Tuesday, October 23, 2007

How to keep a friendship (hint: leave the kids home)

With Seth taking off from work on Friday, it meant that the weekend was starting a day earlier for me - or so I thought. Seth dropped David off at school, played with Julia in the park, took her to her gym class and then returned to the park before picking up David. Meanwhile, I was home enjoying something unfamiliar to me ... quiet. I should have known I was going to pay for this later.
Our good friend, George, was getting married that day, which is why Seth had taken off work. All of us were invited to the wedding (although I think the kids were rather imposed by me).

I was looking forward to this day for a month. The last time Seth and I went to a formal affair was when I was pregnant with David; over three years ago. I was even excited about getting dressed up, wearing some nice shoes and having an excuse to put some makeup on. Of course, at the last minute I found out that liquid foundation and mascara have a shelf life as I tried applying makeup that had the consistency of chalk. I only wish that it was my last challenge that day.
Picture a 15-minute wedding ceremony during which David loudly asks to go to the potty twice. Now picture a bathroom situated right next to the main room where the ceremony was taking place, and all David wants to do is keep flushing and washing his hands. At the same time, Julia decides that she's hungry (for which she always seems to be) and loudly chews on her Cheerios. Shortly thereafter, halfway into the wedding ceremony, I had to step outside into the rain with Julia; two minutes later David followed. Before the end of the ceremony, both kids were entertaining themselves, throwing rocks into a puddle.

Julia's white shoes and stockings were black before the reception even started. The kids wouldn't sit still for a minute and kept running outside into the rain. David kept stealing butter packets from the serving table. When we told him to stop it, he did what he does best - he sat on the damp cement floor in protest. This gave Seth and me the opportunity to get some appetizers on our plates (although finding time to eat them would prove to be another challenge.)

Eventually David insisted on going to the car for which we obliged. However, he refused to come out, so we left him there. We checked on him a few times, but he asked to stay, granting us a 20-minute break. Meanwhile, one of our friends was running after Julia, allowing us some time to finish those appetizers. (Thank you, Albert!)

During this time, I took the opportunity to finish my glass of champagne, then Seth's, and slowly on to the other 4 glasses for people who were absent from our table. (Go ahead - think what you want of the Eastern European stereotype!) The best part, aside from sharing this special day with George and Noelle, was seeing and catching up with all of our "old" friends who we haven't seen for years.
You'd think I would learn something from this experience and hang low for the rest of the weekend. Wrong! On Sunday, we visited our friends who have three kids: Chance, Connor and Sarah. Even though they are older than David and Julia, I have a feeling they've always been well-behaved kids. Their house is always neat and doesn't look as though kids live in there (at least not on the main floor). That all changed as soon as Meyer clan stepped in the door. I have a feeling that everyone (although they are too nice to admit) including their poor rabbit, Raven, were traumatized from us visiting. A subway map, hanging on the door, ended up in pieces as David ripped it in two. Food was dropped all over the floor and chairs, and doors were slammed shut a dozen times, and some musical instruments took a beating as David banged on them. I don't think we'll be invited back in a long time and rightfully so.
So... what lessons were learned? Do you want to see some friends whose house isn't equipped for toddlers? Invite them over. And if you want to attend a wedding... get a babysitter.

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