I had a bad parenting moment. Yep. I did.
Grace and Eadaoin have the same birthday just two years apart. Grace was born two days past her due date weighing in at a whopping 9 pounds 12 ounces–yeah, it hurt–and Eadaoin was induced three weeks early after an emergency amniocentesis–yeah, it hurt. They don’t like sharing a birthday. I don’t like to listen to them complain about sharing a birthday. So, this year I suggested that they split the whole thing. This weekend Eadaoin could celebrate turning 15 with her pals, and next weekend Grace could celebrate turning 13 with her friends. Everyone agreed. Détente achieved.
What did Eadaoin, the Cyclothymic Wonder Girl, decide to do? She hatched a plan with one of her besties to have a party at her best gal pal’s house without sharing the deets with me. All I heard was, “So, Francine’s mom said it would be fine if we had my birthday party at their house since our house is kinda small, and, you know, Grace and Milly are sorta unpredictable and stuff. I’m just gonna make cupcakes and stuff, and we can all decorate ’em at Francine’s house, and her mom is cool with that. I’ll invite the Herd over at 4, and it’ll be awesome.” She managed to tell me that in little bits and pieces throughout the week. My response? “Wait, you’re going to invite just a few girlfriends to Francine’s house on Saturday and decorate cupcakes?”….”Sure!” That foreboding feeling should have told me something.
Friday evening Eadaoin approached me. “So, Mom, we need to go to the store. I need you to buy me some stuff for my party. I need a few frozen pizzas. And, some stuff for my cupcakes, but I’ll make the cupcakes. Oh, and you need to be there, too, since we’re hosting the party…and stuff.”
Suddenly, it dawned on me.
“Eadaoin, I need you to tell me the whole truth here. How many people did you invite to your party?”
“You invited ten people to your party that you are hosting at Francine’s house?”
“I see. And, I am, of course, expected to be there because really I’m responsible for making sure it all goes well because I’m the hostess behind all of this. You do realize I don’t know Francine’s parents, right?”
“Have you thought this through? We will need more than two pizzas. How many boys are coming?”
“I see. Did you plan on beverages?”
“Right. You will need drinks. What about paper plates, napkins, and trash bags. We will have to clean it all up.”
“I didn’t think about that.”
The thought of hostessing a party of ten teenagers at a stranger’s house made my blood run cold. I thought I was going to lose it. When I get angry I don’t yell. I talk quietly. Eadaoin became pale.
“I can cancel it, Mom.”
“No, you will not, but you needed to talk to me. Why did you do this without talking to me?” I asked trying to stay calm.
“I thought you would say no.”
“So, you essentially asked another mother through your friend? Why did you do that?”
“Because of Grace and Milly! They can’t tolerate noise! They have needs! I…,” she began weeping.
“You are not responsible for them! That’s my job! Do you understand me? You ask me for what you want! You don’t go to another parent!” I emphasized.
“No! I’ll cancel it. I’m gonna cancel it! I’m sorry. I’m canceling my party…” she spiraled out of control.
It wasn’t pretty for a while. There was a lot of negative talk like, “Everything I plan goes wrong,” and “I should have known this would happen!” I had to reel myself in and talk her off the ledge. She eventually agreed that canceling her party was a very bad idea, and I said that we would have her party at our house. Her dad would take Grace and Milly out while her party was going on. We would do our best. It was all very last minute. I had no idea on Friday night that I would be throwing a party for my daughter the very next night, but it worked out. We had a house full of eleven high school freshman last night, and they all thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
To calm Eadaoin down after her meltdown on Friday night, my husband and I grabbed some dinner before picking up party necessities. While we were eating, we were greeted by a flash mob. Of all things! A flash mob! Fifty or more people danced like idiots while we ate our dinner. It was quite the way to end the evening.
After it was all said and done, I asked Eadaoin what she learned. “I need to ask for help. Also, I’m not responsible for my sisters.”
Yep. I suppose that makes it worth it.
What are the chances of her remembering that?