November 19, 2012

skip around the house

In a new stepparenting first, I co-hosted a pizza party for twelve kids this weekend.  In a stroke of genius on the part of parents in our neighbourhood, all the kids (currently ranging in age from 5 to 11) go to a rotating pizza party for the evening (from about 4-10 p.m.) while all the rest of the parents have a night off.  

Things were already underway by the time I arrived home from work.  The boys (not entirely without exception) were wrestling and playing death games.  One boy had a laser elbow that was pretty effective in dispatching with his enemies.  The girls, entirely without exception, were making decorations and giggling in the bedroom.    

There was hiding and yelling surprise for the birthday of one of the little girls in attendance.  There was piano-playing and tickling.  There were new hairstyles.  There was a raiding of the closet.  There was dancing and singing at top volume to Carly Rae Jepsen.  There was dancing en masse to Gangnam Style.  There was pizza.   There were Looney Tunes and strife-inducing cans of lemonade (only, alas, twelve…harsh times for little kids who wanted more than one and didn’t want to share).  There was the sung (birthday-related) injunction to “Skip around the house!  Skip around the house!  We won’t shut up until you skip around the house!” --- sung on repeat until the birthday girl and the whole troupe of singers skipped, indeed, all the way around the apartment.

There was also bad behaviour, a maybe-not-accidental punch in the face and a throwing of somebody’s glasses, a sulky half-smashing of a cupcake (tough luck, no chocolate ones left!), a shredding and scattering of a styrofoam plate all over the living room (culprit still unknown), and at least one brief instance of crying after an unfavourable dance-off verdict for a little boy from a self-appointed pair of girl judges, who rushed to comfort him. 

A couple of times, I fretted that the loud music and stomping of little feet was out of hand… until I remembered that it was only 8:30 p.m. on a Friday night.  Fridays always feel long, and this was the longest ever.   But so much fun. 

Decorations to make a gaggle of girls proud.

Saturday was another rehearsal for the impending concert.  We did only one run-through of Bach’s Magnificat, which made me nervous, but there is still time to fine tune.  I’m reminding myself that we almost always feel radically under-prepared even at this late stage of the game. 

The rest of the weekend was packed with fun stuff.  Saturday was dinner and eventual dancing for E’s birthday.  It was so nice to see people I’ve maybe seen only once or twice since September.  Sunday was the most staggeringly wonderful, stomach-ladening brunch at K’s, followed by an afternoon matinee at the movie theatre downtown.  Then later, hairstyle-brainstorming with L for her impending visit to Rideau Hall.  All I can say is that my preteen and teen years were not well spent when it came to hair experimentation: with all my hair, I ought to have more skills by now.  We did watch a few instructive YouTube videos and learned...well, mostly that the people creating video tutorials for Regency-style hairdos are all a little odd. 

In other, vaguer news, a possibility on the distant horizon is making me feel hopeful about my ability to achieve a more manageable balance between work-work and writing work.   Looking forward to so many things about the spring, though it doesn’t seem fair to wish the winter over when it isn’t even here yet…

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