I had the wonderful opportunity to hang out (babysit) with my dearest friend’s granddaughter last week. I was super excited because I hadn’t seen her in about 2 years. Last time I saw her, she was a wild child that loved to climb, run, race, swing and cling to me like a spider monkey.
Two years later, she is a super kind, well behaved, lovely, elegant 5 almost 6 year old. She takes her slippers off at the front door (instead of flip flops, she was raised to call them slippers). She says thank you, please, yes ma’am and is pure delight. She was pure delight the first time I met her too...but she is a more mellow delight now.
Well.. seeing that I live in a house of boys, I was super excited to have a fun girly day ahead! I woke up early and went to Walmart to stock up on all things Fairy Garden. Pink things, sparkly things, sweet things. Glittery things, fluffy things, shiny things. Cakey things, donut-y things and a couple of rainbow tutus. I had so much fun and was kind of distracted... because when I finally checked out, I had about 150 bucks worth of Fairy Garden Party stuff in my basket. OH and a sprinkler. It wasn’t pink, but it would do for now.
I got home, unpacked all of the pink and began to set up. I got out a nice table cloth, fancy glasses, beautiful plates, fancy napkins and fresh flowers. I dug up fluffy things to sit on and fabric-y things to hang above the Fairyland I have in our front yard. Yes.. I even had cloud cutouts for our sandwiches. (you know.. to make your turkey sammies look like a fluffy cumulus summer cloud) I. Was. Ready.
My little friend arrived at 10am. We sat and talked and ate cute mini donuts rolled in rainbow sprinkles with pickle forks (because they are tiny and that’s what a fairy would use to eat donuts). We drank milk in fancy tiny fruit glasses that were passed down from Walt’s mom. I had to fill them up about 5 times each, but so what, they were elegant.
We ate blueberries with our pickle fork too. That was a challenge, but super funny. We ate strawberries dipped in sugar. It was kind of a high sugar day, but hey.. you know.. fairies.
We went outside to play Fairy Garden. It was a lovely morning. T h e n.. I had the idea to invite my next door neighbor girls to the party. They are sweet, fun and lovely too. The girls joined us for the party. It was like Pinterest meets Martha Stewart meets my friend JoAnne Box (who throws fabulous girl parties with wine. For big girls, of course) This was photo gold... for about 3 minutes. Then the sugar, the adrenaline & the excitement of new friends kicked in.
Fairies started flying all over the yard. The 9 year old was climbing the tree..the younger neighbor started chasing my little friend. They started screaming like, well, little girls. They ran into the house. My dog (who is older) started chasing them. He thinks he is a puppy, so the louder they screamed, the more fun he thought he was having. He was barking, the younger girls were screaming, the older girl was still in the tree. I had a flashback to the 2nd grade class I subbed one year when all hell broke loose and a little girl asked why I was smiling. Apparently I smile when I am stressed. Resting smile face, I think they call it. I told her, in my favorite Elf-like-movie-way, that “I like smiling, smiling’s my favorite.” She said... “Well you look kind of creepy”. Flash forward to the cute food that was on the table flying all over the place and kids running with food in their mouth. One kid is coughing.. like the food went down the wrong pipe, like I said it would...like all of our parents said it would. And it did. Cough Cough spit. The dog is still chasing the other child. The older child is now in the house. Thank the Lord.. because she wrangles her sister and I wrangle my friend.
We live next to a park. Yes. The park will save me. The park THEN the school playground. Perfect idea. Except that it’s 103 outside. We need snacks, my littlest neighbor says. So we pack the cute snacks (out of the cute bowls into the baggies) and water. Not soda, for the love of all things sugar. And toys. We need to bring many, many toys to the park, because that’s what we do when we are little girls. A boy is happy with a ball and a stick. Girls need a lot of accessories.
We all and I mean all, run to the park. We are there for approximately 1 minute. Then we run to the playground. We all arrive at the playground safely. I am, of course, the pack mule. I have sticky snacks, half waters, toys and toys. The second we get there, someone loses a toy. Not like a big toy, but the tiniest barbie doll tiny. Not like Skipper (remember Skipper?) But like the mini Barbie series that came out in the 70’s. So, we lost one and had to venture back so we could find him. All I could remember is that the mini doll has on yellow shorts. We looked and looked and moped and moped. We never found him. My guess is that I will come across him on one of my walks, take a photo and post it. (I post items that I see on my walk on my Instagram) Then I will find out that the mini boy doll actually jumped out of the bag, as to have a fun adventure with the fairies we left behind, but that is another blog post and perhaps my wackadoo brain.
We get back to the playground at 107 degrees now. We start to have fun and then someone has to pee. We pack up every last thing we just dumped out and head on back to my house. Quickly, but not running. Running would have brought on a different challenge.
We get to the house and everyone decides that after one uses the restroom, we need to have lunch. Our cute lunch that I planned for my little friend with the pretty dishes and the elegant glassware and the tiniest of pickle forks... is slowly fading. My Martha Stewart badge is now out of reach. I couldn’t even take a photo for JoAnne. She would have shuttered at the way I quickly threw a box pizza in the oven, cut up some already cut up watermelon and hid the donuts. It was madness. Now, I have to tell you... all 3 of ladies are awesome. Kind, loving, mostly mindful and sweet to each other. It’s just that when you have 3 kids together...who have been sequestered away from other kids for a year, it is beautiful and messy. And loud as shit. Loud. As. Shit.
We were quiet while we ate. For a minute. Then, of course, we need to watch a show. This was suggested and thus voted on by all 3 girls. They like Johnny Danger or Micky Danger or Ranger Danger...hell, whatever it was. I kind of loved it...because for a spilt second, it brought me back. I remember that we, who have the smallest house in the neighborhood, would often have the biggest pack of kids over when Luke was a kid. They would play wiffleball, frisbee, slip n slide, running games and an occasion or two, when I could figure out the Wii... Mario Brothers. When I couldn’t figure out the electronics, we would find a Disney show. All Disney shows were he same. Smart aleck-y, cute, kids with not a lot of supervision, getting into all kinds of hijinks. There was always one odd-ball kid, mostly clueless parents, and kids with extremely good vocabularies living in huge homes. The episodes would have slapstick fun, a kid-like troubling problem, a problem solved, canned laughter and lots of colorful everything. And commercials. A shit ton of commercials. Mostly about food and food.
Fast forward 10 years, it’s the same thing.. in my house... right now. My heart was happy. Then I found in my delighted, dream state (insert the Disney flashback fluffy cumulus cloud above my head) that no one was sitting in the living room. They had all gone outside to attach the new sprinkler.
The next several hours were filled with gd running, I mean running. It was also filled with water, playing in the neighbor’s backyard, chasing chickens & dogs. Finally, my friend and I needed to call it a day with the neighbor girls.
These girls were all so kind to each other. They had never met before, found common ground, had no judgements and created a lot of fun in one hot summer day in the suburbs of Texas. Lessons noted. My prayer that evening was to thank God for a great day, my little friend, the neighbor girls, my disheveled dream of a Fairy Garden Day... and for all of the mothers, fathers & caregivers of more than one child. You all deserve a donut. Not just a mini donut with sprinkles, but an adult sized donut dipped in whiskey. With a side of whiskey.