Sunday, April 16, 2006
Do Peeps Come From Cadbury Eggs?
We had a quiet Easter morning. We hid eggs around the front yard and let the kids find them, and then we powered them up on enough candy to give our neighbors diabetes. I have a vague admiration for those moms who refuse their kids all tastes, glimpses, or even thoughts of candy until the kids are in college, but I am weak and just can't turn down that blissful 3 minutes of absolute silence while they tax their little pancreases into overdrive. The concept of egg-hunting was weird for Jacob, but he went along with it, very much in the way that you see celebrities having photo opportunities with orphans or homeless people (but not the mentally ill, celebrities don't get THAT humanitarian), smiling benevolently for the camera and trying not to call attention to the basic bizarreness of the circumstances.

In order to properly stock their Easter Baggies (yeah. Baggies. Baskets are so over-rated.), I stopped at Walgreen's the other day. While there, I also bought a thing (skein? length? flock?) of rope to tie shut the door-flap of the bouncy house... because, really, what good is an enormous and costly container intended to overstimulate and bruise small children, without a closeable door? It so happened that the rope came in a bag with very similar proportions to the candy bags. So the cashier rang up the candy, got to the rope, and said, "Um." And stood there. Then - "Um. You know you got rope, here, and not another bag of candy?" I told her, "Oh, yeah, thanks. I just want them to sit still while they're eating it, I hate when they get chocolate on the couch." I'm still waiting for DCYS to knock on my door.

The party went far better than I had any business to hope. Eight big kids and four toddlers came, which made for a very manageable crowd, and for once, every single guest behaved just like they were actually descended from human beings and not crazed lemurs on crystal meth. The weather was lovely, and even the parents who decided to stay with their kids were able to carry on intelligent, appropriate conversation. It was like a miracle, only with more bananas.

My personal favorite moment of the soiree was sort of a side event. We have a very small (shoebox sized) wagon which is intended for toys at the beach but which more often gives toddlers bruises down the outside of their thighs because the concept of "too small" is not relevant to their worlds yet. So, Jacob's friend Samuel, 20ish months old, was pulling it around, and I knelt down to check in with him and say, "Hey, Samuel, how's it going?" in my Party Mom voice. Then I glanced into the wagon and saw this ENORMOUS (just under shoebox sized) spider, which was bright yellow and shiny with circular black markings - the kind of thing you see in National Geographic Magazine with captions like, "World's deadliest spider discovered in the jungles of Brazil; three acres left lifeless." It waved at me, and I swear it whispered, "Hey, get out of the way, I'm going to eat that kid." So I kept my Party Mom voice on, and said, "Ooh, Samuel, can I see the wagon for a second?" And I took it, and turned around, and went BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG on the ground and then jumped up and down on the enormous steaming carcass. And then smiled, handed the wagon back to Samuel, and chirped, "Thanks, hon! Have fun!"

We had the bouncy house all weekend, and so the only right and proper thing to do was buy a bunch of glow sticks and such, and go out and bounce at night. I made the discovery that after birthing two children, my bladder just is not as able to withstand the onslaught of a bouncy house and some over-tired giggling as it once was. I did not dampen myself. I did take three trips into the house to "check on Jacob" and also "check on the bathroom."

My mother-in-law arrived late morning ("I'll be there at 8:00 for the egg hunt," "Okay, see you at 10:00."), and told a story of how she was at her hotel this morning and wanted to check her email, but there was another woman using the hotel's computer. So she - mother-in-law - got a cup of coffee, sat down in a chair about three feet away, and STARED at the other woman. "It only took about three minutes, and she got up and left!" She told this story like it was a good thing, like she had done some admirable problem-solving and reached her objective in a satisfactory way, NOT as though other hotel guests are now at home telling their loved ones about the creepy staring woman who hung out in the lobby. One more victory for passive-aggressive behavior, what a relief. I mean, God forbid she actually find an open and direct way of navigating through life.

Tonight is Willem's last night of fantasy hockey. It's been both a good and a bad thing in our house. Bad in the sense that it is evidence of testosterone poisoning at its most grotesque. I don't know the details, but something about the game means that he has to set his alarm clock so that he can get up at 3:00 in the morning to beat all the other doofuses (doofii?) out there to make the perfect selections and whatever. This is a man who slept through my initial symptoms of appendicitis and early labor. I'm happy to know where I rank in his list of priorities. First, pretend hockey. Then, sleep. Then, wife. Gotcha. The good news is, he is just as aware of his idiocy as I am - though some bizarre vestige of his adolescence keeps forcing him to say, "But at least you could have some sympathy for me, this isn't as fun as I hoped." - so it's a nice reminder to all of us that his doofusness is a limited, intermittent occurrence, not an ongoing ritual. He says right now that he'll never do this again, because it's just too obsession-prone. Ask me in a year if he actually managed to avoid it.

Wait, what am I talking about? Hockey is one of those annoying sports with a 13-month season. It is always on. Ask me in a few minutes.