"Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!" --Ms. Frizzle

"Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!" --Ms. Frizzle

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Party Animals

Thank you all for continuing to read, even though I haven't posted anything new for a month. I can explain: we Zoglmans have been partying it up pretty hard around here. Observe:

Wait, no, this is a picture from our honeymoon five years ago! But this is what partying used to mean, right? Slurping alcoholic beverages from giant pieces of fruit? To be honest, I think I only did this the one time, but in retrospect even my low-key, nerdy party style before children arrived on the scene was pretty wacky compared with my current lifestyle-- which, of course, I love. I think maybe kids are onto something. Parties should involve presents, and the pinning of appendages onto paper animals. We all get sugar highs and pizza hangovers, and we stay awake until three o'clock... in the afternoon. Crazy! Are you starting to see why I've been too pooped out to blog? I thought so. 

There are certainly things I miss about social gatherings in those years B.C. (Before Children). For instance, I miss the freedom to make loud noise past 8:00pm. We still have friends over in the evening from time to time, and we don't tiptoe around or anything, but the reality is that our house is small and our children sleep only about fifteen feet away from the TV speakers. You know how prey animals will sit bolt upright when they sense a predator is near? Yeah, I do that at least once a night when my mother sense tells me that Someone Is Awake. Then, to alert others in the room, I stand up with my eyes wide and my hands palms-out as though frozen in the act of performing jazz hands. This is body language that screams shut up, with the result being that even if the girls go right back to sleep without a hitch, I have usually managed to kill the mood of frivolity.

Even more than a noise-tolerant atmosphere, I miss playing board games (although I suppose, to a certain extent, the two go hand-in-hand). Avery and I still do play games together, rotating through our collection of two-player games and modifying the rules of others, but it isn't quiiiite the same. Maybe that's just because our B.C. board game playing was off the hook. We used to regularly grab a stack of games, carry them to our neighbors' house up the street, and then just sit around drinking Red Stripe or whatever until we had played all the games. It was an endurance sport. If you got up to use the bathroom, you might return to find that someone had drawn a cartoon of a naked person on your scorecard. Often we would walk up the street to the grocery store for "provisions" when our snacks ran out. It was kind of glorious. Obviously I wouldn't trade the life I have for anything, but there are moments when I yearn for a long, loud, semi-drunken board game marathon-- the kind that would be nearly impossible in my house right now. Fortunately our copy of Trivial Pursuit will wait until the girls are a little older; it was made in 1981, so a few more years are hardly going to make it more out-of-date. I think I'm holding onto it in the weird hope that history will recycle itself, and all of those questions about obscure actors from the '40s will somehow become relevant again. But I digress.

Our kid-centric party selves have been having a blast, truly. As a child I never once considered the fact that my parents might be having fun hanging out with the other parents at these events, but that is exactly what happens. Plus, the concepts of births and birthdays are so wonderfully, excitingly new to little kids, and I think a bit of that rubs off on us been-there-done-that adults. By the time they turn three they've forgotten what it was like turning two, and the look on a child's face when you write his name on a whole cake, light the cake on fire, sing a song and then give him the cake... well, it's priceless. The littler ones are just happy to be in the midst of all the hubbub, twisting their heads from side to side like sunflowers as they watch the herd of older ones charge through the house. We all wear our party clothes, which promptly become covered with crumbs of food, and the area quickly becomes a graveyard of abandoned juice boxes. And it all starts right away in the morning-- no sitting around waiting for fun to begin. You just get up, get dressed, wrangle the kids into the car and par-tay!

Here are some pictures of the Party Animals. No one is drinking booze from a pineapple in these pictures-- living immersed in the world of a two-year-old is surreal enough already. What we are doing is celebrating some wonderful happenings with fantastic friends. Lucky us.

Goya's 3rd Birthday Party:

Valentine's Day with Mrs. Ledesma:

Oskar's 3rd Birthday Party:

And finally, Allison's Baby Shower:

P.S. I haven't given up on board game parties: a couple of weeks ago I made Geneva play Scrabble with me. Mostly we just played around with the tiles, identifying letters and sounds. She spelled "map," "cat," and (accidentally) "saber."