June 2nd, 2008


my weekend. my furniture. my pre-party planning.

friday evening, as 6 o'clock began to roll around, my anxiety began to increase as i processed that i was about to walk into a hotbed of strangers. it was the end of year school picnic at oliver's new school with its 100+ students and their parents and siblings and teachers. that's a lot of strangers.

it wasn't as hot as i thought it was going to be. we made our way through the air conditioned eating grounds and back out to the playgrounds. there were three bounce houses and a Hooters trailer decorated with larger than life-sized Hooters girls photos. some say that should give street cred points to the school. i award greater points for the beer available for a $2 donation, though i later wondered if this was a spiritual trap designed to highlight those with a weak soul so that they might specifically target your child as a special case in need of high intensity saving.

oliver wandered back and forth and all over like a miniature ADD case. there weren't any baby swings, so he rode a big swing and did that thing that reminds you why he uses baby swings where he just lets go mid-swing and you're thankful you're able to catch him.

we went back in to mill through the line of chicken wings and hamburger patties and picked at the fruit platters and hamburger buns and french fries and tomato slices. we sat at a table with an exuberant, type-A kind of couple and their 2.5 year old. an assistant from the mother's day out program was also there. she explained how they have MDO options of up to four days a week and i silently cursed not being in the MDO instead. not fair. they had a rack of the uniforms that the 3+ year olds wear there for sale and i cringed at all the plaid jumpers and peter pan colors with contrast piping. screw that.

we went back out again and oliver managed to scale his way into this two storied play structure and i was holding both our beers and couldn't get up there and started pacing maniacally trying to figure out where my child was going to come shooting out. he's never been on one of those by himself because they usually have openings that drop off into space and he doesn't understand dropping off into space and all its implications. he kept almost going down the gigantic slide and then finally decided to try and back down off the upper platform to the lower platform, realized he was having difficulty navigating it, tried to retreat, and somehow managed to spin around and fall two feet onto his forehead. i nearly had a cussing fit and brian went up to get him as this huge, ugly, pink and purple and road-rashed bump started popping out on his forehead. i just knew all the nearby parents were looking at me there with my two bottles of beer and thinking how i'm a drunken mother who pushes her baby on the ground when she staggers.

we got him calmed down and tried to convince him to go into the toddler bounce house and he totally blew the opportunity. so we went home.

after the little gym and the christian egg hunt at the farmers market saturday morning, we ended up driving by the convention center or something downtown and i couldn't figure out why we were starting to see little groups of people in costumes which didn't make sense. i hazarded a guess that they were meeting to be in a production of alice in wonderland, but then we'd see a goth or something and that would blow that out of the water. then, i realized: we driving into the heart of a japaninomicon! oh god! i've read about them and heard about them and seen pictures of them, but never with my own eyes! i died over and over. i saw people dressed like tetris. they were probably about as cool as it got. the others wrested noises of "oh, baby, nooo" from me. brian tried to tell me if i was 15, i'd be right there in the mix. i explained i was never into that cultural oeuvre and, sorry to break it to you, many of these people are much older than 15.

by the time we went to the way-out-of-the-way taco bueno instead of the on-the-way taco bueno for brian's lunch, it was too late to do anything but take hungry, sleepy babies back home. i baked test cake number two. and mixed up frosting number one. and hummus number two. after they woke up, we went to target for provisions and raided the izze aisle for party beverages.

we spent a couple of hours that evening at the housewarming party of erin and paul. this meant we chased oliver all over the place and tried to steer him away from the cheese knives and the display bananas and the cat and the a/c unit until we couldn't take it anymore. dave arrived just before we left. he's the only one we knew at the party. as we were making the circle at the end of the street to leave, we passed by gretchen and sara and lisa(?) getting out of their car. gretchen dropped her brown paper bag and made some broken beer and then we could see that party was really getting started as we drove away staring from the package tray of the rear window with tears welling up in our eyes, like always.

we pay-per-viewed midnight cowboy as our consolation prize and watched dustin hoffman not brush his teeth and then sweat profusely.

yesterday. yesterday was the big couch day. dave had been in the neighborhood whoring around and dropped his truck by for brian to use. the truck was stacked sky-high and it frightened brian, so he took the non-highway route back. he showed up an hour later. we quickly realized the two portions of the sofa were going to be too large and heavy and cumbersome for dainty ladies to move, so i invited darren over (the irony!). paul actually volunteered to come with. i have no idea why. i would've run the other way. especially after finding out the sofas are exactly two inches wider than the back door and would have to be brought around to the front (the irony!). i paid them in izze and water and they left. but not before paul issued advice on cakes, frostings, and hummus. and sesame seeds. man, i wish my boyfriend was an amateur chef and pastry-maker. and master furniture mover.

while brian was returning the truck and picking up dinner from cosmic cafe (it has risen from the ashes!), i assembled the couches and ottoman. those slip covers are tricky. this couch is a behemoth. it is absurdly large for the room. brian, though not a tall man, can stretch out as long as he can with fingers and toes extended and still not touch either armrest. we tried out sharing the ottoman and hollered to ozzy down at the other end.

when i woke up this morning, i learned we had not purchased a couch. we had purchased a kittycat magnet. cats i didn't even know we had came out of crevices to sleep on the new magnet. oliver finds pleasure in rubbing his toddler hands forward and backward and forward and backward on the premium ottoman fabric. we're screwed.