I have this friend, Becky. We carpool together for soccer, have for about a year and a half. Our boys are friends outside of soccer and we are friends with Becky and her husband. But, I have a feeling, after most encounters with me, Becky wonders to herself how I ever make it through a single day.
Becky, bless her heart (she is from south of the Mason Dixon Line…well, more like on the Line, but it counts—she would like that), puts up with a lot from me and just smiles. For example, here is a typical text exchange:
Me: Can you drive both ways to soccer on Tuesday?
Becky: You mean Monday? Practice is still on Monday nights.
Me: Nevermind 🙂
And then there are these (notice, that statement is plural, not then there was this but instead these):
Me: Does L need a ride to the game?
Becky: SHIT! We have a game today?!?!?!
Me: Yeah, in Zionsville.
Becky: You sure?
Me: Oh, nevermind. I read the schedule wrong.
Becky is used to this kind of crazy. I mean, honestly, I have my shit together most of the time. But, I am able to laugh at my own mistakes here. I mean, let’s be honest. I have three boys, at three schools each doing different sports and work full time. So, suck it. I try.
But Becky understands (I think). Except, this one may have taken her opinion of my smarts over the line.
I am sending out an Evite for a small birthday party for Andy’s 10th birthday. As you have probably experienced (and one day I will tell the story of the worst birthday party ever that almost cost as much as a mortgage payment), they can quickly get out of control. Since that epic failure mentioned above, I keep a tight reign on the party planning.
I get Andy to narrow down the list to 10 boys. My goal is 10 at the party. I know all ten he invites won’t be able to come, but he has two brothers standing by eagerly waiting to join his party and play laser tag. He’s got a few from soccer, a few from his old school, a few from his new school and a neighborhood friend.
I am working through the soccer kids when I realize I am not totally sure of this one kid’s last name. I think I see it on an email distribution list, but not sure. I text Becky. She texts me back a name that is very close to the name I think it is. It must be a Stupid Siri mistake I tell myself and go with the name I think it is.
I keep the Evite in draft form until I can call the laser tag place the next day to schedule the party. I had hoped to do it from 3:30-5:30 but they could only accommodate us at 2:30. That means 2:30-4:30. I book it and click send on the Evite.
A series of events that plays out over the next week, and which I will skip over to protect the innocent (which is clearly not me in this scenario) finally bring to light that I picked the wrong last name. And, in fact while Andy likes the boy I invited, it was not the boy I had intended to invite. Strike one.
Fortunately, I see the mother of the boy I was supposed to invite at a game on Saturday and her son can in fact make it to the party. Recovered from strike one.
Meanwhile I am telling this story to Becky and she is…well, let’s just say underwhelmed and I am sure thinking “par for the course” with you, girl.
The party day is finally here. I roll in just before 2:30, which is the beauty of paying someone else to do the party. I used to do these elaborate parties at home. All kinds of special details, lots of preparations, etc. then I realized all my kids really wanted to do was go be wild someplace else. It was like my years of insisting we make our Halloween costumes and all they wanted to do was wear a crappy plastic mask. I gave in, but I think this year I have them convinced on two homemade costumes. So excited!
Sorry, off topic. We walk in and there are already two moms there dropping off kids. We chat, say hello and I see a few more folks further in the room. I say bye to those two moms and move on to the next crowd of parents.
We exchange pleasantries and the dad says, “Thanks for taking my kid for the next three hours. I will be back at 5:30.”
“Wait…” I said. “You mean 4:30. The party is over at 4:30.”
Another mom who is standing right next to us confirms the horrible news. “The invitation said 5:30.”
Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit. When I called to make the reservations and they switched the time to 2:30, I must not have updated the pickup time to match. It must have still be at 5:30 instead of 4:30.
I explain my error to the parents and ask that they kindly pick up at 4:30. I would go insane and broke if I had to stay at this place for three hours with 10 boys. They both agree the pickup time is fine.
I tell all the remaining parents of my mistake and update the pickup time to 4:30. I have to text the two moms who I encountered when I first walked in and ask if they can please pick up at 4:30 instead of 5:30. Everyone graciously agrees. Thank freaking God.
The party progresses and of course by the end, they have played all the laser tag, eaten all the cake and used all their tokens (I even bought tons of extras). Yet that last 10 minutes hanging out waiting on parents was the most painful of the whole day.
“This sure is weird not having any tokens and being around all these games” one kid says to me.
He wasn’t the only kid saying things like that. And, I wish I was one of those parents who could just let that stuff go, but I can’t and I am not.
I lock eyes with the one kid and say, “Listen, I spent a lot of money already. There are no more tokens period. Next time, don’t play at those stupid games of chance that cost 8 tokens and you will have tokens left over.”
Party’s over; I think I am ready to go.