We’ll All Cry if We Want to

Today was Rapunzel’s birthday party. I have been prepped on this event for at least the last three weeks, so I was expecting great things. I was informed that I would be caring primarily for Taz and Little Bean and my time should be spent keeping them happy and as out of the way as possible. Nothing like feeling ostracized from a 7-year-old’s party. It was impossible for the party to go on without a hitch as the drama started waaaay before 2:00 this afternoon– Rapunzel had doubts about the Guest List. She had already sent out all the Prinzessin Lillifee invitations when she decided one of her cronies wouldn’t quite fit in with the other girls. Thankfully the Mom didn’t allow this kind of de-friending and the little girl was allowed to show up at the party. In fact, there were 10 lovely little ladies in attendance today.

It was chaotic to say the least. I was ignorantly grateful that my role involved caring for only two of the kiddos. This feeling of ease was dispelled quite quickly as I realized how much a part of the scene Little Bean wanted to be. As the Mom was giving directions for the first game Little Bean decided the only place she would be happy was on Moms lap. I had to pull her off and distract her with a bottle of orange soda. I suppose it’s a good thing she has the attention span of a puppy and anytime I say, “Little Bean, look over there!” she goes running and squealing in whatever direction I point. As the girls proceeded to craft homemade candy necklaces, which were an obvious choking hazard for the Little Bean (no need to invoke my lifeguarding skills of CPR here), I herded the little girl all over the garden in attempt to keep her out of the way. After this event it was time to head for the back garden for Arts & Crafts. I happen to really enjoy A&C but it’s incredibly difficult with a noncompliant 2 year old and an overly jealous (and dare I say, cranky) 4 year old. Little Bean couldn’t play with half of the supplies as they would most likely find themselves lodged in her windpipe and Taz was so pre-occupied with ten pretty little things (a.k.a. the attendees) that he could hardly see straight. At one point I was holding is hand to glue down a flower on his canvas while his head was rotated approximately 180 degrees with eyeballs obviously engrossed in far more important matters. He finally became bored with my antics and had long ago ceased finding my humor entertaining; he wanted his Mommy and he wanted her now. He started this whiny game, for which I have no patience, so I let him wander the back garden and find her. I was left with Little Bean, who promptly started crying for no apparent reason. “Listen, Little Bean, my mind reading skills are on the fritz so I have no idea what the problem is. Care to divulge?” We soon found ourselves wandering around the premises playing with any and all bikes, toys, and pieces of nature that we came across. Any closer to that girl and I would have been considered her shadow. I long ago gave up on Taz and it was decided he could become a part of the party. That is until…

Rapunzel was finally to the point where she could open her presents. She had quite a stack going as well, with each girl having brought more than one goodie. With each shredding of paper Taz became more and more frazzled. Finally, an out-of-control jealousy rage struck this little boy with such ferocity that he had no choice but to throw his head back and wail. I flew to the scene, seized him in my arms and carried him to safe grounds. In actuality I had to talk him down from the ledge and remind him that this wasn’t his birthday party and that Rapunzel was entitled to all the presents that meandered their way into the house. I ensured that there was still plenty of fun to be had but, last time I checked his tears weren’t invited to the soiree. He sobered up and waddled back to the party. I was back to Little Bean-duty and she was amped up on sugar at this point. She alternated between running/screaming and stopping to stare off into space–telltale signs of a sugar-fueled stupor. She finally settled down when I found a jar of bubbles to play with. As we busied ourselves with the wand and bubbles I heard a wounded animal howl with pain from inside. Turns out it was only Rapunzel and she was upset for a reason unbeknownst to me. After recapping with the Mom tonight I found out that she was unhappy about the seating arrangement of some of the girls and the result of her “being too spoiled” sent her into a frenzy– Well, as long as we’re all on the same page… Back to the scene, Little Bean and I are happily playing in the front garden when the Dad informs me that I will be able to go to German class and that I should put this little sprout to bed and get ready to split. I inform Little Bean that it’s time to quit and she promptly throws her body on the ground and performs a routine commonly known as, “Stop, Drop, and Roll.” Her cries of pain probably had the neighbors wondering what horrors had befallen this child; only those of the evil au pair. The Dad took her from me and, mercifully, let me go.

As I walked through the door, headed toward the train station, I replied to a text Jill sent asking how the party went as, “Suicidal.” All three children ended up in tears at least one point during the party. I’m pretty sure Taz is harboring some deep loathing toward me for taking him away from his Mom for so long. And I never knew such anxiety and tension could reside among girls of such young age. I arrived at German totally out of my mind and of no use to myself or anyone in the class. When put on the spot to decide whether the personal pronoun was either nominativ oder dativ I almost cried because I hadn’t been paying attention and had no idea what was going on. Couldn’t my lehrerin see that I was in another world entirely, one that involved quick getaways and no birthday cakes(yes there were two; an extra one provided for the girl that is on a strict no-wheat diet)? Clearly, I”m beyond exhausted and my brain is about as comprehending as scrambled eggs. But, on the bright side, the next birthday isn’t until July…

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