I congratulated myself for being so ready this year. I envisioned myself relaxing on my couch just waiting for guests to arrive. HA! Again, how is it that after 41 years I still have not learned that "Pride goeth before the fall..." (thus sayeth the Lord, Amen)
At 1140 am I started grilling hamburgers 10 minutes late, but the party was at noon so everything is ok. At 1143 it started to rain on me. Normally I would take this as a bad sign, but I was too busy making sure I didn't burn the main course. At 1146 I again congratulated myself for producing 10 juicy-ever so slightly charred in just the right places- hamburgers while walking up my not exactly clean back stairs to go inside... and promptly lost my grip on the container from greasy fingers and rain. Ummhmmm. Yup. I dropped ALL of the precious meaty cargo on the stairs, a few bouncing off into the grass.
"*(&%#$@)*!" I gathered up the damaged goods and tossed them and started round two. Whilst inside talking to an early guest and glancing frantically at the clock- not realizing that the grease from round one was flaming like a set of space shuttle thrusters, therefore increasing the core temperature of the grill to 600 degrees- I finally whispered agitated apologies while leaving them mid-sentence to find round 2 almost completely destroyed.
I stared sadly at their charred remains and whispered a silent curse laden prayer to the grill gods that I have something to feed the masses. I broke off the scorched edges of 2 of the only edible burgers and threw the other 6 away. I threw the rest of the burgers from the big frozen box o'meat on the grill and eyed the grill angrily, thinking of our other grilling tussles. This would not be my first go-round with the flaming metal beast.
Success!!! I managed the hot dogs, got annoyed that the MIL elbowed her way through guests to feed herself before almost everyone else, we all ate... Jacob opened presents and had a blast!!! He got bored opening like most kids do, and had fun playing with his new presents. I decided to leave the rest of the presents for the next day, they were all from us anyway.
Then I served cake... and once again the kids hadn't even been served yet and the MIL came in hovering over the cake, insisting to get her piece next- with a smile of course. Then told me she wanted to take cake home while pointing to the heavily frosted grassy area of the cake and TOLD me she wanted that section. I did what any self-respecting DIL would do. I got annoyed and "PFFFFT'd" to her face and made her scoop ice cream.
While this was happening, I completely forgot that Jacob had been served a small piece. John took pics of him sampling it- taking dainty and controlled finger fulls, then took pics of the guests... mean while NEITHER of his brilliant parents watched, or his grandma standing right in front of him scooping ice cream watched- while he proceeded to jam almost the whole piece in his mouth, eyes bulging, giving a cough.
Thank goodness Cousin Candice Thomson was watching and her mommy instincts kicked in... she ran over and scooped cake from his mouth with a hooked finger. I heard him cry and ran over to break him free of his high chair. *PHEW-sigh* I thought
1.Thank the Lord for fellow mommies.
2.I'm a horrible parent and and my husband is an idiot.
3. Vice versa.
The rest of the party went great, he had a wonderful time playing with his presents- most of it with his mouth open LOL!
Cleaning up the kitchen so we could go to the city pool next, I dropped a bottle of Southwest Spicey Mustard which did a lovely swan dive, then bounced doing a triple axle, then exploded all over my leg/foot/flip flop and the cake box. Heh heh heh heh. All I could do was giggle. My friend Michelle giggled with me after I told her all that had happened, and kindly rinsed my flip flop in the sink for me while telling me she and her BF would have just rinsed them off and served them.
We went to the pool at about 3pm, Jacob disliked the pool very much and protested quite loudly, while Emma (who cannot swim) decided it would absolutely be the best thing to walk off the second I take my eyes off of her and walk to where her dad was at the diving boards, where I couldn't see her because of a slide encasement right next to me. Literally POOF, gone. I freaked out screaming for her, which was pointless because of the natural din that goes with being at a pool, and asked Anna to look for her. I scanned the pool for her/her swim suit and looked over to the diving pool.
I stopped midway with Jacob in my arms and had a nervous break down for a 1/2 minute, sobbing because my worst fear was coming true- losing my kids... I snapped out of it knowing that standing there sobbing like an idiot was taking away precious searching/rescue time.
I prayed. I pleaded with God in the briefest, most sincere prayer I had ever uttered. "Please God, keep her safe."
I looked back over to the diving pool, and there stood the rest of my family. There stood my middle child, completely unaware of what was happening... standing with her sister (who turned to look back at me, smiling weakly, wincing almost as if she knew what was coming next) and her dad, who was waiting in line for the board.
"You need to hold him RIGHT NOW," I screamed at John.
I grabbed Emma by the arm and screamed at that child... YES, I was THAT lady. At the pool. Screaming at the top of my lungs, "Don't you EVER walk away from me again without telling me where you are going. DON'T EVER do THAT to me AGAIN!!!"
I proceeded to try to calm myself and tell her exactly what I had thought had possibly happened: her being at the bottom of a pool or having been snatched from the pool. We both cried, and I let my anger go. I hugged her, clung to her while she stood there helpless to do otherwise, the both of us crying. I repeated, "IloveyouIloveyouIloveyouIloveyou, please don't do that again. Ever."
We walked over to the newer kids part of the pool that had fountains and various spraying/splashing apparati for a few minutes, Jacob protested loudly again. Emma promised to stay with Anna and our cousin Melinda... then Jacob and I went over to the shaded snack bar and he fell asleep on me while I watched my girls like a hawk in the play area. Everyone had a great time, I enjoyed the peace and calm of holding my one year old while the noises of the pool lulled him, remembering how a year ago that day I was doing the very same thing- holding my sleeping baby after an exhausting day.
Lesson learned finally. You can never be completely 100% prepared for life... or birthday parties. OR MIL's.
*passed out after the pool*