My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

You Say It's Your Birthday

2004-12-07
The Party. May I first say a few words about RSVPs? Perhaps I’m living in an alternate universe or certain nuances pertaining to etiquette have eluded me, but apparently one no longer needs to respond to an invitation when one is not planning to attend said function. One only calls/emails when one is coming. This is fine but leaves the hostess a bit puzzled as to the actual number of people she can expect to entertain. Eight children were invited. Three responded with “yes”es. Four (two are siblings) showed up.

In the same vein, Dusty has attended three birthday parties in the last year. And received one thank you note. Now, I know how hard it is to accomplish these minor courtesies, what with a full-time job and kids, blah blah blah, and maybe it’s because I’ve worked in the fund raising field all my career but even a generic, scrawled on tissue “thank you” would be nice. Is a “sorry I can’t come” phone call left on voicemail (which I just did for another party just minutes ago) too much to ask? What happened? When did I fall off the carousel of thoughtfulness and common courtesy?

So—back to the party. I have discovered who the Disney Princess ringleader is. I have rooted out the instigator, the one responsible for turning Dusty into a Disney princess connoisseur. She is a beautiful, Jasmine-like bossy girl (though I’ve begun to realize that ALL four-year-olds are bossy. It’s in the job description) named Seren. How, you might be asking, did I discover this? Elementary, dear Diary chums. The defining clue revealed itself thusly:

As mentioned above, four girls came to Dusty’s birthday party on Saturday. The lovely thing about girls at this age (two four-year-olds, a three-year-old and her seven-year-old sister) is that they make their own fun. We’d taped a huge piece of butcher paper on the family room floor for drawing purposes but of course, the mob gravitated instantly to Dusty’s room. It was there that Dusty unceremoniously, and without pause, opened her presents. I did not even know this had happened until she came marching out with a most wretched object in her hands. An utterly gruesome thing. A thing of horror. “Look what Seren gave me!” Dusty proclaimed with joy.

[Permit me a small digression here. The lovely thing about very small children is that their parents have to open their presents for them. They also have very short memories. Thus, all the horrible, inappropriate toys (mostly those that salute Corporate America, make noise and run on batteries) were promptly thrown away. She was never the wiser. Those days are over. What hath Seren wrought?]

Egads. It was a Disney Princess box filled with five fairy tale “books” (representing Ariel, Cinderella, Jasmine, Snow White and Belle). These so-called books are actually poorly written summaries of the movies which they assume you’ve already seen. There is almost no description, no build up of plot, and bad narration with many holes. Not only that, but the box is a…..(wait for it)……music box. With one of those dreadful computer chips like you find in greeting cards. It plays “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” I don’t know why except that the thing is, quite simply, from Hell. One would think the OBVIOUS tune would be, “When You Wish Upon A Star,” which was the Disney theme back in the day. But, Disney is now so evil, so corrupt, it doesn’t know itself anymore.

The box also comes with a Disney Princess necklace with, “I’m a Disney Princess,” engraved on it. Godfrey Daniels, as my mother used to exclaim! What it should say is, “I’m a Mindless Corporate Tool.” Actually, if it DID say that, I’d give one to the otherwise charming Seren to wear every day of her life.

So, the gals came parading out wearing Dusty’s collection of princess/ballerina attire, switching off every fifteen minutes or so until they began to emerge wearing Dusty’s paltry collection of everyday dresses. I was highly amused. Also, the oldest girl ran the show for awhile and dubbed herself The Watchman while the other girls were Princesses. They took over my bedroom (basically because Red was napping at the other end of the house) and The Watchman sat at the door with a continuously flashing jack-o-lantern flashlight and protected the princesses, who were jumping on the “castle,” also known as Mommy and Daddy’s bed, from monsters. They ate their cupcakes in my walk-in closet (not as impressive as it sounds) and there was a trail of cake crumbs throughout the room. Hanzel and Gretel would have had no trouble finding their way home. Apparently, the Watchman turned into a Vampire because there was quite a bit of shrieking at odd times. Girl shrieking can break glass, derail trains, cause earthquakes. Just in case you were wondering.

Then, everyone trooped out in packs to pet the horses and feed them non-organic carrots. At some point it became too much for one of the horses because she kicked one of the dads in the kneecap. Ouch.

Rule #1: Never stand behind a horse. They are nervous creatures. Even if they were totally friendly seconds ago. Just don’t do it.

Rule #2: Post horse-petting rules for guests so you don’t get sued if they maim someone for life.

Fortunately, the Disney Princess’s dad is a soccer coach (he’s from Turkey so it’s not as bad as you think. No one showed up in an SUV, thankyouverymuch), and he directed the administering of ice and Motrin and even wrapped the take-home ice pack in plastic wrap to keep it in place while the injured dad drove home.

All in all a successful event. And not a single picture was taken despite the many rolls of film we bought specifically to record this event. Oh well. Dusty can take it up with her analyst when she’s grown.

Red, for her part, slept through the entire party. She is much better now and has not only resumed eating her rice cereal but got to try bananas last night for the first time. They went over well. Next up: sweet potato, a food Dusty adored as a baby and will not even look at now. “Ewww, disgusting!”

To leave you with a piece of (unrelated) humor, here’s an actual sign I saw plastered on the back of an actual gas-delivery truck: Pass with caution, Driver has gas.

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12:01 p.m. ::
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