Le Party

So we finally had that smallish birthday thing on Saturday afternoon, organised by Tal and co-hosted by him and Prospero’s Daughter. It was pleasant, but it ended up exactly as I had been trying to avoid in my own planning: I spent most of my time keeping an eye on Liam, so I never really got to relax or actually talk to people. I really appreciated it when a couple of people made a point of coming over to sit or stand next to me for a few minutes to share some time with me now and again, because I was feeling remarkably isolated. It was the trade-off I couldn’t avoid: if the people I wanted there were in attendance, then there was no one to watch Liam elsewhere. Everyone else seemed to be having a really good time, though, so I’m happy for that. The cake was awesome, and I deliberately took the corner bit so that I got extra icing and a huge buttercream rose on top. Although pretty much as soon as I finished that we had to flee because Liam was cranky and tired, which rushed the present-giving and subsequent thank yous, making me vaguely irritated and feeling like I’d never really had the opportunity to enjoy my own party, let alone have a second piece of cake.

And speaking of presents, I was caught completely by surprise by the group gift being a cheque to finally allow me to purchase the CD player for the car that I’ve been trying to get around to buying for two years now. We went out yesterday to research and price them, and if I add the gift certificate that was the birthday present from my in-laws, it will pretty much cover the cost of the unit we’ve chosen, the parts needed to fit it into the car, and the extended warranty. The vague plan is to go back to the store today before I pick up Liam to purchase it and make the appointment for installation later this week, which happens to be free as part of a current promotion. Thanks, everyone!

Notwithstanding the lack of a second piece of cake, I did have a cup of excellent beer given to me (liquid barley sugar that carried a 14% alcoholic kick!), and a cup of the now infamous Baronial sangria. I had to make myself hot dogs at home after Liam went to bed, though, because I’d only managed six bites of a brochette at the party what with making Liam’s dinner and feeding half a brochette to him, and dropping another half on the ground while sitting on the edge of the deck trying to feed myself and watch Liam eating at the same time.

Another excellent birthday gift was the first season of Slings & Arrows, given to me by Elim, the second and final disk of which we enjoyed after we got home.

All in all, I’ve liked that my birthday celebrations began the weekend before my birthday, and have sort of quietly been carrying on for the past three weeks, what with people handing me little gifts or treats or doing nice things for me here and there. Next year, though, if we do the party thing at all I’m putting my foot down and scheduling it when my in-laws are in town, even if that means August, because I want to be able to fully enjoy my own birthday extravagana.

2 thoughts on “Le Party

  1. paze

    Kids and parties.

    Jeff and I and Devon have been to a social gathering of one sort or another every single weekend for the past few months. Fun, but we are so tired. Whenever the gathering is advertized as “kid-friendly,” we’re always in a quandry. On the one hand, we’re grateful that kids can come because it’s so considerate and we love Devon and like being with her and bringing her places (and, yes, showing her off a bit), and we feel guilty always foisting her onto her grandparents to sit. And there’s also the whole exposing-her-to-adults-and-other-kids-and-new-places-and-situations-for-education-and-fun thing, too. But on the other hand, bringing her almost anywhere means that as far as our parent brains are concerned, it’s all about her—where is she, what is she doing, is she getting into trouble, is she playing well with others, is she eating properly, is she monopolizing someone’s time, do we need to get her home because she’s getting cranky, do we need to get ourselves home because we’ve spent the whole party looking out for her, playing with, looking after her and *we’re* tired and cranky. And all this while we’re trying to carry on grown-up conversations and enjoy ourselves.

    And she’s not even a helpless baby any more.

    We are so lucky that we have friends who at least *seem* not to loathe kids much, and some dear friends who even go out of their way to play with Devon and give us a bit of a rest. And sure—she doesn’t need even half the supervision/attention she did when she was a baby. Back then, we often didn’t go to anything in the evenings because of sheer exhaustion at the mere *thought* of all the work it would take. If we did take her anywhere, it tended to be a short stay, and often frustrating. (And the comments like “Boy—you guys have gotten so boring since you became parents” weren’t funny. And all the suggestions that we just put her down in some bedroom between a bunch of pillows when she got tired? They meant well, but just didn’t get how impossible that was. We tried it. It didn’t work. Ever. Still doesn’t. Ever. She’s a born party girl.)

    So I truly empathise. And yes—when your parents are in town do take full advantage of parental baby-sitting to get out sans baby. As *soon* as Devon was an old enough baby to be left with my parents, by god did we do just that as often as we could. We were/are just so damn lucky they live in town and close by. . . and that they are not invited to the same parties that we are.

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  2. Owldaughter Post author

    I know you empathise. :)

    I have also discovered that all the helpful suggestions (just pop him in the stroller and walk him, he’ll fall asleep; let’s pop him in the car and run round the block, he’ll fall asleep; let’s just take him into the next room and give him a quick bottle, he’ll fall asleep) always seem to work for Other Babies, but never one’s own. Liam too is a people person, and by God, if there’s something going on in the next room, he should know what it is, and be part of it. Or Else. And he’s been like that since the week we brought him home.

    We tried; that counts for something. I just wish it had gone more smoothly.

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