I was at M's school at 2:15 on Friday afternoon - and it was stiflingly hot. But how much fun to stand around watching the kids cycle through their party activities and then watch them have Halloween snacks. While I sweated in my tank top (having already shed my cardigan).
Then there was a birthday party at Skate City. My personal Hell. Crowded, noisy, BAD music, chaos, and M doesn't roller skate - but HAS to go, because her friends do - so we go through the Five Stages of Skating. Every. Time.
Excitement, Denial, Putting on the Skates, Not Skating while Crying, and Anger. Love it.
This time, I even put the f*#@ing skates on myself and did a lap with her. While she yelled at me in panic not to let her fall and cried, complete with me falling in a Spectacular manner (managing to make sure she fell on top of me). I don't roller skate, did I mention that? Despite my stunning athletic abilities, roller skating has remained at the top of my Most Despised List. All of this while being assaulted by the pounding, awful, conversation-cancelling "music". Pure Joy.
Oh, and the parents of the birthday girl handing me a couple dollars in quarters when they realized that the only thing M could really do was play arcade games, and they felt bad for inviting her when she couldn't skate. (sweet, but a little fucked up, don't you think? I mean, are we supposed to feel bad for the kid who can't do the thing we include them in? What message does that send? And do I really look like I couldn't handle the several dollars I'd already pumped into the machines one quarter at a time, via my suddenly blood thirsty daughter who was killing the arcade games, winning an impressive 120 tickets in 45 minutes?) The birthday girl's mom told me what time to be back at the table for cake and presents, so we had time to kill. I explored the weirdness of sharing the quarters among the little kids crowding around the games we were playing without crossing the line into scary creepy adult at the arcade (none of these kids we knew). I found it best to quickly offer to stick a single quarter in the game next to ours for the kid standing longingly watching us, no money in their pocket. There were plenty of these. I managed to share the pile of quarters without it even causing M to pause in her motions.
There are the actually sweet minutes when the birthday girl opens M's present first, exclaims with genuine joy over the rainbow unicorn birthday card that M picked out, and is in rapture over the present M gave her. And then M crowds around the other little girls as the rest of the presents are opened and they ooh and aah together over the loot. Too quickly, Skate City declares the party over, and we file out.
There was the magical moment when she accidentally broke a glow stick, and I had to pull over in a Lowe's parking lot and find the wipes and help her clean up. Special.
This afternoon, carving the pumpkin on our driveway in the blazing sun (it IS October, right?) The little Hell Gang of snotty brat girls, riding the pink electric car up and down the street in front of us, running around in their costumes already and exaggeratedly ignoring M. The little girl she'd finally begun to play with, who has just in the past couple days thrown her off again, because another girl who used to live here moved back. But of course the lure of the pink car is too much for M, and she goes to ask if she can have a ride. The two girls stand there, reluctant and torn. They have been told to let M have a turn, but M needs someone to ride with her; she doesn't know how to operate it and will never be the one to just wing it.
I cross the street and ask the girls if one of them will ride with M. They look everywhere but at M, frowns on their little faces. Clearly, this is something they are not willing to do. The mother of the pink car comes over. What is wrong? I explain. She tells her daughter to ride with M. Her daughter refuses. The mother, the woman whose husband has been so badly injured, climbs into the pink car and gives M a ride up and down the block. I thank her and appreciate it, but by now the girls have all scattered, and M is standing alone on the street. All the other parents sit in their circle of lawn chairs on the driveway two doors down, smoking, drinking, and gossiping.
We go back in side and wait for sundown, so that we can trick or treat in our neighborhood.
3 years ago