March 12, 2012

A weekend in the life of.

I never knew that hosting a baby shower could be so tiring.

Yesterday I hosted a baby shower for one of my good friends. Having people over isn't a very foreign concept for us and we've done it several times. We live in a fairly small basement suite that is fine for two of us but the layout really isn't conducive to entertaining more than a few people. I think the max we've had in the living room was almost ten. My mom, also known as the upstairs landowner, has a house built for entertaining. It's circular so everywhere leads to everywhere else, has a massive living room, and a kitchen with a big island perfect for standing around and socializing while munching. It also has a huge back deck that can easily hold twenty people or more. The house was made for entertaining.

My mom is very gracious. She let's us have barbeques, parties, and showers upstairs pretty much whenever we want. It's glorious. I love having people over, especially in a casual setting. Yesterday's shower was the first "fancier" event that I myself have planned for that living room and, really, anywhere ever. I wanted it to be good.

Roughly twenty women converged on the house at 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon. Another good friend and I spent better part of an hour hanging streamers, blowing up balloons (with spousal assistance), moving couches, setting up chairs, prepping food (Caity mostly), and all the other pre-party activities that needed doing. I'd spent Saturday making sure that I had everything I might need to make life easier on myself and cleaning my place (unnecessarily as far as far the party was concerned, totally necessarily as far as my mental well being was concerned) and starting in on the mother to be's gift. I'm not sure why I thought it was a good idea to start making a baby toque at 9 pm, but I did it and I did it well, darning the final ends in at roughly 2:10 yesterday afternoon.

The shower was a lot of fun and, I think, a success. How many baby showers have you been to with cheesecake? Everything was totally back to normal by 6:30 and I was totally exhausted. The baby shower had been a bit more labour intensive that our usual events because it was more structured and not just a come and be and eat affair. That wasn't the only reason I was tired though.

Saturday I had, as previously mentioned, run a bunch of errands in an effort to make my Sunday as easy and smooth as possible. This was all after my first yoga class in 3 1/2 weeks due to illness. We naturally had the sub that pushes you farther and harder than the normal instructors. Of course. Anyway, I bought sharpened (or so I thought) pencils so I wouldn't have to scrounge, cream for coffee, instant decaf coffee as an alternative to a full pot, and everything I would need for the shower games.

After that I cleaned my toilet with the assistance of a glass of white and listened to one of my favourite artists of the moment Audrey Assad. I felt very in touch with my inner housewife. My second glass of wine made me significantly less productive but I persevered. Afterward, I watched a movie with a friend, knitting my baby hat, and, once she'd gone, already tired and ready for bed, proceeded to watch Spiderman and X-Men and reaching a place in my hat that I felt confident I could finish the next day. And then, some clocks reading 12:30 and some 1:30 (I'm an 11:30 kind of person on weekends) I pulled up my metaphorically wifely socks and prepped some "Land of Nod" cinnamon buns to make for my adoring husband and mother the next morning.

And then I couldn't sleep. But eventually my alarm went off at 8:30 and I staggered out of bed (lack of sleep not indulgence of wine), put the cinnamon buns in the oven, went to Tim Hortons and back all without my comatose spouse noticing. I'm a winner. All I wanted to do was crawl back into bed and skip church to knit but duty called.

As you may or may not know, Karl and I teach Sunday School on a rotating monthly basis. We have never had more than six kids (they're preschoolers ages 3-4) but yesterday was one for the record books. I was kind of hoping that parents would forget about the time change and show up an hour late. Ha! Instead, it seems, people were motivated by their lack of sleep to attend church. My mind was blown. We had eight kids. There's one little girl we always have who is absolutely gorgeous but a lot of trouble. She's a head shorter than all the other kids and hasn't quite mastered the art of sharing or listening yet. It's fine, we're used to her, we know how to handle her. Yesterday we had five out of a potential six regulars, another boy who is higher energy than most, a little girl who might have won for best manners and overall sweetness but grossest nasal oozings, and special needs girl whose grandfather introduced us by giving me her name, informing me that she's visually impaired (not a problem), has cerebral palsy (also not a big deal), may have a seizure but she hasn't had one for a few weeks (wait, what?), and, oh, here's a diaper just in case.

Hold. The. Phone. Karl and I teach pre-school Sunday School. Three and four year olds are pretty awesome. They can clean up after themselves in the bathroom (at least as far as the personal stuff goes) and are pretty easy to intimidate (for lack of a better word) into behaving if necessary. I have never in my life changed a diaper. We did not sign up for this. I'm not even sure the grandfather introduced himself to me. You don't know me and you're putting me and my husband, total strangers, in charge of your special needs granddaughter who may or may not have a seizure? Well, nice to meet you too.

I don't have a problem with kids with special needs. Why would I? They're just people. I do have a problem with people who think that my feminine nature and willingness to help out with Sunday School for two hours a week qualifies me to look after those kids. Especially when I said, really just to get some encouragement, "So, if she does have one, we turn her on her side, right?" and get a "NO! Absolutely not! You come find us right away she needs a [some sort of drug] and an ambulance if that happens." Well then. I then had to ask where they were sitting in the service, you know, just in case. How do people not think to mention this stuff?

I understand a respect the fact that people with special needs children in their lives want them to interact with other kids their age and not be singled out as different. I have a harder time dealing with those people when they treat the rest of the uneducated world like they should understand this as well. Even Karl, who is familiar with special needs, was taken aback by the whole thing.

We ended up calling in backup to help us deal with the children zoo. I had, optimistically, brought my baby hat to try and work on a little during play time. Optimistic under normal circumstances, pretty much hopeless yesterday. We had a good time, though, and everything ran about as smoothly as it ever does. It was a tiring morning, though, that's for sure.

Last night when everything was said and done I watched Return of the Jedi. It was probably the most relaxing thing I did all weekend. Even Friday had consisted of working until 5, going home and making dinner, then heading to some friends' new place for food, games and some last minute book selling on his part. I totally bought it.

Anyway, last night when I finally crawled into bed I found myself kind of looking forward to work today. Ahh... relaxation...

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