Alternate Title: If you give your kid the invitation
The thing about afternoon birthday parties is that they are usually smack dab in the middle of the younger kids' nap times.
The thing about afternoon birthday parties is that they usually only last two hours......hardly enough time to drive home, throw the kids into their beds, play 22 games of facebook's Pathwords, load the dishwasher, wake the kids up, force them to go to the bathroom, get them each a piece of cheese to try to stop their "I didn't get enough sleep" sobbing, look under all the the couches, beds and numerous layers of their princess fort for that elusive mudboot, button up their raincoats, buckle them back in the car and go retrieve Addie from the party.
The thing about afternoon birthday parties is that you already know from past experience that there is not enough time to accomplish the previously listed tasks without shrieking at the top of your lungs in a Princess Bride-ish "Pit of Despair" torture kind of way. And so, you will probably decide to "waste" two hours in the community instead of tormenting your entire family with the dreaded "not-enough-nap".
First, you will probably stop by the library. After dragging three kids thru the busy parking lot in the pouring rain, you will probably remember that the library is now only open 3.25 hours of the week due to city budget cuts. So, mumbling something to yourself about the acceptability of just a "wee bit" of city debt (for the sake of the children......our future......America's tomorrow), you will probably load the kids back in the car and drive them across the parking lot to that really fancy grocery store where the words "Fine Foods" loom above the new state-of-the art doors, judging your sweatshirt and unstyled hair. The smell of the in-house Caribou Coffee will probably make your mouth water as your sleepy kid who won't fit in the car cart with the other two will probably totally freak out about having to ride up front with the chicken. After probably running into your good nurse friend, whose husband is a doctor, because really, only doctors can afford to shop here, you will probably shell out 20 bucks for three strawberry frosted donuts and a couple of overpriced items for tonight's dinner.
At this point, you will probably realize you still have 1 hour and 14 minutes left to kill. So......you will probably drive a few miles down the road to that new scrapbooking store where you have a coupon good for four FREE pieces of paper. Four!!! After sitting in the parking lot for 58 seconds while your kiddos suck the frosting off their donuts before handing you their unwanted "bread," you will probably suddenly realize that a scrapbooking store is no place for two tired girls who have a tendency to rip everything resembling paper into teeny tiny unidentifiable specks when left unsupervised. So instead you might drive around, following garage sale signs that will most likely prove to be from last weekend. You will probably tire of driving around aimlessly the second your kids start ripping off each other's faces, and believe me, they probably have pretty easy access to each other's faces because, hey, did I mention your husband probably took all the car seats out of the car and left them out in the rain!? And so, in a last ditch effort to restore peace and order to your illegally moving vehicle, you will probably resort to......Christmas music! Luckily, you probably bought a brand new still-in-the-wrapper Steven Curtis Chapman Christmas CD for 50 cents at a garage sale last weekend. Unfortunately, the kids are probably screaming and crying much too loud to appreciate the magic of the yuletide bells jingling over the Bose speakers, so you will probably pull into the first almost empty parking lot you can find. After letting your girls unbuckle from their adult seat belts, you will probably find yourself warning the kids continuously not to step on that chicken by their feet as they flip and fly over the back seats. To top things off, your youngest daughter might decide to totally strip down to her skivvies, cuz her clothes are "ouchy."
You now probably only have 30 minutes till pick-up time, so you might peruse your Happenings coupon book dreaming of ways to spend your upcoming anniversary, if only you could afford a babysitter. Eventually, your kids will probably tire of all the acrobatics and beg you to let them drive, because hey, they totally know how. And so, you will probably let your girlies take turns sitting on your lap, steering the car in tight circles, occasionally letting them believe that they are really and truly going to crash into that fence. Five minutes before pick-up time, a daughter just might start grabbing herself, rocking back and forth and crying about how badly she has to go, but you are probably a tough mom and tell her to hold it until you get home. And so, you will probably survive an afternoon birthday party.
The thing about afternoon birthday parties is that Addie better be having a pretty freakin good time!!!!!