Monday, April 19, 2010

I took Ella to an afternoon birthday party at the park in town. It was sunny and a little breezy. Chris was home from school with a mild fever but came along.

Ella wanted me to swing her almost exclusively. And that was alright with me. How many more opportunities will I have to do that? But as usually happens at these things, I looked after the other children on the playground as well. Chatting moms were more than happy to let me push their kids on the swings or help them down the rock climb.

Believe it or not, I'd actually forgotten how it is. Has it been so long since I've been to the playground with a group? But I'd rather look after kids. Except one kid there who had seemingly boasted about his age turned out to be the one who could do the least for himself.

Chris mostly sat. Occasionally he'd come over and wanted to push Ella. Just as the pizza was served, they both told me they were hungry. What good timing! They both had a slice. Ella walked around eating hers in order to keep tabs on the swing. After the cake, the hostess brought out the "goodie bags" because one child left already.

Those goodies bags caught Chris's eye. Before long, he asked whether we could leave, after receiving a goodie bag. I told him that I hadn't told the birthday kid's mother that he was coming, it was last minute because he was home sick, and she might not have enough goodie bags. But that the best thing to do was to wait until the party was almost over and then there would be a good chance that she had enough. It seemed reasonable to me but he could not accept it.

The pull-a-part cake had a Cars theme which my two younger children know and love. A significant episode in the movie is Lightening McQueen being ordered to pave the road he ruined in a car chase with police. Icky, gicky tar or asphalt is a big part of that scene. That being said, I saw no esthetic reason for the cake icing to be mostly black. When Ella got her chocolate cupcake covered in black icing, she stuck out her tongue. She ate most of it and her face was, not black but a deep purple. A lady with a white jacket sat backwards on the picnic bench, leaning against the table and got black frosting all over her coat. After that, everyone was lamenting the absence of baby wipes from their travel packs.

My two kids spent the last half hour of the party with their heads under the picnic table watching the ants take away bits of cake and frosting that had fallen to the ground. They know A Bug's Life quite well, also.

Chris had asked me to bring a travel pillow from the car so that he could rest his head. Ella insisted on having one too. At one point, I sat between them on a park bench while they each rested on either side of me. It probably seemed ridiculous - why not just go home? But, I thought the fresh air was good for them.

When it was time to leave, I offered to take things to the hostess's car but she said she had it under control. Chris got a goodie bag which was a blue pail with some candy and toys, including bubbles. We drove over to the older boys' school and I let them out to blow bubbles near the playground. They used the tiny bottles all up, so from my perspective, it was a success!

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