Preschool Parties

I had the experience of attending my first "Preschool Party" this weekend. One parent invited the entire class and then rented the preschool for her daughter's birthday party. Toddlers decked in princess gowns and cowboy gear running willy nilly around an abandoned classroom, parents standing on guard. When do I get to drop my kid off at these things instead of standing here making small talk with a bunch of people I don't know? And where's my tiara? I haven't felt this uncomfortable since my first Jr. High School dance. While standing at the playground, I adopted my opening line of conversation, "How old is your son/daughter? Where will you enroll him/her in kindergarten next year?" Most of the kids at Shelby's preschool are 4 or 5. Since she is only 3, she tends to pick up lines from the older kids rather quickly, and applies them to me liberally. Such as, "I hate you, Stinky Girl!" and "Whateva". I take a moment to try and match these phrases to their respective sources. The mom beside me shares with me her rather upbeat life story, her mother was a great babysitter for her kids, until she died last January. Her husband was diagnosed with Leukemia last summer. Hmm, picked a winning conversation there. In an attempt to change the subject, I tried my line, "How old is your daughter? Where will you enroll...blah blah?" She said,"You know, I have spent every day of my life with my kids for the past ten years. It's going to...." At this point I tuned her out except for the words "EVERY DAY" and "MY KIDS" and "TEN YEARS" repeating in my head. I felt parched. Where did they put the cocktails? Oh my god, I didn't realize my commitment level. Call my lawyer. I don't think I'm up for this sort of thing. Ten years, every day? No break? You gotta be kidding me.

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