out around the part where he was yelling about someone peeing on him. I don't even want to know. I almost felt sorry for him, but I know this kid pretty well, so part of me wanted to ask him if he had any clue why these things kept happening to him, but that is something for him to examine under the care of a licensed therapist. Let us a revisit a time when the 9 year olds were but six and G was four. The three of them were playing upstairs at my friend's house while she and I tried to relax over coffee like those mothers in those books where the mothers get to relax and drink coffee and talk about their husbands and cooking while the kids play. Anyhow, we heard G screaming and complaining, which was totally normal, so we ignored it. There was a point, however, at which my friend heard a change that was imperceptible to my ears. Well, that isn't quite true. She looked at me and said, "Has G been screaming longer than usual? Does that sound like a cry for help to you?" So we went upstairs to check. There's no nice way to put this, so stop reading if you can't have a sense of humor about child abuse. The very mild mannered six year olds had hog tied (poor? defenseless? I think NOT!) G and left him to suffer. They were ten feet away playing happily with little tiny pirates or trains or something, completely oblivious to the angry screams of the hogtied G. When we pointlessly asked WHY they had done it, they stated the obvious, that he just WOULD NOT LEAVE THEM ALONE. Honestly, I was rather proud of them for thinking of a quick and simple solution. Eh.

So, back to the party. And my twitchiness. I had actually worked very hard to make my day go well. After years of ADD, I have learned that I have to do things a certain way to stay sane. It doesn't always work out that way, but I digress. I had asked a caterer friend of mine to make a couple of dishes for me to take to the potluck that night, because I knew that I wouldn't want to cook and take care of six kids at the same time. Fancy that. In case you're wondering, I ordered some miniature ham and cheese biscuits (so good you don't need the ham!) and a ratatouille-like casserole (I think Ratatouille the movie has done for the dish what Sideways did for Pinot Noir, but I have to say that we have always been fans of the dish and are immune to this pop culture thing. But the movie did make my kids like it more. Oh well.) Anyhow, my car will not hold six kids without endangering one of their lives by putting them in the front seat with an airbag, so I had arranged for my sister in law to take one of the kids in her car to the pool. I took the other five. I had asked my husband to pick up the food and drop it at the house so I wouldn't have to put everyone in the car, endangering one of their lives, to pick up the food. It didn't quite work out that way, because my husband can't follow directions, but in the end everything was just fine. Where was I? Oh yes, twitching.

I also anticipated feeling twitchy at the party because my husband couldn't come. He had a trial that started at 6 at night. Now, lest you think I am one of those women who can't socialize without her husband by her side, I must tell you that I actually prefer to socialize without him (just kidding, honey! well, kind of, but you knew that, thanks to our huge argument the other night after you showed up at the Pub. But, this is neither the time nor the place to bring that up again.) No, it's just that I knew I would have to hold the baby the whole time. I love him with all my heart, but he is at that age where I am constantly dehydrated, because I'm not allowed to hold a drink that he wants to dump out or play in, which is any drink. And he also wants to crawl everywhere and stick his fingers in sockets, so I can't put him down at a party and let him run (crawl) free. And I couldn't really self-medicate my anxiety (AKA twitchiness) with alcohol, because my blood pressure medication makes it inadvisable to drive after more than one big, or two more reasonably sized glasses of wine. I like the lowered tolerance, I guess, but there are times...

So, I was not in the greatest of party moods anyway and I get there and, in addition to harboring a barking, thankfully crated, dog FROM HELL, they are burning incense. I used to think that a certain substance that college kids like to smoke gave me the munchies and a clogged nose. I now know that the culprit is incense. Something about that stuff, which stinks by the way, gives me a headache, makes me eat everything in sight and gives me a weird hangover (clogged head, foul mood and bloating, which might also be due to all the food I scarf while under the influence of the heinous incense.) The barking and incense gave me a headache before I even had a drink. The food was typical potluck stuff: lots of cheese, salt, breaded and/or fried meat and little to no vegetables. Stuff I love and hate at the same time. And the incense and anxiety made me ravenous, so I stuffed my face, had two (small!) glasses of wine and wanted to leave. So I did, and took my three boys with me and a random nephew, too. One of the kids I had kept all day tried to crawl into my car. When I told him to go back inside, he screeched, "Why do different people always get in your car?!" I don't know. I really don't know, but I kind of like it. Kind of

Having the cutie nephew spend the night was a pretty good twitchiness antidote. I've learned that adding one or two spare kids to the mix makes mine behave better. Maybe they sense the precariousness of the situation and realize, wisely, that it's best to toe the line. Maybe they just want to show off for the other kids. Haha. Anyhow, at home, I put two in the bath and two in the shower. The baby likes to play on the floor of the shower while someone else is in it. Then the three older kids went upstairs to play until lights out while I put Baby J to sleep. No one wet the bed and they only came down once after lights out. It was a good night. But I woke up with a food and incense hangover.

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