…that would be me.
Here’s what happened:
A couple of weeks ago we made cookies for some new neighbors across the street. They have a little girl named Alexis, and Amélie was very excited about the prospect of a new playmate right across the street. I was excited for her. There are a couple of kids she plays with who also live across the street, and while they are nice enough, they do annoying things like come to my house with lice. But that’s another story, and because it’s one that involves manic spraying down of the house with evil pesticides and frantic and paranoid checking of hair for lice that, thankfully, never arrived, I’ll spare you the details.
One day last weekend, Alexis’ dad came to our door with an invitation to a princess birthday party for Saturday night at 7:00. I swear he said Saturday night. The reason I swear he said Saturday night is because I mentally calculated in my head how we were going to pull this off since we have church on Saturday night and also to ask who in their right mind would have a 4-year-old’s birthday party at 7:00 in the evening. I decided that one of us would stay home and let Amélie go to the birthday party and the other one (I was hoping it would be me) would get to go to church.
Every day last week Amélie counted down the days to Alexis’s birthday party.
Yesterday morning she woke up, and the day had finally arrived. She kept asking when she would get to go. I kept telling her it wasn’t until the time we normally dump her in the tub. She waited.
Right before lunch, I decided that I would look at the invitation just to make sure the party really started at 7:00. I couldn’t find the invitation anywhere. Of course, my not being able to find important documents is not exactly unusual. Last week I was on a frantic search to find Amélie’s birth certificate, which I need for this week’s kindergarten roundup. I couldn’t find it anywhere. I knew where it was supposed to be–in Amélie’s bottom dresser drawer (which isn’t exactly a good idea anyway)–but it wasn’t there. I dumped and re-stuffed her drawer approximately ten times before deciding to call my mom and express my frustration. She suggested that I look in my dresser. I told her that was crazy. Why would I put her birth certificate in my dresser? A few minutes later I called her back. I had found the birth certificate. In my dresser drawer. In an envelope with our Amtrak tickets from our train trip to Maine three years ago. But of course! That was perfectly logical.
I called my mom yesterday to see if she had any bright ideas where the party invitation might be. She didn’t. I found the invitation a little later tacked to the bulletin board in the pantry, which is exactly where it was supposed to be, which is precisely why I hadn’t looked there yet. When I opened the invitation my eyes widened in horror.
The party had been the night before.
I felt awful. Really awful. I slowly trudged upstairs to Amélie’s room with the invitation in my hands. I sat on her floor and broke the news to her. Her eyes looked just positively smitten with disappointment. She threw her arms around me and cried. I cried too.
I basically promised we would do whatever she wanted to do that night, even though our original plan had changed because Jack and I were both sick. The new plan was that we were going to all stay home and spend the evening wearing our pajamas and blowing our noses while Amélie dressed up and had a fun evening at her party. Instead, we spent the evening at Burger King, where Amélie spent almost two hours playing in the indoor play place and Jack and I contaminated the air with our germs.
She seemed to get over the disappointment pretty well. I think that I was more crushed about the whole situation than she was, and she was easily placated by the promised trip to Burger King. I still think, though, that I deserve the worst mom in the world award, and as I stumble to the podium to accept this award, I have no one to thank for helping me earn it but myself.