Sunday, 15 February 2009

Gratitude, not an occupational hazard

It was Hannah’s last day of school in England last Friday, so the teacher allowed us to have one hour for a going away party. Two weeks earlier, a friend of hers had a party before she moved to Dubai. Hannah and I talked about what games she would like to play and I said it would be fun to decorate Valentine cookies since the next day would be Valentine’s Day. She conceded that we could include that as an activity, but she really wanted to do musical statues and a blindfold game as well as musical chairs. I told her we would play a new game to England that is played a lot in America. Fine.

The night before the party, I stayed up until 11:00 making the sugar cookie dough. The next day, my friend Tina and I are rolling out dough and cutting out heart shaped cookies and baking them one pan after another like demented bakers. Kim and John were going to arrive that afternoon, so I really felt the need to have the house be a bit tidier, but there was still so much that needed to be done! Heroically, Tina went upstairs to clean the bathroom while I made 3 pounds of butter cream frosting. Finally, at 12:30, I arrived at school with four bags of goodies for the party. I set up the tables and chairs and placed cookies on precut pieces of wax paper, scooped out the frosting into individual little tubs, measured out all the candy which we were going to use to decorate the cookies. The kids come in and we partied for a solid hour. We decorated, we jammed to a CD, which incidentally I had bought the day before so Hannah wouldn’t be embarrassed to have her friends listen to the lame Disney music we listen to at home. We awarded prizes, handed out heart shaped lollies to all her class, cleaned up and finally started home.

Feeling I needed to allow Hannah the opportunity to praise and thank me for the amazing send off I had provided for her, I nonchalantly asked her if she felt her party was as nice as her friend’s from 2 weeks ago. Terminal move, people. Never. Ever. EVER give children the opportunity to voice any kind of gratitude because it’s just not going to happen until you are old, gray, deaf and courting dementia. Very casually, Hannah answered, “No.” Just that one word--“no.” So $40 and 8 hours of manic planning and executing of said party later, I get a negative review worth only 2 letters. Do you know how few points that is on Scrabble?!

So, if I can give any word of advice to the unsuspecting: Do NOT go into parenthood thinking that as you bless the lives of your family, they will sing your praises and shout Hosanna! when you alter your world for their benefit. Not gonna happen folks…now you know.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome Home!! How funny! Reminds me of all the years I did that. The rewards have come later for me. I have the most wonderful grown children. They are so good to me. You have always been one of my roll model moms! Keep up the good work!