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Kids’ Birthdays are always a dilemma to plan not to mention the impending chaos that comes along with them.  We aren’t really at the point of inviting all of his classmates to some place filled with bounce houses, ball pits, or cheesy mice.  I have always held them at my house which can be like putting sardines and Mexican jumping beans in the same can.  This year was no different.

We found that the allure for some of our childless friends is abating a bit as a few of them ceased to show this time.  I totally get it—I’m not sure I even want to attend my own child’s birthday party let alone someone else’s—imagine if I didn’t have any children.  The good part about this is that no matter what, my house is stuffed with bodies during one of these events, so the absence of a few invitees is not only welcomed, it’s required!!

We had a good time amidst the chaos, though, and I think the kids had fun.  Mikey got pretty much every Autobot and Decepticon Transformer that was important to him and some other toys he’d been coveting.  Cupcakes, balloons, pizza and beer rounded the evening out, and then the clean-up, which was surprisingly manageable. Unfortunately, I get to do it again in two months for Pierce.  We need to figure out another option…a park?  Oh well…fiddle dee-dee…I’ll think about that tomorrow.

The week leading up to the great #6 was the first week of school.  Mikey (the big upperclassman now –to kindergartners) has adjusted beautifully except for the ongoing fear of fire alarms and now thunderstorms.  The latter is a wonderfully convenient phobia to have in Florida in August.  It’s not paralyzing and nerve-racking at all—for either the neurotic or the sane!

Friday was crazy leading up to the party. I have a leased Nissan Altima (my third one) that is coming up for trade in soon, and I had received a letter in the mail to call the dealer.  They may be able to get me out of my current car and into something else now instead of waiting six months.  Well, you don’t need to tell me twice—I called them by 10a.m. on Friday.  We discussed my options, what I wanted, what I didn’t, and then the sales guy told me he would see what he could negotiate and call me back.  Great!  At 11:30 he called me to tell me he had a fully loaded  Maxima like my Altima only fancier and that he could get pretty close to my number.  Well…not close enough—“This is my 5th car with you guys!  I’m not paying more than what I have been paying a month, and I’m not bringing any money to the table.”  Guess what?  They got within $3 of my current payment, no money down and I have a fabulous new car for 39 (33) months!

While I was whittling away at their number with my hard-bargaining negotiating skills, a storm started to brew—a real one, not metaphorical.  My phone began to ring and it was Mikey’s poor teacher.  Mikey was so terrified of the thunder and lightning that he wouldn’t take his fingers out of his ears.  Just the day before, this happened close to release time and he wouldn’t walk outside to the car ramp…I had to go get him at the office.  Great…today we got an even earlier start.  In the meantime, I decided I would go look at my future new car.  He’s the school’s problem now!  Except that they have my cell phone number.  Between a few phone calls trying to decide how to manage his visceral reaction to Mother Nature, it was decided that even though he was unable to do his school work, he was not disruptive.  “Could I just come to the car line early so that he wouldn’t have to stand out there very long?”  “Sure.  I will get in line by 2:30.”  This was at 1p.m. when I was on my way to the dealership with my toddler in tow to see this car.

The car was filthy on the outside, but it was lovely.  I couldn’t test drive it because I wasn’t going to try to wrestle a car seat out of my car and into the new one for that.  Surely if it’s fancier than my current car, it’s got to be an awesome ride.  Write it up!!  I need to be out of here by 2:30—notice the discrepancy—not in the car line by 2:30, but on my way there by 2:30.  We hustled through the paperwork, and god knows what I have agreed to, but I jetted out of there—AT 2:50–in my fancy new ride with air conditioning blowing on my lower back and rear-end.   It was awesome!!! 

But naturally, I hit the worst traffic in the car line to date—it was easily 3:15 by the time I decided to park and go get my child out of the line.  Everyone on staff knows Mikey Donovan—I’d like to think it’s because he’s so sweet and beautiful, but I think it’s probably because he is an “original” if you know what I mean!  I’m glad that we are past the first week, and I am terribly sad to say that I will be glad when storm season passes.  Thanks, Mike, for taking the fun out of one of my greatest thrills.