Y’know, when I was making those aprons, with the Sugar and Spice pockets, I was having a good giggle. Girls are most certainly NOT composed of sugar and spice and everything nice. At least, none of the girls that I know are. Girls are made of hyper and melodramatic and everything self-centered.
Though that is not nearly as pithy. Sometimes the truth just doesn’t make for adorable aphorisms.
This is not to say that the birthday party was not a grand time. Insofar as you can cram a group of girls into a small space and force them to pay homage to another girl hogging the spotlight, I’d say it was a rousing success. Truly.
We arrived to behold the “tea room” fancied up with a reserved table for our party. Chickadee was beside herself; for once, the universe had come into alignment with her expectations. It was All About Her and everywhere she looked, people were falling all over themselves to tell her how pretty she was and bring her things and basically treat her like a queen.
My daughter is likely to be the only child ever heard to threaten to run away to the bakery, the next time injustice strikes. Heck, were I not in charge of seven rambunctious girls, I would’ve seriously considered living there, myself. It was lovely.
Once all the girls arrived, they donned their aprons and headed to the kitchen. Well, after a brief crisis they did. And if you have a roomful of girls, you are not surprised by crisis. Heck, you EXPECT crisis. But I’m pretty sure that a crisis of this proportion so EARLY in the party was some sort of record. We had seven girls, and six of them were wearing dresses (as befits a fancy tea party). The seventh girl was wearing a skirt and a top, instead. CAN YOU IMAGINE?? Naturally, she was horrified and launched into a full-scale meltdown. The poor dear. We did eventually lure her into the kitchen with promises of sprinkles, however. Plus I think her mother may have threatened to take her home right now young lady if she didn’t knock it off. Anyway. We went into the kitchen and saw the big ovens and watched the big machine that rolls out the strudel dough and some of the girls even paid attention! And then it was time to decorate cookies. Many of the girls lovingly shaped smiley faces or flowers on their cookies out of sprinkles and nonpareils. My daughter dumped handfuls of candy and sugar pieces on top of the cookies until I removed her from the table bodily.
After decorating cookies, the girls got to go select some “dipping dots” ice cream from the case and sit down and eat it. When I’d been told this was included in the package, I figured each child would get about a dixie cup’s worth of dipping dots. But I should’ve known that The Most Wonderful Bakery On Earth doesn’t skimp. The dots were scooped with a shovel and served in gallon containers. Okay, fine; I may be exaggerating a LITTLE. Let’s put it this way: it was a PARTY and NOT ONE GIRL was able to finish what she was given. Although–to be fair–the girl who dumped hers all over the floor might’ve finished it, I suppose, if not for her Unfortunate Accident. (No, she wasn’t upset. She was full. And by that time most of them were flapping their wings and flying around the room, anyway.)
After ice cream we played a game. I’d gotten a “mini-mysteries” game to play, where you read off a mystery and then go through clues until someone can solve it. I thought the girls would love it. Chickadee had been more excited about the game than anything else. Well, you don’t feed a group of girls forty pounds of ice cream and then ask them to sit quietly and take turns solving brain teasers. It doesn’t really work. It results in a lot of shrieking out of answers punctuated with giggles and sitting on each other. Fortunately, no one got too upset about it.
Next came cake, because lord knows the girls needed some more sugar. Now, it was at this point that I truly became annoyed with one of the little girls. Prior to this, one VERY LOVELY child whom I did not have any thoughts AT ALL of placing neatly in that giant oven had done her level best to: cover the camera lens every time I went to snap a picture; get up every time I asked the girls to sit; and whip the others into a screeching frenzy over, well, everything. Very charming, she is. I’m so pleased that her mother elected not to stay and join us. Anyway. She thought it would be funny to alternately refuse to sing, sing something else, and sing the correct song but in a different place/time than everyone else.
Hey, it’s a party, it’s exciting, and kids get wound up. I get that. But to me, that was downright rude. So I said, “Hey KID, you’re spending two hours in paradise, including all the sugar you can ingest, a beautiful personalized apron, and a goodie bag that includes a toothbrush with toothpaste right there in the handle. In exchange for all of this, all you have to provide is one Polly Pocket and 30 seconds of singing, so shaddup and sing.”
I jest. I couldn’t do that (no matter how much I wanted to). Nope, instead I waited until the singing was over and the candles blown out, and as the bakery girl took over cutting and serving, I faced the girl in question. She was now waving her (real china) tea cup in the air like a flag, and I guided it back to the saucer with one hand while smoothing her hair with the other. With as sweet of a smile as I could muster, I told her that I would hate to have to tell her mother she’d had a hard time behaving today.
She was a little bit better after that.
And speaking of behavior: I know you’re all dying for the answer to the Big Question. How did Chickadee do?
She was awesome. I’m not saying that she was impeccably-behaved, or anything, but she did quite well. She basked in her glory and enjoyed her friends and remembered her pleases and thank-yous and didn’t have a single meltdown. I’m pretty sure she paid off that other girl to be Pain In The Ass for the day so that she didn’t have to.
I generously tipped the bakery girls who’d helped out, over their protestations. “You don’t need to do that,” they insisted. “We’re just doing our jobs.”
What I couldn’t tell them was that two hours of watching my daughter be normal and happy is something I can’t put a price tag on, but they’d helped and therefore I love them. And tipping them seemed less likely to get me dubbed a weirdo than kissing them or forcing them to listen to Chickadee’s life story.
It was wonderful. But I’m glad it’s over.