birthday

I've Just Been Malled

I revel in my immaturity. Maybe it's not immaturity as much as it is childlike-ness. I'm proud of the fact that I've pretty much liked and disliked the same things my whole life. So that makes me ponder: "What in the world did I ever see in the mall?" I think I do know the answer: "Freedom". It was the first place my parents ever dumped me off with a friend, let us walk around unaccompanied for hours and then picked us up later. I think I was about 12 but since my kids just turned 12 on Friday and that ain't gonna happen... let's just say I was 15. In fact why don't we just forget the "drop-off" part altogether and say I was 16 and drove myself? 

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I'm not much of a shopper so I guess the whole mall appeal did wear off for me about the time I got a driver's license but that's where I found myself, for 5 hours no less, the other day.. When my triplets were small, their birthdays were easy. We rented a bouncy house party place, invited all of their friends to eat cake and get bouncy house burns on their arms and legs for 3 hours. That was then. Using my sound parental judgment, I thought that inviting a group of kids in varying stages of puberty might bring a whole new unwanted meaning to "the bouncy house". So for the past 2 years, I've let my kids each plan a "birthday day" to do whatever he or she wanted. This year, my daughter Carly picked the mall. Did I drop off her and her friend? Of course not. I walked 3 paces behind them for 5 hours like I was the Secret Service. I know that this would be the perfect time and place to critique my daughter's thirst for shopping that she inherited from I don't know where, but she actually did a pretty good job of shopping responsibly and not begging me for shit that I had no intention of buying. Instead, I feel more compelled to critique some of the stores. I read on the internet that if I write about the mall, I can write off all of her birthday purchases on my taxes next year. 

My disdain for certain mall stores has always been there. I distinctly remember being 17 and walking in and out of any store where the sales people seemed to be working on commission. I couldn't bear being followed around the store and asked "May I help you?" 5 times by 5 different sales people in a span of 10 minutes. (I think I actually preferred the ones who just followed me around because I was a teenager and figured I was shoplifting.) 

My short list of most annoying mall stores according to me and nobody else:

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Sephora: I am what I am so people and places that pretend to be something irk me. $20 for a blending sponge for those too high class to buy their make-up at Walgreen's. But it was the faux friendliness that was the most annoying. I told the greeter at the door that my daughter wanted the free mini-makeover as part of her birthday day. After she told us the makeover wasn't available she said: "Happy Birthday!!" with such exuberance to my daughter's friend who is of a totally different ethnic background than us as opposed to my daughter who looks like me with glasses which makes me think in all of her exuberance, the sales woman didn't even look at us.

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Build-a-Bear You've all undoubtedly heard by now about their debacle where they offered the bears at the price of your kid's age so a $30 bear suddenly became $5. (I thought of going in there to build myself a bear but didn't see the point in paying $54 for a $30 bear. ) Not that my daughter and her friend --2 sophisticated tweens-- went anywhere near this place the other day. I just hate places that make little kids want things that are so overpriced and that most of their parents can't afford.. and that require a la carte accessories. (You can imagine how I feel about American Girl dolls). I found that craze a few weeks ago very strange. People stood in line for hours and hours with toddlers. For what possible reason? Did their 3 year old say: "Hey Mommy, did you read on Facebook about the great deal that Build-A-Bear is having? Can we go? Please?!" 

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Claire's:  This is by far my least favorite mall store. Never mind that my daughter got her ears pierced there last year and almost had to go through life with a latex glove and a salesgirl's finger attached to her lobe. Also never mind the absurdly bright lights that make you feel like you got your pupils dilated at the eye doctor's then took a stroll on the sun. It's the blatant attempt to rip off young girls that I mind. Glitzy, novelty crap with jacked-up prices. Oh, but they have a great deal! Buy 3 glitzy novelty crap items with jacked up prices and get 3 free. My daughter's friend, when I wasn't looking, got a few trinkets that rang up as $40. Of course the cashier didn't tell her that what she had picked as her "3 free items" were not going to be her "3 free items" because they weren't the cheapest items she had picked. The woman just told her: "The free items come off at the end." When the girl had enough presence of mind to tell her to refund everything, the woman said: "You can pick cheaper items if you want." When she said "no" to that, the woman countered with: "Or you can buy one and get half off something else." Wait, let me go outside and look at the sign. Are we at a mall or a carnival?       

I guess we can deduce then, that I'm fine with the food  court, the parking, the kiosks, and the other hundred or so stores in the mall. My favorite mall stores by far though are the ones that nobody ever makes me go into.  

Thanks a lot for stopping by!  Please stay tuned for previews of my latest book: "Laughing IS Conceivable: No Matter How Many You're Carrying". Insanity in its Infancy -about getting pregnant with, staying pregnant with, giving birth to, and caring for-- more than one baby. Coming Soon! In the meantime: If you'd like Laughing IS Conceivable updates, please subscribe to my not-ridiculously-frequent newsletter at the bottom of my home page. And if you'd like more laughs at life's expense, kindly check out my books in my Laughing IS Conceivable series at the menu at the top... (One book is for parents right about now & one is for those dealing with infertility anytime.) 

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Planning a Kid's Birthday Party or 2 or 3 (part 2)

A week or so ago,  I whined about planning a kid's birthday party or, more specifically, my triplets' birthday party (parties) and how demanding they are and how they each want their own party, in its own location complete with three totally distinct cast of characters that they call "friends". True they walk all over me but I don't think it's my fault. My mother used to tell me that when I was in kindergarten she asked whom I would like to invite to my birthday party to which I responded: "My class."

"Who in your class?"

"The whole class. It wouldn't be nice to leave anybody out."

Before you mistake this for a heartwarming story, you'd have to have known my mother and her wind-up to the story every time she retold it:

"So I, like a moron, invited twenty-three 5 year olds to my house."

This is why I don't take the blame for being my children's doormat. Clearly the problem is genetic. Or maybe my mother started sending me subliminal messages when I was in kindergarten:"Your kids will one day do the same to you. Your kids will one day do the same to you."

Planning A Kid's Birthday Party: The Eats

Back when I made one party for all three, there were still disputes... Over the pizza for instance:

"Can you get Domino's?" That's my favorite.

"I don't like Domino's. Can you get Pizza Hut?"

"I like Papa John's, but Mommy doesn't like Papa Johns' politics."

Since Little Caesar's was the cheapest, I brought a stack home and tossed it onto the counter:"Here's what I got. You wouldn't know the difference if you didn't see the box. If you don't like it, don't look at the box."

Planning a Kid's Birthday Party: The Cake.

Two like chocolate. One doesn't. Does she really not like chocolate or does she just like to be difficult? Everyone agrees on ice cream cake but my husband and me. Sorry, we can't be that precise. If you don't time ice cream cake exactly right you need a chisel to cut it or a straw to drink it. When they were four, my husband gave BJ's bakery a photo of the kids that they "painted" on the cake. It was lovely until my son yelled out at the party:"I want to eat Hayley's eye! Please can I eat Hayley's eye?!!" (Should I be concerned? Maybe it's a common trait among psychopaths and cannibals: When they're little, they all beg to eat their sister's cake eye.)

Planning a Kid's Birthday Party: The Presents.

Then the kids urge us every year to let them open their presents at the party in front of their friends. No way. I'm not getting suckered into that. That's all I need. A child tearing into a gift, holding it up and announcing in front of every invitee and their photo-taking parents: "What the fuck is this supposed to be?'

(The above photo is not us. We have never looked like this. I especially, have never looked like that. Ever.)

So instead, in the privacy of our own home later that evening, we gather in the living room in our jammies where we sing songs in rounds, laugh, and drink hot cocoa with mini marshmallows while the adorable trio gleefully open their gifts on the floor and proclaim:

  1. I already have this. Can we take it back?
  2. Why did she get one in blue? Blue's my favorite color.Who doesn't know that?
  3. Oh no! I broke it when I pulled the paper off!
  4. I don't care that I got 22 presents. I didn't get anything good.
  5. I already opened all of mine and they have one more left. Now I have nothing to open. How's that fair?
  6. Mommy, could you put this together now? Mommy?...Daddy?
  7. Hey! He took my blue one. The blue one was mine!
  8. I'm so bored. Can I go on my tablet?
  9. This was the worst birthday ever.
  10. Oh, my show's on. I promise I'll clean up the wrapping paper in the morning.

Thanks a lot for stopping by! If you'd like more laughs at your child's expense, please consider signing up for my newsletter at the top of my home page and checking out the new edition of my little eBook especially for parents at this trying time of year.

http://laughingisconceivable.com (home page)

https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07261ST2P (eBook)

And if you missed part 1 of my triplet birthday saga: http://laughingisconceivable.com/planning-a-kids-birthday-party/

 

Planning a Kid's Birthday Party or 2 or 3 (Part 1)

Have you ever planned a kid's birthday party? Or 2? Or 3? At the same time? So next month is my kids' 11th birthday party. Yeah, "kids'". There are three of them. Triplets... and they'd each like to have their own separate birthday party. Why not? How hard can that be? I'm sure David Tutera could pull it off during the commercials. Maybe I'll schedule the parties just like the kids were born: Three minutes apart.

At 8:51 a.m., when my son Jacob was born, we can go to the popular arcade place for his party with his friends. I'm sure he'll invite Jaden- the kid I had to hunt down every five minutes of the museum field trip because he kept running off on his own. But I'm sure he'll be much better behaved at the dark, deafeningly loud arcade with the disco balls. I know Jacob will be much better behaved with his friends at the arcade than he is with his family at the arcade. Every time we go, he has a ritual of showing his dismay for having won fewer tickets than his sisters by throwing a tantrum between the "Subway Surfer" and "Classic Mario Brothers" machines. You might ask: "Then why is Jacob permitted to go every time if that's how he acts?" I ask myself that every single time.

At 8:52 a.m., we can go to the town pool for daughter #1, Carly... (She'll love being called "daughter #1- especially when I tell her that it will psychologically scar her sister for life.) Of course Carly will bring her entire entourage. And quite an entourage it is. Depending on the day and who you ask, it can include up to 12 girls. Would it be wrong for me to start spreading nasty rumors among them now so that Carly will only be friends with half of them when the invitations go out? Otherwise it will be an hour before they even get into the pool. The first sixty minutes will be taken up by every girl telling every other girl how cute her bathing suit is and then, in round two, every girl telling every other girl how cute she looks in it. Then they will splash around and play a diving gave for ten minutes before they plant themselves smack dab in front of the pool steps. For the next hour, they will be totally oblivious to the other fifty pool-goers of various shapes, sizes, and ages, who have to squeeze around them to get in or out of the pool. They will instead be totally focused on their task of comparing the "adorable" levels of the boys in their class with the ones on Teen Nickelodeon. "Logan is soooo adorable! I know, right?!"

Then at 8:54 a.m., we can go to the climbing place for daughter #2, Hayley's party with her own cast of characters: Namely the girl who devoted most of 5th grade math class to coloring her sneakers with marker, and the boy who is way-too-neurotic-to-be-only-eleven who I'm gonna guess is deathly afraid of heights. This is not good. At 5'2", I'm in no position to climb down a fifty foot rope ladder wearing a sixth grader over my shoulder like a shawl. And, I know from experience, it would all be left up to me. I guarantee, the second that kid starts to panic, my nearly six foot husband will yell: "Bad back!" which of course is the adult version of "Not it!"

Join me next week for part 2 of the "Planning a Kid's Birthday Party or 2 or 3" when I tackle the cake, opening the gifts, & more.

A little fun eBook that's just about what we're all going through just about now. From End of School to Back to School(Thanks for stopping by. I hope you're a little less stressed out than when you got here. If you'd like more laughs at your kids' expense please sign up to my newsletter on my homepage (link below) and/or check out the new edition of the latest fast, fun-reading eBook in my series. It's just about what we're all going through just about now.

Laughing IS Conceivable: From End of School to Back-to-School. I love my kids-I love my kids. I LOVE MY KIDS!  $2.99 USD until 6/16/17 then goes up a buck.) 

Amazon. https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07261ST2P/

Home Page.  http://laughingisconceivable.com

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