Sunday, October 10, 2010

Playdate Chaos

This week was Fall Break at UT.  This means that I am not off work but the Early Learning Center is closed.  I guess they assume all parents are either students or faculty, but unfortunately I am staff.  I wouldn't have even known that it was Fall Break except that I got an email from one of the moms of William's classmates, Natalia, asking us to come over Friday for a playdate.  She invited us and a couple of other children and moms.  In her email this is what she said (I cut and pasted this from the actual email):

OK, let’s shoot for Friday after nap.  I’ll pick Anna up and then plan to be back around 2:30 – 3:00 pm.

She never gave any other time and another mother responded that she would be there around 3 so Kate, Natalia's mom, wouldn't have to rush to pick up her older daughter, Anna, from Sacred Heart.  William had a terrible day sleepwise the day before with no nap and he didn't go to sleep until midnight so I was really worried that we wouldn't make it by 3pm.  However, he did go to nap around 1:30pm so I woke him up at 2:45pm to go.  We got ready and made it there a few minutes after 3pm.  I thought I had the right address but I hadn't printed the directions so I wasn't sure.  We went up and knocked on the door several times with no answer.  So I called Ben and he looked in my email for Kate's cell number.  I called her and she said "Wow.  You are prompt."  She's British so I guess they say "prompt" in Britain.  She said she was about 20 minutes away.   As I hung up the phone a second mother, Maha, and her daughter, Avani, showed up.  So we just stood in the front yard while the kids played on a dirt-covered cobweb filled plastic castle with a slide in the side yard and waited.  As we stood there Maha got hit in the head twice by falling acorns.  Then Kate and her daughters arrived, as did Sissie and her son Nicholas.  Within minutes Sissie was stung by a wasp, the kids were all covered in mosquito bites, Nicholas rode the tricycle off the front porch and got hurt, and William knocked over the entire table that Kate had brought into the front yard, spilling all the strawberries, homemade brownies, organic milk and apple juice that Kate had put out.   It was total chaos.  A little more background- the front yard was completely overgrown, yet that was where we were playing.  It was also quite steep, hence the reason the table fell over, as did the bounce house that Kate also brought out.  The backyard was a cliff and it was completely wooded so that wasn't an option.  I forgot my camera so I used Kate's but she said she hadn't uploaded pictures from it in years so I didn't take many since I assumed they wouldn't make it off the camera.  A little more background: Kate and her husband are both Nuclear Physicists, as is Avani's dad.  Kate is from England and her husband is from Poland.  Avani's mom is from India and her dad is from Germany.  Nicholas' mom is from Greece and his dad is from Pakistan/Germany.  I actually really love this and I'm so glad they include us even though we are the "ugly Americans."  Back to Nuclear Physicists, they are incredibly smart but don't pay much attention to detail.  Anyway, we finally went inside and I was pleased to see that their house is as cluttered as ours.  Unlike us, though, they didn't try to hide the clutter.  It probably didn't even cross their mind, because they are Nuclear Physicists.  The funny thing is- we had a great time!