Sunday, March 15, 2009

I Should've Liveblogged That Children's Party

It was a target-rich environment, there at the skating rink yesterday. We celebrated Laura's 8th birthday, and several characters from my blog--Frenemy Neighbor, my kooky Co-Room Mom, Normal Neighbor--were all together in one place. My only thought was of you, my Reader, when from across the room, I saw Frenemy deep in conversation with Jan the co-room mom. I wished fervently that I had miked everyone. I knew what they were saying, though, because Frenemy has stayed at Laura's parties for the past two years, where she picks one of my acquaintances, first quizzing her about where they go to church, then how her children are schooled, and finally moving into a more probing interrogation designed to determine whether this family would be open to involvement in a multi-level marketing scheme. Last year I apologized, later, to the mom she'd had in her talons. I think that Jan, though, probably gave crazy as good as she got. Party time!

And does this scene bring back memories for you?

It does for me. The skating rink scene has not changed a wink in 25 years. I had SO many skating parties as a kid, but the old me who could skate fast, then spin around and skate backwards. . .she is gone. The new me Hokey-Pokeys a little too exuberantly, then falls down on some kids. That's what it's all about.

The whole birthday party felt retro to me, not just because of the setting, but because of how little I stressed out over it (and how CHEAP it was). I know this isn't the mommyblogger fashion, but I kinda outsourced the whole thing. Nothing was carefully handmade, is what I'm saying. Two years ago, I made fancy finger sandwiches and set a pretty table with punch and teacups. Last year, Laura and I had a gorgeous bakery cake made, and this year, wait for it. . .the night before the party, we went to Target, and Laura picked out a little sheet cake that was sitting there, and they wrote her name on it. The cake woman was like, "I used the wrong tip for 'Happy,' so it looks different from the other words." And I said, "Looks great to me." The kids seemed to enjoy it. And the skating rink served pizza and Sprite. I mean, Sprite! Do you get what I'm saying about the retro? Love it!


I looked at these little girls and thought how beautiful they all are, each in her different way. I love trying to imagine what they'll look like as grown women. Mister Hank had a mighty nice time with all the ladies.

He even skated some, on the carpet. Hank skating on the wood floor was not something that worked.

Other things of note: Jan the co-room mom, who is actually pretty fun when you're not trying to accomplish anything with her, brought a big, fake ponytail for Laura. She also skated like a champ and flirted with the teenage boys who were working there. One of them offered her some of his gum. She's a party-enhancer. And here's that glamour hair.

And lastly, my own dear Frenemy Neighbor. When last we spoke, it was up in the air whether we would drive her daughter to the party with us. She never got back to me, so I filled our van with three other little girls. Then Frenemy and her daughter arrived an hour late, so P didn't really get to skate very much.

And AND, I was wearing this shirt, from Garnet Hill:

And Frenemy Neighbor asked me if I was pregnant. Oh yes she did. I thought that everyone on the planet had gotten the memo: you do not do that unless you actually see the baby's head coming out. But no.

It was a perfect Frenemy Neighbor moment.

19 comments:

Michele Renee said...

What a great story--looks like Laura had a great time, PLUS you had good tales about the other moms. Jan sounds like fun. Dying to know what she thought of Frenemy. Tell me, was anyone in ear shot when Frenemy asked if you were pregnant? That lady is truly an oddball. I feel soooo bad for her daughter. She couldn't get her there in time to feel like a nomal party attendee! Shheesh.

Keely said...

Outsourcing isn't the mommyblogger way?? I'm so screwed.

I can't believe she...actually said that. NOBODY says that. I had one person that I didn't know who VERY cautiously asked me when I was like, 8 months pregnant and ginormous.

Amway must have different social rules...

Ginny Marie said...

I love that picture of Hank, in between all those girls! What a cutie! I remember skating parties like that...those were my favorite parties in the WHOLE WORLD when I was in sixth grade.

Carrie said...

Now that I am pregnant, I cannot believe the balls on some women who ask me if I am. Not that I'm offended -- I'm thrilled to be showing enough so that people can tell now. I would just never, ever take this risk. As if it's not bad enough to risk telling some woman she's fat, consider this: I have a friend who lost her baby shortly after birth. Like a lot of postpartum chicks, she still looked a bit pregnant in the following weeks. How do you think SHE liked it when a stranger asked when her baby was due?
Sweet party!

A Day That Is Dessert said...

That really takes me back! I so, so loved Sunday afternoons at the roller rink. I love your cake story!! I have never made a birthday cake. Ever. And I like to bake! I don't do it prettily though and I don't like to be pressured about things like that. Your neighbor is a piece of work! I hope she does discover your blog so she can read about what an oaf she is.

Camp Papa said...

I don't know if it's being a father and grandfather of girls or all those years as an elementary school principal, but a group of little girls always strike me as transcendently beautiful. They seem so fragile, yet our culture demands so much of them as adults...

I also get choked-up at children singing in unison. Even before I got old.

The Stiletto Mom said...

I know what you mean about setting the bar high. I used to put on parties for both of mine that were total productions. One time, for my daughter, I turned the living room into an aquarium with hundreds of yards of three shades of blue tulle when our theme was Little Mermaid. These days, Target is my very best friend for such events!

Cute pictures, I love the fake hair!

Jane said...

Happy birthday to Laura! Looks like a great party!

The Messy Mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Messy Mom said...

Aw, all of those girls are precious and beautiful. I too have been mistaken for pregnant when wearing a similar shirt. I think there are a lot of people that didn't get that memo or the other memo about empire waste not being exclusively maternity. Oh well, I am sure you looked great.

One last thing, I too have jumped on the contest bandwagon here is the link...
The Messy Mom: WIN A $10 Amazon Gift Card

Casey said...

That's hilarious. No, you don't ask if someone is pregnant, EVER. I've never made that mistake but I know people who have.

We outsourced Graham's 2nd birthday party and it was lovely. Elliot's 1st is coming up and we were just talking about not wanting to do the whole cleaning/preparing thing but it's only for immediate family so who knows. I'm glad you guys had fun, I was at a skating rink a few years back and it was like a flashback to my past.

SJN said...

she must have missed that blog post about "asking if you're pregnant" etiquette. Totally rude!

bsouth said...

Honestly. Frenemy Neighbour really needs a clip round the ear. I bet you looked great in that top (although I am basing that purely on your profile pic!). I wouldn't ask if a woman was pregnant unless I was in the delivery room and I'd just seen the baby crowning. Mind you, that's probably because I'm sick and tired of people telling me how brave I am to be having my 3rd so soon. No, I'm not pregnant!

It sounds like a fabulous party and the pictures really did take me back. I used to love going roller skating - even though I was (and probably still am) terrible.

Jenni said...

so love that FN tried to get the co-room mom in on a pyramid scheme. perfect!

Cassie said...

Re: Frenemy neighbor... I'm appalled.

I'm with Keely on outsourcing. Lately I've been trying to convince Phil to take a second wife, just so I can do even less than I do now (if that's possible). Shockingly, he's not on board. Keeps saying something about "I learned my lesson the first time." Whatever that means.

Awesome party... Shoot the Duck. For real.

Sara said...

My sister and I were *this* close to booking a multi-kid (1 of hers, 2 of mine) roller skating party for last week!(At 'Pancake Skate-N-Whirl, no less)
We were so excited about it, reminiscing, wondering if they still had the same frozen pizza. If they'd let us play Limbo with the broom stick, if we'd get to do 'YMCA.'
But then it all fell apart. Plus none of our kids were near as excited as we were.
Good call! And it was only fitting that you had a store bought cake at the skating rink birthday party.
Memories!
Frenemy Neighbor: passive aggressive perfection.

Coffee with Cathy said...

Hope your daughter had a wonderful birthday. When mine were small they loved roller-rink parties -- you're right that they're so cool in a retro sort of way. But it takes a cool mom like you to know that.
And I love my word: "atenurse."

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Swim party for us this year and we will NOT be hiring a life guard. Indemnity agreements work better anyway.

I do so wish you'd miked Frenemy and Bon Voyage co-mom. That would have been a RIOT.

delaine said...

I think Laura's party was obviously a smash hit ! In spite of the navy blue roses.I would have loved to have been there to watch the parents as well as the kids. And Hank- what a sweetheart he is ! Your photos are gorgeous ! New camera ?