Several weeks ago we were out front making fuzzy sidewalk chalk art when one of the moms from our neighborhood came by with her kids. She passed us an invitation to a Halloween Costume Party. Briar started chirping “party” and Avery gleefully parroted her, “Paw-tee. Pah- DEE!” I laughed and shook my head in that oh-aren’t-kids-precious way you do with someone you have absolutely nothing in common with other than your kids. Seems to be some weird, forced way of creating a common bond and so help me it is an impulse I cannot resist.
I followed with, “Oh of course we will come. We cannot wait. We’ll go buy costumes right now.” I felt huge shades of Molly Ringwald wash over me. Shut up, Amanda. You’ve got the invitation, leave well enough alone. “Oh and please, please, please, please let me know if there is anything we can bring, or anything I can do to help!” I might have offered to mow her lawn and hose down the drive, I really can’t remember.
She thanked me and headed on her way to deliver more invitations. Briar was pawing at the invitation so I bent down to show her. I fleetingly wondered if maybe we were invited by default, standing between her and the popular girls down the way, handing us an invitation being a means to an end. Then I saw it, the invitation bore the names “Avery” and “Briar” across the top. It had been planned. I think this means that we have officially been added to the neighborhood invitation distribution list.
I realized yesterday that the invitation requested an RSVP by the 18th. Damnit, it was the 20th. I called and left a message:
“Hi. It’s Amanda. Amanda from down the street. Ah, I am Avery and Briar’s mom. I was just calling about the party. I hope you knew that when you handed us the invitation and I said we were coming that we were indeed coming. I just, I know I am rsvp’ing late, unless you took the yes when you came by as our rsvp. I just, I should have called, but I was so sure we’d come. I hope it’s ok. If you need anything please let me know. I’d be happy to bring anything you might need or pitch in during the party. Just give me a call. Ok, so, hopefully we can still come, I mean, we will come, I just hope we don’t throw your numbers off. We’ll see you tomorrow. Again, call if you need anything. Thanks.”
I cannot leave a message that is shorter than two minutes, throw in my neighborhood clique neurosis and you are sure to get a ten minute message. “Hopefully we can still come?! Ugh. I was left with a message hangover. The party was at 2 today and by noon I still hadn’t gotten a call. If the girls hadn’t been so excited I just might have bagged the whole thing.
We made our way to the party, the girls in their short sleeved costumes were comfortable in the nearly 80 degree weather. It all worked out as our host poo pooed my worries and said that she hadn’t called because she knew we were coming and she didn’t need any help. I beamed, maybe I’m not a total misfit?
And our girls? Not misfits, but they do prefer swings to candy and do seem a bit stunned by the antics of the other kids.
your two were the most beautiful ones in the room.
What's wrong with the dalmation (sp?)for goodness sakes?
Love Avery's spots and Briar's pretty poofy headpiece! Looks like fun was had by all, um, except maybe for the little spotted dog.
I hope my girl never learns that some kids get to wear short sleeve costumes at Halloween. She'll be crushed.
They are absolutely lovely.
Oh my God… those 2 are just the cutest. I have to admit I love the ladybug (Zoe's room is decorated with ladybugs). This is the 3rd Halloween that I've been drawn towards ladybug costumes and have resisted. We've already got more ladybug things in this house than I can count (I go overboard with "themes" sometimes) I think if I gave in to the costume my husband would finally lose it! haha
Oh…. and I am so thrilled that you've been added to the party invitation list!!! Yeah! (It took those people long enough!)
Heh. I love your description of the answering machine message you left. I'm good at those kinds of messages, too.
When I get nervous I totally cannot stop talking.
Your girls look totally adorable!
Your girls are the cutest kids in the bunch!
Oh what adorable little girls. I never thought a bug could be so cute. And that pouf in Briar's hair! What dolls!
Molly Ringwald and "message hangover". I love it.
(But p.s. MISS AMERICA??)
(feel free to delete this comment if you think miss america's mom might see. I won't be offended – I'm very anti-hurt feelings. Just didn't know how to contact you directly to say, "SERIOUSLY???")
Sorry, but it was one of the first things I noticed,I'm going to be catty and mean, WTF with the Miss Universe costume?!!! Come on,it's the parents' influence, how else would a little girl know about beauty pageants, yes, I'm being one of those judging Moms. Sorry, don't get me started on pageants, unless you want a 10 page diatribe.
Also, please feel free to delete my comment, if you think the girl's Mom might be offended.
Your little girls on the other hand, really adorable costumes, very sweet. I would have left a much longer message but I would have also offered to bring all the cakes, cookies and assorted treats and offered my left kidney.
I had never seen the pageant contestant before and actually caught myself more than a few times gaping at her, my mouth wide open, incredulous.
I tried hard not impose what I wanted on the girls, though I will say when Briar shared her aspirations to be "an enormous fish" I was quick to offer up alternatives as I was not keen on the idea of trying to glue irridescent scales on some wide creation that I would have to fashion from a clothes hanger and nylon. Mailing it in?Maybe, but come on, an enormous fish? If she still wants to do it next year I'll bite.
I'm a beautiful lady bug! ;o) (So weird to see my name.)
You are a riot! Glad you made the list, and that you and your girls had a good time!
They're adorable, btw, but I gotta jump on the Miss Universe bandwagon. That's just therapy waiting to happen.
I love that little ladybug dress!
I was renowned for leaving long voice mail at my former workplace. You could almost feel the collective eye roll every time I picked up the phone.
The girls look darling… and don't worry about the rambling message, at least you sound friendly! I am at the stage where I immediately say, "Sorry, we can't come" to everything.
I identify with this so strongly. The long message, the overeager acceptance of the party, the second guessing the lack of return call. But it went well and Oh! Could your girls be more stinkin adorable.
Those pictures are so precious!
I think you and I would get along just fine m'dear. And they're beautiful, your two.
Amanda, how well you said it:
"I laughed and shook my head in that oh-aren't-kids-precious way you do with someone you have absolutely nothing in common with other than your kids. Seems to be some weird, forced way of creating a common bond and so help me it is an impulse I cannot resist."
I too so often find myself inwardly critiquing momhood even as I leap to embrace that weird awkward connection with someone I have nothing in common with. Like you, I would practically be mowing that chick's lawn, even as I cursed myself for being there in the first place, not out of snobbery but because I felt I didn't belong and had nothing whatever to share with the person who invited me. Yet we do these things I suppose at least in part because, in fact, we do have something in common with these moms; you said it — children.
Yours look too sweet in their costumes!
Great post. Thanks for visiting me at Cookie. Please stop by again.
Precious!! Absolutely precious. Those little girls are sweet as honey.
I wonder if little Miss Universe's parents weren't just trying to be clever. Maybe they are astronomers?
She is wearing stars wrapped around her.
The girls are gorgeous and it looks like they had a blast. You sound alot like me also, in what we will do for our kids. I'm jealous though, being a mom of a boy, I miss those pretty girl costumes. They look more beautiful than your foilage out the window on a gorgeous sunny day.
precious. hooray for being included. And stop worrying about the phone message. The other mother is not even thinking about it.
This made me all quivery in my heart
What cuties! Your little one looks like Suri Cruise! Both girls are beautiful. I too tend to blubber at times & I think finding "your niche" is an issue that plagues us women from childhood on…. I'm glad the party was fun, and I hope things continue to grow more comfortable for you!!!
oh my god– i am so terrible at leaving messages. i go on and on and on. . .glad i'm not the only one.
and your girls are adorable!
A good time had by all! Except, right, the Dalmatian.
I've gotten so accustomed to being able to chitchat about kid-related stuff with women that I would otherwise have nothing in common with. When my babies were just new, it was such an amazing feeling – I can actually talk to almost anyone now! What will happen when the kids are old enough to move out of the house? I'll have to become a social hermit again.
they are all just so darling…especially Avery and Briar! 😉 nothing like little ones in costume!