I’m finding it ironic that I’m supposed to be writing for a parenting site but I can’t find time to do it because my kid is ON MY JOCK ALL THE TIME.
Yay, it’s summer vacation!
I suppose I should have thought ahead, activity-wise, and put him in a camp. (That looks sort of wrong now that I’ve written it down. Put the children in camps! Coloring the American flag and stapling it to a drinking straw will make you free!) But the fact is, what with my father’s sudden departure for the pearly gates last month, all the stuff I “should” have been doing for the last six weeks just went kablooie. Also by the wayside? Planning Jackson’s birthday party. Oh, let’s see, that’s two days from now, isn’t it? How many kids have I managed to invite? Uh, two. Shit.
You know what, though, he doesn’t really seem to care, thank Dora. As long as he and a couple of friends can do cannonballs in the pool all afternoon, or go scream their heads off at Chuck E. Cheese, we’ll be good. I think we’re all still recovering from last year’s trauma, when I invited 3,000,000 children to go to the beach with us and half of them ended up with black eyes and crying. Because of a fatal miscalculation on my part, when renting one of those bounce house things for the kids to jump around in — please feel free to learn from my mistake, but when you have a birthday party for a five-year-old and a bunch of twlelve-year-old boys show up? You have a choice. Either get the five-year-olds out of the bounce house or roust the twelve-year-olds. I don’t care who’s disappointed, just do it or you’ll have a whole lot of twisted ankles and broken arms to explain at pick-up time.
Also, don’t invite the sneaky kid who’ll crawl under the picnic table and raid your box of carefully prepared goodie bags. Otherwise you’ll have some disappointed tots at the end of the party, and most of them will be girls who their mothers put in sweet little party dresses that they were instructed to keep clean, and for whom a tugging match with a bigger, greedier boy over a bag of cheap noisemakers and confetti poppers is an exercise in futility without adult intervention. And believe me, I spent a lot of that party intervening. My voice was hoarse for two days.
LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES. I BEG OF YOU.
From here on out our guiding light is this: you can invite as many kids as you are old, plus one (you). So technically it would be a party of seven this year, but like I said, I dropped the ball. Jackson was sick and missed those crucial last three days of school, where I could have cornered some other parents and figured out who was going on their family vacations when. Oh, hell, I bet it’s too late to order a cake from the grocery store, too. Great, now I need to go round up some partially-hydrogenated Betty Crocker mix and raid the party store for Transformer toys to stick into the icing. Oh, shit, and he needs some presents, too. FUCK.
I need an assistant.