Thursday, November 27, 2014

Groundhog Day, Again

Another day goes by without me writing my Hunger Games Party post. Today was going to be the day, but gravity intervened - SOMEBODY needed to visit the A&E* to get their big toe x-rayed.
Any guesses as to WHO might have required medical attention this time? Anyone? Anyone???

OK, no prizes for guessing. It is - of course - Miss Fab. The girl who lives her life in a whirlwind, who regularly tangles with gravity; the girl who has her very own cast collection and a stack of ACC letters that could keep a bonfire burning for days.

Yeah I'm exaggerating, but only a little. There have in fact been THREE (count 'em) White Cross A&E visits in the past month. A week and a half on crutches with a pinched nerve in her ankle. An infected bug bite and now, the icing on a the cake: an actual broken bone.

But wait there's more. Along with the usual inconvenience of hours lost in waiting rooms and the chance to catch up on celebrity gossip in old doctor's office mags, this injury also comes with a helping of mummy guilt too.

Because this injury occurred yesterday, people.
The school called (yesterday), and said the Fab had injured her toe but "no need to come get her, she's fine."
Problem: she was not fine.
She was in fact hobbling around on a badly broken toe.
This morning, still unable to walk on it, she begged me to take her for yet-another-xray (and I resisted with all my might, thinking of my to-do list), so she turned to her daddy for backup. Daddy examined the (swollen) appendage and pronounced, "It looks bad. You need to take her."

He was right. I DID need to take her. But if he hadn't insisted, guess what? I probably WOULDN'T have taken her.

See, I have spent far too many hours of my life this year already in that gosh darned waiting room.
I have stood by as x-ray after x-ray turned out to be "just a sprain".

I cringe when I walk in that A&E door. I worry that somebody is going to flag the number of ACC injuries this ONE CHILD has against her name. More than fifteen in the last five years, FIVE of them just THIS YEAR.

I admit it, I was embarrassed and I was busy so I was reluctant. And I left a girl with a SEPARATED GROWTH PLATE in her toe to hobble around, undoctored, for 24 hours.

Like I said, a nice helping of mummy guilt with this injury!

Luckily my girl is very forgiving. She has happily put aside her crossness at my resistance as soon as she got the verdict: A broken toe.
A nice helping of I-told-you-so is all it took: "I can't believe I have a broken toe! And you didn't believe me! Well, you DID believe me, you just didn't want to go to A&E..."

There's a splint, some strapping, a borrowed moon boot and a return appointment to the fracture clinic next Thursday. Three weeks in the splint. But then the kicker: NO SPORT FOR 2-3 MONTHS.

There were real tears shed right then, as she realised what this means.

The Fab has just been selected for the Elite level Cheerleading team at our club. She was so excited at starting training with her new team ("I'm an ELITE cheerleader!") on Monday.
Then there's the fact she's meant to be starring in a solo dance in the finale of our church kids Christmas production.

"No Sport" means no Cheerleading, NO DANCING. No cartwheels, no biking, no swimming, no trampolining... all the things my whirlwind loves to do, because she just hates to sit still.

Poor girlie. What a suckie time of year for a broken toe.

Ahhhh so there you have it. Another day in the life of a whirlwind. Ouch.

Anybody else out there have a kid like mine???

The Life and Times of Action Girl (a recap of all Miss fab's White cross adventures)
Monday, November 24, 2014

This is Not a Party Post (I have a 12 year old )

I didn't realise (nobody told me) that hosting a party for twelve years olds is just not the same as doing parties for younger children.
The kids are different - they're "Cooler" (as in: "Don't be too enthusiastic in case someone thinks you actually want to be here"; "Don't look an adult in the eye or do anything more than grunt when they greet you, they might expect you to talk to them.")

Dash, bless him, did try to warn me, kind of.
He said months ago, before I was knee deep in mockingjays and district symbols, "Mum, kids my age don't really have theme parties; maybe I could just have a few friends over..."
Did I listen? NO, course not.
I replied, "Son, nobody your age has theme parties because their parents don't know how to do them like we do. Trust me, your friends will love it!"

[The Birthday Boy helped me make the cardboard cornucopia]
Later, when I pulled out the pink wig I bought to wear as Effie Trinkett... Dash was in horrors.
"NO mum! PLEASE don't dress up as Effie Trinkett! It would be so embarrassing!"
"What??? But I'm going to be Effie and I'm going to make Dad be Caesar Flickerman... it will be funny!"
"Noooooo mum! Seriously, I'd be so embarrassed!"

I put the pink wig back in the drawer, sadly. No Effie Trinkett. No Caesar Flickerman. We are dealing with Tweens, who are highly sensitive to embarrassment. I didn't know - but I do now.

I put in loads of work on this party - partly because I LOVE Hunger Games and was having a blast coming up with the ideas, and partly because I really wanted my (easily embarrassed) son to have the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER. Of course.

But it turns out that I needn't have bothered, really.
Not that his friends didn't like it, they did. Apparently. From the txts I got from parents later.
Just at the time, you'd never know it.

Then yesterday one of Dash' friends was over and he said to me, "Simone, that was the best party EVER on Saturday!" and my heart lept.
THIS is why I do the parties, make a fuss creating the atmosphere, spend weeks on  creating all the details...
So what did this boy love so much about the party...? I couldn't wait to hear. Was it the hand stamped district bands? The Capitol Water Bottles? The stencilled Mockingjay victor's bags...?

"The water fight! It was AWESOME! We got to just throw water at each other and go crazy... it was THE BEST!"

The water fight. Not the party Mellark Bakery signs, or the stencilled Mockingjays or the cardboard cornucopia... just the chance to throw water at each other.
Ha. there you go Simone, let that be a lesson to ya!

I have a twelve year old son. His friends are tweens of various stripes.
Some we know, some we don't know at all.
Some we have a great relationship with and have known before they were "cool" (THOSE are the ones who would have enjoyed Effie and Caesar making an appearance).
Others we've only recently met, some just on the day (the ones who wouldn't look us in the eye, who acted like they didn't want to appear like they were having too much fun).

I learnt a lot from this birthday, and I now know that after a certain point, everything changes.
We're at that point now.
Dash has probably had his LAST theme party. Waaaaaaah :(
He doesn't WANT theme parties any more.

He said months ago (and I quote), "Mum I think I'm getting too old for theme parties..."
And I said, "But Dash! Theme parties are what I DO! It's what I'm good at! Just think of all the cool themes we can do now you're older... Survivor, Amazing Race, Fear Factor..."

What I was really thinking was "Don't cut off my source of blog material! Don't tell me it's over!"

This weekend we pulled off a party that (on the surface of it) was cool in every detail but somehow just lacked the .... heart. The buzzy feeling of celebrating with your son's besties on his special day in a way that is super fun. The kind of party that leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling.

That's what parties are for.
Somehow, whether it was that the numbers were too big (12?!), that a number of the usual long-time friends couldn't make it and there were a bunch of kids we didn't know, or whether the few "too cool" kids that walked in looking unimpressed loomed too large in my mind... I don't know.

(Though they don't look unenthusiastic in this IG selfie and the birthday boy called it an "unforgettable day")

I just know that I won't be doing that again. Not on that scale. Not for that many. Not for this age group.
Next year, just a couple of besties. No party. Just a celebration.
And guess what? My twelve year old is super happy with that plan.
I'm half sad and half relieved.

Bottom line, I have a twelve year old son and everything's different. He's seriously growing up.

Happy 12th birthday Dash.

DISCLAIMER: The Hunger Games Party Posts will follow soon... because even if it wasn't my favourite-feeling party, it was still AWESOME. And I did work my butt off. And Dash called it an Unforgettable Day.