I would like to say that it was a 100% fun time, but as with anything involving toddlers, it was kind of a mixed bag. Phoebe didn't sleep enough the night before and woke up early in a mood. Before we'd even left the house, I'd had to count backwards from 10 about 9000 times to keep from yelling at her and as the culmination of our getting-ready-to-go battle, Phoebe stepped in the middle of the casserole I'd prepared for the pot luck brunch. Nothing like the tread of a toddler sneaker to add a little flavor to your French toast.
At the egg hunt, the kids played and had fun ... alternating with ridiculous tantrums and fights. Apparently everyone under four has decided that blue is the BEST COLOR EVER so even if there are multiple toys of exactly the same type, everyone MUST HAVE THE BLUE ONE. Seriously. Let's just say I went ahead and told the guy pouring to leave the OJ out of my mimosa and maybe instead of champagne he could find something a little stronger. People look at you a little funny when you say something like that with a sleeping baby strapped to your chest.
I did have a good time catching up with some of our parent friends in short snippets, but I spent most of the party dealing with some sort of kid crisis or trying to keep the sleeping baby out of the fray. I know this is just a season in life that will pass soon, but it can get really frustrating. I want to be able to enjoy an uninterrupted twenty minutes of adult conversation. I want to be able to eat at a party without balancing a plate on the head of a sleeping/fussy baby. I want to be able to eat slowly enough to actually taste my food again. I would like a small person to say "hey mom, thanks for buying eggs and treats and taking the time to stuff said treats into said eggs and putting all this together" instead of flinging herself on the ground in a screaming fit because the egg she picked up has jelly beans instead of M&Ms. Sometimes I just feel all parented out. I don't want to sit down and have a calm conversation about sharing and hugs I just want to say "Fine. You kids want to roll around in the dirt and punch each other over who gets the blue sidewalk chalk? HAVE AT IT, I've got $2 on the guy in the light up sneakers".
I don't want to give the impression that I don't love my kids (or that I'm an alcoholic). I do love my children, desperately. It is just that sometimes I also desperately feel like I need a little break. (and, for the record, I only had one no-OJ mimosa). I also think it is really important to be honest about stuff like this because when you look at the pictures, all you see is a bunch of adorable kids having a great time. It can feel like you're the only parent struggling. But age three is seriously kicking my butt. I love watching Phoebe learn and grow and discover new things. We have a lot of great moments and I really do feel that at her core she is a good, compassionate kid. But the day to day can be a serious grind and sometimes I feel like a pretty ineffective parent.
But, without further ado, now that you know the whole story, here are some pictures of adorable kids having a great time ....
|Phoebe is deciding whether she will jump from the top of the jungle gym ... onto the dog. In this case she actually made the right decision (also the dog - who is no fool - relocated herself)|
|They are just so darn cute when they aren't causing trouble. So deceptive.|
|The kids saw a wild turkey in the neighbor's yard.. They are calling out to it to try to get it to come. They are surprised that the turkey decides to head the opposite direction. I am not.|
|Double trouble :)|
|The egg hunt is about to start. We asked the kids to line up by their baskets. This is what happened.|
|The egg hunt started and all the kids took off. Except for Phoebe. She seemed a little put out by the whole thing ... until we reminded her that some of the eggs contained M&Ms.|