I attended my granddaughter’s third birthday party yesterday, with some trepidation. I like her very much, but I’m an experienced parent, and I know how these things usually go. Take an excited child, give her lots of attention, stuff her with sweet rich treats, and spoil her with presents, and you just know there’s going to be at least one tantrum and that the event will end in frustrated tears.
This party had more than its share of concerns.
One, a terrible awful grandpa. I’m still dealing with pain and mobility issues from tendinitis, which I’m dealing with with medication that keeps me going through the day, but unfortunately, as it wears off, I crash hard. I was afraid that, come the evening, I was going to turn into a saggy, cranky tired old man. More than usual, anyway.
Two, this turned into a big party, the largest my daughter has held at her house — both sets of grandparents! Cousins! Friends! — all focusing their attention and cheer on one little girl. Overstimulation city, man.
Three, Iliana had helped make her birthday dessert. She chose to get chocolate donuts, which she drenched with chocolate frosting, and topped with chocolate ice cream. I feared those little heaps of sugary intensity.
Fourth, every one of her adult visitors brought one or more presents. They piled up on one wall, and it was going to be an impressive haul.
I predicted doom. All the ingredients were there.
And then everything was fine! I don’t know how, exactly.
Skatje solved the cranky grandpa problem by working all afternoon to make a fabulous vegetarian meal for the adults, a delicious Italian vegetable soup and lasagna. Grandpa turned into a mellow, satisfied old man with a warm glow in his tummy.
Iliana pigged out on chocolate donuts and ice cream by literally sticking her snout in it and licking it all up, happily. She ate as much as she wanted, which was not excessive, and then stopped and skipped off to play. She opened her presents with enthusiasm and was excited about all of them, and solved all the concerns about spoiled little monsters having tantrum by just being darned cheerful about everything. Her mom and grandpa helped assemble her new dollhouse, we played a quiet game for a while (the bunny family and the alpaca family were moving in, but the alpacas were frightened and hiding because the rabbits were such good pouncers). Then she toddled off to bed where her mom read a book to her and she fell asleep.
Thus was I deprived of a dramatic story. My predictions were all falsified. All I can assume is that Skatje and Kyle are better parents than I was, and managed to produce a well-adjusted happy child.