For the past several months, our house has become play-date central. Partly because this is a fantastic place for kids to come and play and partly because I prefer to have the kids playing here, where I can keep my eyes on them.
A few weeks ago, the girls received an invitation for a classmate's birthday party, today. It should probably go without saying that I had every expectation that I, too, would attend this birthday party because that's how it's been for every single birthday party our children have ever attended. The purpose for my presence at this party would not only to help spread joy and cheer, and to keep an eye on my children because of my separation anxiety issues, but also, to lend a hand because surely there will be a lot of little children they'll need me there.
Besides, my kids get nervous around cakes and candles and singing.
This morning, we wrapped our present, made our card, got dressed up - kissed the boys goodbye (who would be staying home working with tools) and made our way to the party. As I'm pulling up to the house, I notice that all the other cars are dropping their children off at the curb and DRIVING AWAY. "Not me!" I think, as I pull right in to the driveway. I'm a responsible, caring parent who will be here to supervise my children and also, help the hostess who will be running ragged.
We climb out of the car - lock the doors - and walk up to the house. The front door swings wide open and we are greeted by all the girls from the Kindergarten class. The father comes to the door and introduces himself. The mother comes to the door and we exchange pleasantries. Meanwhile, the girls rush in to the door to join their classmates and go examine the life size ballerina pinata. The mother tells me thanks for dropping the girls off and then she SHUTS THE DOOR. Before I had an opportunity to find out her entire life history or spec out the joint and make sure it was kid-friendly.
This leads me to believe one of two things.
By the time Henry is old enough to attend parties on his own, I will have either developed such confidence in this whole "children going off to someone's home alone" thing that I'll be dropping him off curbside. Or, I need to devise a strategy for how I can penetrate the parent barrier and get inside. Perhaps I'll "pop in to use their restroom" while I ensure there are no vicious dogs in the home, and then, covertly inspect accessible bureau drawers for guns and medicine bottles that are lacking childproof caps.