Yesterday afternoon we went to Alex’s best friend’s birthday party.
It was HOT outside. Hot. Got that? HOT. Miserable.
Fortunately for the kids, the party included a pool and a slip n’ slide with two lanes to slip and slide on.
Fortunately for the parents, there were shady places to sit and cold beverages.
There were, in all, 5 little 4-year-old boys and Julia and a little 11-month old girl who has already elected to have her ears pierced. One of the boys arrived late, so for a while it was just Alex, J, T, C and Julia. Well, and the baby, but she’s not walking yet, so she didn’t really participate.
The pool was the best part – they were all falling in and climbing out and falling in and splashing each other and crying because someone splashed water in their eyes and running back to the appropriate mommy and being sent back to the pool because there was no blood.
These 4 boys in particular have known each other since they were babies, and T’s mom and C’s mom work at the daycare they all attend, too. So we’re kind of one sprawling extended family. None of us parents have actual names, either. We are Alex’s Mom and Julia’s Daddy, and so on.
Julia had a great time hanging with the boys. She’s funny…she’s very girly at times, but she can hold her own with guys twice her age…no fear.
The best part of the party, besides all the times Julia started climbing up the hill toward the busy street or running down the condo parking lot toward the other street…or Julia running behind the condo where there is poison ivy…and Mommy doing her Olympic sprinter impersonation over and over again to catch Julia before she could play in traffic or eat some interesting foliage ("leaflets three, let it be" – anyone? Sheila?)…and Julia’s look of demonic delight every time red-faced Mommy grabbed her by the arm (gently, so as not to dislocate her shoulder or leave any bruises)…oh, I smile at the memories….
Besides all THAT fun…the best part for Bill and me was watching all the other boys cry and throw little tantrums. Our own had a few crying or fit-throwing moments too, but no more than any of the others. They all do it! It’s not just ours! Alex isn’t the only little boy who freaks out when someone won’t share with him…he is not the only one who turns sulky and flings himself to the grass when he can’t have the FIRST turn at Pin the S on Superman. (That’s "S" – not "ass," which is what Bill thought he heard when J’s mother cheerily summoned everyone to play. Bill couldn’t understand why no one reacted.)
They ALL had their monster moments. (At one point, Alex, in a little boy rage about something, told T "You’re NEVER coming to my house!" Just about the worst thing he could think of to say at the moment.)
And they all returned to normal fairly quickly, and no one held grudges and they parted still friends at the end of the party.
This morning Alex didn’t want to get up at all. He is his father’s son. Juila usually wakes up frighteningly cheerful no matter what kind of a night she’s had. I don’t wake up cheerful, but I wake up quickly.
Alex – and Bill – don’t.
When I went in to get Julia, I looked over at Alex’s bed (they share a room) and he was sound asleep. Julia and I had our little morning chat before I lifted her out of the crib, and the next time I looked at Alex, he looked like Bill in miniature. He had pulled one of his pillows over his head to drown out the light and the noise and the female chatter.
It took a lot to finally get him up this morning, and when he came downstairs he was actually crying…tears rolling down his face, wailing "But I don’t want to get up, I’m still TIRED!" Poor little guy. He perked up a bit after his cereal, but he told me over and over in the car "I don’t want to go to preschool!" "Why not?" "Because I don’t!" He finally gave up.
We got to daycare and T’s mom was dropping him off too…and he didn’t look all that glad to be there either.