You know I have to report about the party, right?
First off, I got about 20 opinions from various sources (mommy friends, blogging friends, work friends, church friends and 1 hippie), and only 1 out of 20 people (aka the hippie) said to say yes to the sleepover. Most weren't even cool with leaving a 3 year old at a stranger's house.
I told the birthday girl's mom that I'd play it by ear.
Julia and I get to the house. Julia looks at the dark brown house hidden by trees and says, "Her house looks scary." Kudos to me for not agreeing with her vocally although I wanted to echo my daughter's observation.
We go inside. The 5 year old brother greets Julia and shows her balloons. The birthday girl comes up too, and Julia hides behind my leg. They have decorated the table with Hello Kitty, and there's lots of balloons. The birthday girl's mom is still getting ready, per dad. He's blowing up balloons with one of those helium machines. A guy in his 20s comes in. He reeks like an ashtray and is on his cell phone. There's a baby on the couch with a teenage girl. The baby is kind of squished between the couch cushions and crying, but the girl is ignoring the baby and so is the dad. I want to say something or at least rescue the baby.
Mom finally appears. She can't be more than 25 years old. The baby has to be hers, and the the teenage girl has to be a sister. Right??? Baby still isn't being rescued.
We had prepped Julia about the evening, and she told me that it was okay if I left for a little bit as long as I come back to pick her up. I ask Julia if she's okay if I leave. She tells me not to leave yet, which is fine with me because there's still no other guests, just the birthday girl and her brother and Ashtray Guy and the parents. I talk with the mom for a little bit, and then the mom brings out princess stuff she got for the party. Julia gives me a kiss and tells me that she's okay now. It's 3:20pm, and none of the other guests have arrived. But she said I could go, and it would just look awkward to dawdle, wouldn't it? I very hesitantly leave and try not to think about the 3,254 possibilities this can go wrong. The mom told me that the ice cream guy is coming at 6pm. I tell her that I'll come back at 7pm, cross my fingers and leave.
My husband and I return a few minutes before 7pm. The girls are running around the upstairs. She acknowledges us, tells her dad that she wants her pillow, and runs off to continue to play. Fortunately, it looks like Ashtray Guy isn't there, a set of grandparents is there, and another mom is there. Baby is being attended to by Dad. The mood is a lot more comfortable than when I left her.
The ice cream guy is doing his thing. I have to admit it was cool to watch. As for the taste, it wasn't as great as I would have expected. Coldstone has some great ice cream. This stuff probably wasn't even as good as Baskin & Robbins.
The mom said that Julia was well-behaved. She went potty twice (sometimes Julia can be finicky about where she'll go to the bathroom, so I was worried that she'd try to hold it too long).
One of the other girls, M, was going to spend the night. "Iggy"'s mom wasn't cool with the sleepover, which was good because we could extract our 2 girls at the same time by saying, "Look, Iggy's going home too." Iggy's mom shows up, and Iggy comes up to her mother and says that she wants to sleep over. Ugh.
M's mom and I's mom start talking about birthday invitation protocol. M's mom says you don't have to invite everyone in the class to parties as long as you're discreet. I inwardly shudder.
The birthday girl opens presents, and then Iggy's mom, my husband and I begin extraction. The girls aren't happy. Such is life. Someone screams the whole way home.
Julia's birthday is in a couple of months, and I'm already dreading party preparations.