What if I Don't LIke Her Parents?

Shelby has attached herself to a pony tailed little girl at kindergarten and taken to calling her "my new friend". From where I sit, she seems nice enough and has announced each morning on the playground that her dad is going to call me to set up a play date.
A few days go by and we have the September birthday party at school. "My new friend"'s mom shows up, wearing an oversized t-shirt and Levi's from 1991. She's a teacher at the Catholic School. She is direct and serious and informs me that her daughter would like a play date and weekends are the only time they can make that arrangement possible.
All of a sudden, all the fun has escaped me. I picture our children chasing each other around the park while this woman and I sit across from each other on concrete benches, wearing pressed business suits discussing the state of agriculture today and what the stock market has done to BP Financial this year. (That doesn't make any sense because I don't know anything about that stuff). I am scowling at the sunshine. We are sharing a spot of tea and adjusting the tightness of our business girdles.
Parenting just got a lot more formal. What do I do about this proposed play date with a woman that isn't fun?


Happy Birthday Baby Girl

You're turning five years old today Shelby and everything is ready. We've strung the streamers across the kitchen, we hung your Happy Birthday sign, we've wrapped the presents and set them on the dining room table, we've managed to transform our living space into a magical birthday room just for you as soon as you wake up this morning. It's become a family tradition to mimic the "Christmas Morning Wow" whenever a birthday person starts their day (Surprise).
You requested a chocolate cake with strawberry frosting and flower sprinkles on top. You also requested steak, corn, garlic bread and "sweet beans" for your birthday dinner. A pretty sophisticated dinner request for a five year old, I think. Although you asked for a cell phone for your birthday, your father and I decided on a few items a little more age appropriate this year. I braided your hair last night so it will be all frizzy this morning. And you picked out a special birthday dress that has been hanging in your closet for 6 weeks now just waiting for this day.
I am writing your card and a wave of memories just flooded the living room. Save the cake! You're coming home from the hospital and your dad and I are sweating bullets in the hospital parking lot-we haven't secured the car seat and we can't figure the damned thing out in 100 degree weather. We read and re read the installation manual and finally settle on strapping it the best we can. I ride home next to you with my arms bolted across you (just in case).
The months fly by and you are asleep on your daddy on the sofa, he's curled around you and snoring away. You are playing peek a boo in our bed on a sunny Saturday morning, the sunlight illuminating the blond fuzz on your head. Your first birthday is bigger than our wedding. The cake is three tiers. You potty train yourself before two, and take to wearing my high heels everywhere, even on trips to the grocery store. You love dance class and rolling in the sand on the beach. You are a happy child who knows how to wink, you love making us laugh. You start preschool, I cry. When your sister arrives, you are so enamored with her you won't leave the hospital room. You stay for 6 hours until daddy has to drag you out. You and your dad spend an afternoon on the lawn learning how to ride your Dora bike without training wheels. Suddenly, we are jogging through the streets of our neighborhood chasing you on your two wheeled bike. You begin gymnastics class, you can slide down the pole at the playground, you can pump the swing, you can boogie board. You started kindergarten. You're determined to master the monkey bars "like all the other kids". You read me a story all by yourself. You sing a song you made up. You are sweet and sassy, sharp and cautious, laughter and broken swimsuits (bikinis) at the beach. You are pink sparkles, spinning and jumping, toenail polish and cuddles, sand castles and lovebug hugs. Happy Fifth Birthday, my sweet baby girl. Everything is ready..... except for me.


Top Ten Things I'm Pondering Today

#1. Why my husband insists on growing a beard every harvest. (Eeew, creepy!)
#2. For my entire natural born life, my parents never swore in front of us as kids. Why is it that now, at 32 years of age, my dad has taken to educating me on the countless uses for the word F&$!?
#3. When asked what she wanted for her birthday, my almost five year old daughter responded with, "Um, like, a cel phone??"
#4. Since finalizing the latest vasectomy, I've suddenly realized that not only will I never be graced with a bulging baby stomach, but that I'm going to be a PMSing PSYCHO every 28 days for the next TWENTY-TWO YEARS!!!!AAUUUGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!
#5. Since harvest began, I've realized that loneliness does not become me, nor does single parenting. Both drive me to drink. A lot.
#6. Is there a way to speed up menopause?
#7. What is up with my dog's anal glands?
#8. If you ignore the dust on your floors long enough, does it eventually get bored and disappear?
#9. Coffee and beer are the spice of life. Vodka is the answer to every problem.
#10. Shout not only removes black nail polish from wool rugs, but can also remove the pen ink stains from a load of wash, AND, when used in conjunction with a wool brush, remove permanent pink Sharpie from flagstone patios. (Maybe I should hire a nanny.)