Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy Birthday???

Yesterday was miss Jamie's 7th Birthday.

The day started out very well with a yummy birthday breakfast just for her. The afternoon was lovely too with cotton candy treats for her school class. Then came the birthday party.

It started out fun with a few sweet little girls happily making crafts and getting their faces painted, then came the paradigm shift and all went crazy when Jamie's best friend from her school class showed up with not one, not two, but three of her siblings, one of which was a little boy (this was a girl themed party). Huh? How did this happen? I hadn't planned for this many kids and didn't have enough stuff for them. What the heck?
Turns out that Jamie's friend had told her that she would only come to the party if her brother and sisters could come too. Jamie, wanting her friend to be there, said, "Sure, bring them all." But failed to fill me in on the plan.
Is it just me or if your first grader came home and said, "Mom I got invited to my friend from school's birthday party and she said I could bring the whole family." You would call the mom of said friend (my # was on the invitation) and say, "My daughter told me that all of my children that you have never met are invited to your child's birthday party. Is this true? Are you sure you want all of my children that you have never met, one of whom is a boy, to come to your child's birthday party?"
Is it just me or would you also feel the need to confirm such a thing?
I tried, oh how I tried to be hospitable, but the boy was so ill behaved and really out of place in a girl themed party so he made the night miserable for everyone else. He was loud and crazy and made a couple of the little girls (who were supposed to be there) cry. Nice.
All of the plans for the party went right out the window and I found myself desperately watching the clock, which moved so very slowly. I felt like I was babysitting not having a party. Seriously, how did this happen?
As the end of the party finally neared, I started gathering every one's crafts and party favors which I some how miraculously had enough to give all but the boy, but they were girl things so I thought he would be okay with that. Thought wrong. He wanted one anyway. I told him I was sorry, but that they were girl things so he probably wouldn't want one (Waylon didn't get one either). His older sister then decided that she needed two of the fuzzy scarves that I had given the girls. When I explained to her that the green one was the one that Jamie had chosen and that she needed to give it to her, she got quite the attitude and became rather sassy with me. Where was I? I didn't even know these kids and they were so snotty to me.
That is when I lost my mind entirely and became cross with the naughty children. My own children looked at me with disbelief because I don't normally become cross with people, especially guests. But I had had it. I was FRAZZLED to say the least.
At that point the little girl called her mom to come and get them which was really okay because the party had been over for 20 minutes, but I felt bad because I had made her feel bad. This was like a knife to my heart because I hate to make children feel bad, especially guests in my home (whether they were invited by me or not). So while they waited for their mom I tried to be extra nice to them and in retrospect I know that I should have asked Jamie to give her girl themed party favor to the little boy. That would have been the hospitable thing to do, but at the time I was too stressed out to think of it.
Now that it is all over, my biggest regret is not that the party was ruined, but that I didn't handle it better. Because the only thing I have control over in this world is how I behave. And I am disappointed in how I behaved. Yes it would have been easier if the children had behaved, but still...

I guess the important thing is that Jamie had a wonderful time and was quite oblivious to the chaos around her. So all is well.
(No we don't normally dress with no sleeves in November. Actually we never dress without sleeves. Jamie wanted to wear a dress at her party, but threw the top sweater off early on. And things were just too crazy for me to care.)


heidi j said...

wow.. sounds like you handled it a lot better than I would have. I would have called that little girls mom up as soon as they arrived and said Oh NO.. you are coming back here to get these other kids! Way to be, you may not think you did well, but you did better than most of would have!

MaryRC said...

I agree with heidi, I'd have put them in time out. They must have been super bad because you can handle a TON more chaos than I can, kids woulda been crying and calling their mom within minutes. You did the best you could with the situation. th thing is this stuff happens alot, my friend had a halloween party and an invitee's mother not only dropped off all her children but added the ones she was babysitting as well... Hmmm My freind is the school counselor so all the kids know her and I guess this mother thought it was okay?? Well things were getting outta hand with one of the boys and I stepped my loud mouth in and scared the kid, but he straigtened up and told the baby sitter as soon as she showed up that I snapped at him. I just shrugged and said "Yeah, he was being overly naughty." She didn't say anything... Oh well..

Missy :o) said...

well, happy birthday to Jamie anyway! It sounds like the kids had a good time. I completely agree with you, that mom really should have called and questioned the fact that you invited three kids you don't even know to your house. I don't even let my kids go to parties if I don't know the parents! what the heck? anyway, I would probably have done the same thing. I don't think you should worry too much about it. You did the best you could under such circumstances! keep smiling!

PS ask your husband if he remembers my husband. email me if you want to; 7waites at gmail dot com :o) pretty sure our husbands grew up together!

TheShumWAYS said...

craziness! I hate how parties can make the parent stressed, but at least the kids were oblivious to it. Sounds like she had a happy birthday anyway.

The Cranes said...

I would NEVER drop off my other children at a sibling's party--at least without checking with the mom first and even then... I am sure I would not have lasted so long before I got angry. It is hard when you are feeling used and mistreated by a thoughtless parent, not to take it out on the kids--especially when the kids aren't behaving themselves. I know I would feel the same way, but try not to be too hard on yourself. At least Jaime had fun!

Stoddard Family said...

I don't understand how people can be so completely RUDE. She came and dropped them off, but didn't come in to check with you? I would have called her too, and told her that I was not prepared for extra children. You are a very sweet mother to let them stay. I am glad that Jaime had a great party anyways. It says a lot that she didn't notice a problem.

arizonamama said...

Happy B-day Jaime. Sorry for the rest. Bratty kids are the worst.

4boyzmdmom said...

No, it is not just you! I definitely would have checked with a parent and not trusted a 1st grader! I am always telling my kids "I have to hear it from a parent" when they say someone has invited them over. I am amazed that some parents don't check. I'm sure I would have become cross and impatient in a situation like that! Don't be too hard on yourself!