Monday, July 7, 2008

Bring On The Fireworks Already

I'm going to begin this with asking, how was your fourth of July? I hope it was fun, filled with family, friends, good BBQ, traditions and fireworks. As it should be. Ours was fun over here. We spent it with friends. One of the mom's from A-girl's preschool invited us over for a BBQ. We gladly accepted the invite, as I really like this mom. She's fun, funny and a talker. So we went and it was fantastic. We knew all of four people (there was one other family from preschool there), but their (85) friends were nice, the food was awesome and their back yard was amazing. Her hubby is a builder and does landscape. They just finished their back yard and it was a mini-paradise. Fun for adults and kids alike. For seven hours we barely knew we even had kids. They were so entertained. Us too. It was relaxing. It was good to meet new people. To talk with other grown ups about grown up things. It was good. But there was about twenty-five minutes where it was very not good.

Enter A-girl. These people throw a good party. I mentioned that right? There were about 50 kiddos there and the mom/host was very good at having the kid stuff (trampoline, club house, s'mores...). She had goodie bags. Filled to the brim, goodie bags. The kids couldn't believe their luck. And in these bags were those big punching balloons. Of various colors. Each bag had a different color balloon in it. So at some point, about 5 1/2 hours, 5 cookies, two pieces of cake, 3 Jell-O stars, 8 Capri-Suns, and one hot dog, into our party experience A-girl brings a blue balloon over to hubby and asks him to blow it up. By the time he blew it up, A-girl was off and running again, totally forgetting about the blue balloon. Hubby set it aside, as she would eventually be back for it.

So about 15 minutes later, we hear the very much dreaded fire-engine cry of A-girl. It is the cry hubby and I would instantly recognize in a crowd of 500. I am shaken from my grown up/I'm-pretending-I-don't-have-kids-at-the-moment, bliss to the instant...Oh-no-I'm-sure-my-kid-just-fell-off-the-trampoline mode. I find her within seconds...It is the little blonde, red-faced, head tilted back, screaming to the high heavens, that lets me know it's her. She and another little girl are "playing" tug-a-war with a yellow balloon. Instantly, I know this is what A-girl is screaming bloody murder over. I run over to smooth out the situation, as time has stopped, the BBQ crowd is at a hush and I believe even the music was off. All you could hear was the snotty, ear-pounding, and yes, I'm saying it (it's the perfect description) cry of my dear, sweet, precious 5-yr-old.

I gently remind her that her balloon is the blue one..."See, daddy has it...remember?" I'm rubbing her back, praying that this will do it. But she doesn't hear me. She's in another world, where yellow balloons are everything. Apparently your life is defined by yellow balloons. I hand the yellow balloon to the other girl and try to send her off so I can deal with this. A-girl is having an out-of-body tantrum right before my very eyes. She will not let up. I pull her to aside, trying to will A-girl and I invisible. I'm trying to talk her down. Reminding her to breathe. She. will. not. let. up. My usual tantrum tactics are not working. I left my mom superpowers at home. I hate when I do that. I'm actually stunned at her show. I'm starting to feel like a deer caught in (tantrum) headlights. The little girl brings over the yellow balloon and tries to hand it over to A-girl (as she is still) screaming her head off...snot running down to her toes. How flipping sweet of this girl to give A-girl the balloon now. Of course, she is so not getting it, cuz she is mid-breakdown, still on Yellow Balloon Island. I'm so not giving her that yellow balloon. Ever. I have a point to prove.

So finally I pick up my wailing, flailing, very slippery 5-yr-old (isn't she a little OLD to be behaving this way??), and attempt to carry her in the house. Which is impossible, cuz she's FIVE and heavy and flipping out (WHERE is my hubby...oh, I see him there sitting by the fire pit, observing...). Somehow, I get her through the crowd and in the house. Into the bathroom to get my Mom Voice out. Cuz, I've had just about enough of THIS. So I'm in the bathroom with her explaining the situation. Her choices. That the yellow balloon is out of the picture. This stuff usually works. Usually. Then the bathroom door opens and in walks little girl with yellow balloon. A-flippin-gain. I was making progress in here! So I send (shove) the little girl out of the bathroom w/yellow balloon (and don't come back!). It starts all over.

Now I take her upstairs to one of the kiddo's room. Time Out. The girl needs to get it together. Seriously. I'm starting to sweat. I hate fire-engines. Choices. You know the "We can leave or you can move on and most definitely NOT have the yellow balloon" bit. She just can't fathom not having that (damn) yellow balloon. I know I'm supposed to pick my battles. I know some of you have already given her the (damn) yellow balloon, before we even came in the house. It's the flipping 4th of July already! The fireworks are in 20 minutes! I know, I feel you! BUT...this is so not about a flipping yellow balloon. I don't flipping CARE about the yellow balloon. It's about the fire-engine. The out-of-body tantrum I am witnessing. The fact that out of 50 kiddos, mine is the one having the absolute FIT.

Finally, somehow (somehow God heard me) she is breathing normal again. She's still mad, but she finally gets it together enough to decide she wants to stay. So we walk (she stomps, in very dramatic fashion, which at home would be a big flipping no-no, but I am totally spent) back out to join the festivities. I totally feel like crying. I don't feel a parental victory. I feel like weeping. That sucked. I. have. never. No seriously. This is new. We have the meltdowns, p.l.e.n.t.y., but this sort of tantrum is very new. So I dissolve down into the lawn chair next to my hubby. He looks pleased. I think he even gave me a thumbs up. Frick. So I span the yard, looking for the girls. I'm on total mom-alert now. And what do I see? A-girl in yellow balloon bliss. That's right. She has the yellow balloon.

I need wine. Right now! Someone get me some flipping wine! Shocked into action, hubby brings me two plastic cups of wine. I take them, sitting in the lawn chair. One in each hand. And. give. up. Who the flip cares. Bring on the fireworks already.


Chandra Stauffer said...

But at least YOU didn't give her the yellow balloon!

And isn't any battle that ends in wine a victory anyway?? :)

Parenting is hard. Good for you!

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

How did you end up with my daughter????

I feel your pain sweetie. And for the record, I would have taken it just as far as you did... probably even farther.

Big hugs and hope the wine was a good one.

Jennifer P. said...

This was HILARIOUS! I'm very proud of you. I'm big into bargaining with my kids (such a no-no, I know!), and would have caved the first time the yellow balloon was offered. And even though she got the yellow one in the end, she knows she didn't get it from YOU!

Fabulous writing my friend :)! (Loved the reference to yellow balloon island!)

Lori said...

Haven't we all been there? I'm just glad I never did anything like that to my mom. ;)

Dee said...

oh, you lived my nightmare..... that was funny and oh so painfully familiar at the same time. 5 yo tantrums are not nice

So have your new friends asked you back????

Sunshine said...

Chandra--Yes...consistancy (sp?) is EXHAUSTING. I believe more and more that IS why there is wine.

Hot Tub Lizzy (tee hee...that's even fun to type out)--I KNEW that wasn't my kid. I knew it! Ha ha...oops it is.

Jennifer--See...YOU have boys! TOTALLY different story. I know it...I just KNOW it. :) And I think I want to visit Yellow Balloon Island...Somedays it would be nice for a Yellow balloon to be everything.

lori--I know...THE SCARY thing is, I can REMEMBER doing that as a little one. I KNOW I was a handful. She IS my child.

Dee--HEY FRIEND! Um...funny you should ask that...NO, haven't heard from her AND the girls started dance camp last week and my friend's daughter was supposed to be in it. She never showed. Hmmmmmm...think it has anything to do with MY CHILD????! ;D