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Friday, February 18, 2011

The Birthday Party Principle

At 9:30 this morning, the last load of laundry for the weekend went into the washer. 9:30am. On Friday.

The birthday present for the surprise party Husband and I are attending tonight? Was purchased and wrapped last Friday. One whole week early.

The new blouse I am going to wear? The black, silk, sleeveless, gorgeous, new blouse? I planned out the rest of the outfit last night, which includes even special "foundation garments" that have already been purchased and are just lying in wait.

[You know where this is going, don't you? You have that feeling of doom? The one I should have had when I realized everything was falling so nicely into place? Oh, yes, yes, you do.]

The fact that I kept forgetting to call the sitter, despite being so excited about an evening out with my husband at a swanky jazz club? Doesn't matter because my delightful neighbor offered to have the kids for a sleep-over with her son, and insisted that I bring them over an hour before we have to leave, so that I can have time to shower and do make-up and get ready like a proper grown up. And then the children will sleep over, so we not only don't have to pay a small fortune to a sitter: we also don't have to be home at any particular time, and we don't have to be worried that someone will creep into our room in the middle of the night...

By 1:00 this afternoon, I had spent an hour and a half volunteering at my son's school doing a creative and engaging art project with the class while teaching them about the great Louis Comfort Tiffany.  The grocery shopping was all done and put away, and I had even organized the pantry to boot.

And then, at 1:23? It all came crashing down.

Hello, stomach flu. Not the slightest bit nice to see you. As much as my poor daughter hates you right now? I hate you even more.

It is a fair bet, however, that my son will not catch this bug from her.  How do I know, you ask? Because he is supposed to attend a birthday party tomorrow. One for which there is no present as yet purchased, let alone wrapped. One for which I am not even sure the location and will certainly have to scramble to determine the where and when. And because we are completely unprepared for this party, nothing will stand in the way of his attendance.

Just as, because I am completely prepared for the jazz club birthday tonight, with its famous chef, and its grown up conversation, and its black silk attire, and its empty house afterwards, I will not be able to attend.

Because that is the Birthday Party Principle.

If you are the mother of a pre-schooler.


Garima said...

First let me stop nodding profusely. Just last Saturday, similar situation- we had planned to meet friends for dinner and then house party afterwards. Brother was to baby sit my daughter. Done and done. I put her to bed on time, get ready. She is a bit fidgety and refusing to sleep. Normal coersion not working and then I figure she is warm. There is no way I could go ahead. So changed out of my party clothes, washed the make up away. Send husband so at least someone has a better time and then stayed home....!
aaaah. Perfect Evening principle it should be called!

Oilfield Trash said...

That just sucks. I am sorry that you won't be able to go out tonight.

I have a theory called the 10% Theory which stuff like what you just described happens to me. And you not being able to go out tonight would fit into the 10% Theory for sure.

And I know what you mean about the birthday party things. That is usually how it works for me as well.

3 Crazy Irishmen said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear it. Same here. We FINALLY make plans with another couple for the first time in a YEAR for tomorrow night and my second son came home sick from school today. And my oldest son also has a birthday party to attend tomorrow (which I am completely ready for). So it stands to reason he'll wake up sick as well. Now if the other two get it, it will be the Perfect Storm and we'll just throw in the towel and give in to a Family Weekend of Nastiness. Bah humbug!

Heather said...

Damn girl, that sucks! After the munchkin goes down for the night, open an extra special bottle of wine for yourself at least!

Fawn said...

This is the saddest thing. Oh my, my mother-heart weeps for the loss of a grown-up night out looking fabulous.

slow panic said...

so not fair. the more organized i get the farther behind i get. how does that happen?

hope you feel better soon!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry. That stinks. And it's so typical... I like "the birthday party principle". So true.

Also - thanks for your e-mail the other week. It meant a lot to me.

Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

This made me laugh like a loon.

Cause we have all been there, and you would have looked totally hot.


Mrs.Mayhem said...

Not the dreaded stomach flu! That's the worst!

E... said...

This is awful. Of course as always, you were able to make it entertaining for the rest of us! How about a reschedule of the date night for this weekend?

anymommy said...

It's just wrong. I was all excited and living vicariously through you for a stunning night out.

It never fails. They never fail. Preschoolers. It's a damn good thing they're so cute.

Bejewell said...

It is for this very reason that my husband and I never plan anything. Okay, we never plan anything because we're lazy. But still.

Sorry, hon. Hope the kiddo's all better now.

Sandra said...

I guess that goes right along with Murphy's Law. Only I like your term for it much better.

The Empress said...


It just figures.

I'd say, you borrowed a page from my life.


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