Friday, June 3, 2011

Wanted: Time to Stop

I moved to Raleigh 16, wait, almost 17 years ago now. Yep, 17 years at the end of this summer. The first year I worked in daycare, that was 1994. 1995 I was back in Canada, for Teacher’s College. 1996 I came back to Raleigh, and was substitute teaching, and working part-time at JC Penney’s in their jewelry department. There was a Mother’s Day sale, and because of my employee discount, combined with that great deal I decided to buy a ring.

All of you who have been reading my blog for a while now know that I am a planner, but you may not know just how much of a planner I really am. It’s true that I am already looking forward to a future event when the next one has not yet arrived, and that I get little shivers of delight when I open up a Word document to create a brand-spankin’ new checklist for a trip or a task. I like things to happen the way they are suppose to happen – a schedule to flow like clockwork, nothing to be forgotten, everything to be in its place. We all know that real life intervenes and things rarely turn out that way, but I do everything I can to ensure that the rules are followed in strict accordance, arbitrary rules that I make up based on my own childhood experiences or just the way I think things should be in my cute little crazy head.

I tell you this long and boring background story so that you have some idea of just how tense something like a happy child’s birthday party makes me. Yes, it’s a fun thing, but even though I know it’s not going to be perfect and things are going to go wrong and there will be things I can’t control that will make me insane, I still carry around this vision of the ideal day, and the pressure of trying to deliver to it makes me sick to my stomach. Yep, I totally bring it on myself, I know that. Doesn’t help.

As you know I’d been planning Jelly’s Third Birthday Extravaganza for some time. Despite the fact I swore after last year’s exhausting event to NEVER DO ANYTHING LIKE THAT AGAIN, and that this year would BE DIFFERENT, I again found myself up at 6 am the morning of the anniversary of the day of her birth, sighing heavily at the gorgeous little girl (WHO SLEPT IN TIL AMOST EIGHT!!!! EIGHT!!) and lugging various ridiculous party accoutrements into my backyard. An inflatable pool. A bounce house with a water slide. A 3-person slip 'n slide. Another inflatable pool. Coolers. Tables. Stop to sweat and curse my stupid ideals.

The weather, oh the weather! Totally cooperated. Sunny and beautiful, hot but with a nice breeze. With a few minor hilarious hijinks, the bounce house and crazily fun pool went up. Everyone came. The pizza arrived precisely on time. The cake was delicious. I wanted to die every single second, but Jenny had a complete and utter blast, and her friends cried when they had to leave because they had so much fun, and that’s a good party.

Somebody may have poisoned the water hole, but there are no snakes in this cake! I was traumatized because it was not enough, but I thought the kids would go for the cupcakes. Silly me. Oh well. That's what happens when you put a pack of chocolate fudge pudding and an entire bag of chocolate chips in a cake.

Yee-HAW! Whatever you do, don't call her a cowgirl. She's a cowBOY. Hilarious. Check out that three-year-old-Bean, can you believe it?!
There were lots of good lookin' cowboys at the party. The Ta totally rocked it.

Aunt Jen, the official party photographer, giving us some guns.

My Jellybean. A very, very happy little girl, who spent 548 hours in this fantastic Intex pool purchased on Craigslist for $40.

The ring I bought? I bought for my future daughter. My mother doesn’t have a lot of jewelry, and certainly no family heirlooms to speak of. I sure as heck didn’t have anything, I had just come out of college. So I decided to buy one. A stunning set of opals (because, you know, it’s bad luck to buy them for yourself). Yes, so what I’m saying is that 15 years ago, 12 years before Jenny was even born, I bought a ring that I could give to her on her 16th birthday that would already have a story. It could have turned out badly, and I could have ended up with a sad little ring buried in a drawer in a box forever bringing me bad luck. Sometimes being a crazy compulsive planner works out, and sometimes it backfires. I got lucky with her birthday this year, again. But, yeah. That's how messed up I am. Just so you know the kind of therapy I SHOULD be getting.

The camping trip? Oooh, wait til you hear about THAT. I'll give you a hint. There was lots of rain, but rain didn't fit into my plans, so I chose to ignore it.

Happy Birthday, my 38-inch, 43.5lb 3-year old girl!


Shannon said...

OMG, how cute is that little cowgirl - I mean cowBOY!?! Love her!

And you - you are crazy! LOL Glad all went well! :)

Barb said...

Great post. And that cowBOY is absolutely adorable! Don't you reall, really, really wish they didn't grow up so very fast? I am thinking that myself a lot lately. [sigh]

DannieA said...

You know....I'm in the midst of doing the 2 year party and I'm hoping to get it done "at a place" so that I don't have to clean up or go through that anxiousness of which you speak of. But in the end, it's all about whether or not the kids enjoyed it. It looks like Jenny enjoyed it bunches. Happy Birthday to your little one! She looked dang good! CowBOY!!!!!!!!!!

MommieV said...

And I still can't even bring myself to buy the piece of jewelry I've been wanting to buy since my kid was born, and that was two years ago. Ha!

When I grow up I want to be just like you.

Do you save your Word lists? Could you go back to the one labeled Beach Trip February 2011 and see if that tells you the recipe for the yummy drink? :)