Today I found myself at a little girls birthday party. The party was fun and as it was winding down S and I were set to collect the boys and make our exit, but instead we were invited to stick around for a small BBQ with a few other families a bit later that day.
Awesome!! First, I love BBQ (or really any dinner party type thing); and second, I really want our family to become more social. K is doing a great job at moving beyond his rottweiler stage (see The Rottweiler at Home), so we are ready. Well, at least we thought we were ready.
Everything was going quite well, between the birthday party and the BBQ, the place cleared out so we were there to help prep and watch the kids. Soon, I find myself happily chopping away at some herbs in the kitchen chatting with our gracious hosts; but, this left S supervising our very mobile, independent, and fiercely opinionated 17 month old M. As you can image, this took S out of the adult conversation and experience. K was doing a great job playing with some of the older brother’s toys, so that was not a problem. Six o’clock rolls around and food is still nowhere near to being ready. Well, M is typically finished with his dinner and about to enter bath and bed mode by this time, but we work with it and raid our host’s frig for some tasty leftovers. First barrier dealt with.
Then the other guests arrive, and we realize that we are definitely wearing “American Casual” when we should be attired in “Euro BBQ Chic”. Well, we are sorta used to that, besides one of the guests informed me that he had wanted to wear shorts too, but that his wife would not allow it. This fashion thing (or lack there of) seems to be a reoccurring theme for us, someday it would be nice to be trendy…but that is just not going to happen. ’90s grunge is way too ingrained in our blood. But, now I am feeling a little young as all of the other kids that have arrived all immediately took off to the basement (parent-free) room, and I am there holding M, who is desperately trying to vacuum the floor with a light-saber and pull the ears of our host’s small dog.
Then we discover our next challenge. All of the kids who have come are in the basement and K wants to join them. Actually, one of the older kids, a very sweet boy from the “big school” invited K to join them. Halfway down the stairs the boy stops and says, “Well, they are playing a pretty aggressive game.” Not quite understanding him (I was thinking twister or a bit of rough-housing pillow fights), I continued to take K into the parent-free zone and we met by an enormous TV where a boy was guiding a well animated Batman into sewer mayhem…and the Dark Knight is indeed a bit dark. Of course K was mesmerized and objected strongly to my suggestions that we return to the upper levels. Eventually, I got him out of the basement, but now we was sad that he could not be part of the older kids and watch the “movie”. And on top of that, M had reached his point of over saturation.
It was a quarter to seven, M should have been bathed and into his last bedtime story by now, K would be following shortly. Instead, we are in the middle of a boisterous and crowded kitchen, under-dressed and with two boys that are either in the process of, or about to, crash on us and the BBQ had not even fired up yet. Oh woe is the adult me. We paid our regrets, packed up our boys, and got home to bath M and find some decent leftovers for K and ourselves.
It is now nine o’clock, both boys have been fed, bathed, and are asleep. Outside the sun is still shining and we can hear the neighborhood kids laughing and playing in the field behind us. But alas, S and I are tired and spent and will find something mindless to do for the next hour or two before we too decide it is now late enough for us to go to bed as two respectable adults.