Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A good idea gone bad?

Sometimes I have these brilliant ideas that just turn bad. I mean well, I do.

The Dictator is obsessed with all things birthday parties. Almost every day she wants to know if she's going to a "kid's birthday party today."

She's obsessed with icing and candles and cake and, well, parties.

So I thought it would be kind of fun to have a "pretend" birthday party. I invited three other couple friends and their children (A total of five) over for dinner (pizza and salad) this week.

I went to Safeway and bought one of those $6.99 birthday cakes with the icing so sweet that you actually kind of feeling like puking just looking at it.

We had a ton of paper plates, plastic cups, Dora napkins, candles, left over from The Dictator's birthday party in October.

I got home from work and the Dictator and I had a fantastic time setting up the table. (She's also obsessed with setting up tables.)

I love how she sets up the table. For five kids, there were about 20 plates, 30 napkins, and 22 cups on our table.

And, though I told her all the kids were around three, she wanted to put 15 candles in the cake. Whatever. It was cute.

All the kids came over and everything was going great.

I mean, sure, there was one 18 month old eating dog food from Ruby - our nine pound dog's - bowl. But whatever. It's really nutritional dog food. The healthiest dog food on the market.

So, there was Benett and North and Zen and Jada and Rowan, The Dictator, having a grand ole' time at the Fake birthday party. We were super impressed when Ben, kind of a shy little man, went upstairs on his own with Rowan to her bedroom.

I was thinking, "Hey, this is great. The Dictator is finally at the age where she can go off and play on her own with her friends! Yippee! I'm free!!!!"

That was until we heard this awful cry. We all ran upstairs.

Well, it turned out that my darling little Dictator slammed her bedroom door on her little friend's hand.

I thought it was super painful to see your own child get hurt.

But when your child hurts another child it's just as painful in a different way. I tell you, I haven't felt that bad about anything in a very long time. In fact, I'm not sure I have ever felt that bad.

It turned into mayhem. Poor little man was crying and perhaps a little in shock. The Dictator was crying because she knew something bad was happening and maybe she knew she was responsible. The Fiance was outside drinking a glass of wine (OK, that wasn't mayhem....) with another father. The 18 month old was still eating dog food.

I was calling my doctor to see if she'd come over to check out this little boy. I felt like throwing up. The little man's parents were debating taking him to the emergency room.

I was looking at his fingers trying to figure out if they looked different or crooked. I so did not want to be responsible for my daughter breaking another little boy's finger. And that's how I felt. Completely responsible for maybe ruining his little fingers for life.

So his parents decided to take him home, but the Little Man didn't want to leave because we hadn't had cake and he didn't get to blow out the candles at this Fake Birthday Party. It was nuts! All of it.

But I figured maybe his fingers weren't broken because he seemed to be able to move them and he wanted to blow out candles and he still wanted to stick around.

So then there was a rush to get the kids around the cake and blow out the candles. Which they did. But I was totally concerned still that his fingers were broken. And that MY CHILD was the one who did this to him.

Anyway, it turns out The Little Man was just fine. We called the next day and everything was fine and he could move his fingers and they weren't even swollen.

The point is I still feel awful about The Dictator slamming the door on his hand. The Dictator is SO NOT the Hostess with the Mostest.

Or maybe the point is that you should never let your daughter go up to a bedroom without parental supervision with a member of the opposite sex. Not at 15, and not at 3.


Blogger Multi-tasking Mommy said...

Wow--what a cool Mom you are :) A pretend bday sounds like the greatest idea. I met someone once who celebrated half birthdays as a family tradition in his family--I really think that is such a fun idea.

I'm sorry to hear about the door incident. That must have felt awful for everyone involved. Glad to hear he is ok though. Accidents will happen. In fact, I'm surprised they don't happen more often with little kids. They are so carefree.

5:49 PM

Anonymous Much More Than A Mom said...

Aw, poor little guy! We haven't experienced anything like that but I can imagine the guilt.
Just what we need...more guilt!

6:57 PM

Blogger Heather said...

Oh, I understand completely! I am on pins and needles at the park when I take my four year old because she tends to get over-excited ('cuz I never take her) and will push past little babies and helpfully try to push other kids down the slide. It physically causes you pain to see your kid responsible for harming another, no matter how inadvertent!

8:29 PM

Blogger Kirsty said...

hey, at least she didn't do it on purpose! but i hear you on how mortifying it is... my little guy bit a little friend a month ago and I nearly died!

11:10 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A fake birthday party is a great idea!I wish I did more things like that. Sorry about the accident. They do happen. DonĀ“t let it discourage you.

9:48 AM

Blogger Jennifer said...

Oh hon, my 20-month-old is always being injured by other kids, and usually because of something he's, standing at the bottom of the slide as someone's whipping down it.

Kids get hurt...and hopefully they learn something. Hopefully the boy is not damaged for life...but a little fear never hurt anyone! :) J.

1:04 PM


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