The most obvious Flip Off must go to my lack of time management and forgetfulness. I wrote this yesterday but then never finished posting it!
Last Friday was a very special day at our house. The Tortoise celebrated her 13th birthday with 13 other girls. (I’m not sure when I’m going to stop adhering to the rule of inviting the same number of children as your child is old.) There was also no school that day, making it a perfect opportunity to put the finishing touches on the house and start partying by 4pm. We opted for no sleep-overs. All the kids were getting picked up at 10pm. The Hare and DW had other obligations, so it was just me…and 14 squealing, hyper, smiley girls. The night unfolded smoothly: dance party in the family room, pizza, watch Legally Blond, more dance party in the playroom, cupcakes and a Sunday bar, frosting fight (blue icing does come out of orange bathroom rugs more easily than I would have thought…and no, I have no idea why there would be cupcakes in the bathroom) and then one more round of dance party in the basement. By the end of the night I had a house full of red-faced, sweaty, tired teens and a 13-year-old hugging me like crazy,
“Mom! This was the best party EVER!”
So with such a successful party, what in the world do I have to flip off? How about the fact that my baby girl is now 13? How about the fact that I totally forgot to get any real pictures of her the whole night? We were having too much fun to stop for pictures. I am over-joyed beyond belief that she and her friends wanted me at her party.
- Mrs. W! Come dance with us.
- Mrs. W! Aren’t you going to watch the movie with us?
- Mrs.W! Did you see? Did you know?
But there is a tinge of sadness that there are no more princess parties and pin the tail on the donkey. The season of bursting pinatas raining candy are gone. Gifts of Barbies are replaced by lip gloss and perfume. I don’t want to go back in time, but I don’t want to go forward either. If there was a guarantee the years would only be full of dance parties and frosting fights with my daughter, and friends that still think I’m cool, then maybe I wouldn’t be so anxious. But I know these are moments to cherish, to pull back out when times are more tumultuous. So I guess I am flipping off the future birthdays too.
On Thursday The Tortoise invited two girls from her birthday party over to spend the night. We had no school again on Friday (I know, when do they have school?) It was another fun night of movies, dancing with the Wii and a big taco bar, complete with homemade guacamole and left over ice-cream Sundays. I had my eye on that ice-cream. We had bought two big party tubs from the grocery store, one chocolate, one vanilla. After the kids had their bowls full, I pictured myself having a double scoop smothered in hot caramel, topped in creamy whipped cream.
“Don’t forget to put the ice-cream away when you are done.”
“Ok, mom…I won’t.”
About two hours later I came down to the kitchen to get my bedtime snack, only to find two tubs of chocolate and vanilla soup. But instead of being mad at first, all I could do was giggle at an old memory that snuck up on me that night. My dad had given me and my BFF some money to go get some ice-cream. It was a beautiful summer night in Texas, and perfect weather to put the top down on SK’s beat up old 1969 Mustang convertible. That car was in need of a new paint job, engine work and interior. But we didn’t care – we were 16 and driving in a convertible. Our first stop was the ice-cream but then we decided to make a detour and drive around a neighborhood of some boy we liked just to see if he was home. By the time we got back to my house – we had a tub of ice-cream soup.
My dad was royally mad.
I tucked away that memory when I remembered that this liquid mess meant there was no more ice-cream. I did a private flip-off dance right there in the kitchen to blow off some steam, and then calmly asked The Tortoise to please come into the kitchen.
“Oh crap! I forgot the ice-cream.” she said before entering.
And last but not least, I giant in your face, please pay better attention to children who do not listen! All week I have been telling the kids Friday’s plans. Although I agreed to a Thursday night sleep over, the day had to be over by 11:30am so that we could get our house ready for my mom’s visit on Saturday. Top two things on my list: take Luna to the groomers, clean the house. That’s it.
All four girls (my two and our two guests) sat around the kitchen bar telling me all about their classmates, family and funny stories while we ate sticky cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven. I reminded them about our Friday plans. I reminded them that I was going to drop Luna off at the groomers before I went to my exercise class. Everyone nodded in response.
About 30 minutes into my class I noticed two missed calls on my phone and two voice messages from home. Immediately my heart stopped – they would only being calling if there was an emergency. I ran outside and called home right away, rather than waste time listening to messages.
“MOM! Oh thank goodness you called back,” sobbed The Tortoise uncontrollably. She continued to talk between bursts of tears. I couldn’t understand her at all.
In the background I could hear The Hare wailing and saying over and over, “What are we going to do? What are we going to do?”
“Calm down! I can’t understand you. Do you need an ambulance?” I was on the verge of tears now, and beginning to shake.
“Oh mom,” she whispered, “I’m so sorry. The UPS man came…and now we can’t find Luna. She must have run out the door and now she’s gone…” her voice dissipated into a puddle of despair.
“WHAT?!” I shrieked into the phone, half laughing, half annoyed. “Luna is at the groomers!”
“LUNA’S AT THE GROOMERS?” she yelled back.
In the background I could hear one of the girls say, “THE GROOMERS! Oh yeah, your mom did say something about that this morning.”
It took me a few minutes to finally calm the girls down, restoring some level of peace. After class I finally listened to their messages, and even though the outcome was fine, I couldn’t help but weep a little in the car hearing the fear and desperation in their sweet voices.
The Hare: “Mommy, mommy! You have to come home right now. We need you right now. Luna is lost forever. Mommy pleeeeeaaaassseeee come home.”
The Tortoise: “Mom. I’m so sorry. We lost the dog. Can you please come home and help us find her. I’m really, really sorry. I love you.”
Of course, when I got home, instead of being annoyed, I was just relieved and ready to hug my girls. Apparently someone isn’t as ready to babysit as she thought.