My kids were invited to a birthday party for one of Asher's classmates today. The party was held in the 9th Circle of Hell -- I mean, Chuck E. Cheese. Same difference.
My son has been talking about this party for two weeks straight now. "How will we get to the party, Mom?" "Where is it? Chuck E. Cheese? OH MY GOD!" "Is it time for the party yet?" Etc. Drove me nuts.
So, both kids were very excited about this. I was not as excited, truth be told. Sitting in a giant room full of flashing lights, robot mice and screaming children that do not belong to me, eating mediocre pizza and pretending I am decent folks when talking to other parents, is patently not
my idea of a good time. Especially since I still don't have that bourbon IV I've been desperately wanting.
But I try to be a good mother, so I sucked it up and went to the party. Asher was very happy to be there, as evidenced in the following photo:
Actually, that is
his happy face. Really. He was overjoyed to be there. He's just a very solemn little boy and was not blessed with the ability to make very many different facial expressions. His facial expressions run the gamut from this one, which is Very Happy, to Slightly Perturbed to Pissed Off. They all look about the same, though.
Meredith, on the other hand, well, you'd think she'd just had a big ol' snort of coke. The child would not stand still and spent the entire time running around like a maniac, "Look at that! Look at this! Why's that robot dressed up like a mouse? ROBOTS DON'T WEAR SHIRTS. SHEESH. Let's play this game! OH MY GOD, MOM, THEY HAVE RIDES
. This is the best place ever!"
Here is Rasputin playing Whack-a-Mole:
See the Band-Aid on her forehead? That is from when her face came off. Ooo, continuity!
I will admit I perked up a bit when I remembered that all Chuck E. Cheese establishments are equipped with the Skee Ball.
You see, I am the Skee Ball Grand Champion of the World. My mad Skee Ball Skizillz are formidable and - dare I say it? - awe-inspiring. There has never been a better Skee Ball player than yours truly.
How did I acquire such fantastic skizillz, you might wonder? Well, when I was 14, I worked at Conneaut Lake Park, a small amusement park in Northwestern Pennsylvania. Whenever it was my turn to man the arcade, I spent the hours playing the Skee Ball. I had learned the special trick to get it to just keep giving me balls endlessly, and I would play the Skee Ball for my entire shift. After an entire summer of this, no one could touch me.
Due to this summer of fun, I am also a Freakishly Good Air Hockey player. Do not attempt to play the air hockey with me, for I will destroy you. Destroy you. If you attempt to play the air hockey with me, you will end up in the corner, curled up in the fetal position, well and thoroughly pwned.
As one of Asher's classmates' fathers soon found out.
"Come, Zombie's Real Name, play me a game."
"I do not think you want to do that, Classmate's Father."
"Oh, sure, come on. It will be fun."
"Okay, but I must warn you, if air hockey were an Olympic sport, I would have all the gold medals."
So we played. And I thoroughly demolished Classmate's Father. And he was well and truly pwned at the end of the game, and no, he did not want a rematch, thankyouverymuch.
"I warned you," I said.
"You did. I should've listened."
Bow before Zombie and her Crazy Athletic Prowess. Skee Ball and air hockey should totally be in the Olympics. I would dominate.
Anyway, after this sporting event, we had mediocre pizza.
Rasputin enjoyed hers and made this known by smearing it all over her face and shouting, "I LOVE PIZZA!" every five seconds.
Then, a man in a Chuck E. Cheese suit came out and there was music and dancing of some sort and cake and my eyes glazed over from the sheer noise of it all. As I observed the employees of this fine pizza establishment cavorting around in some strange dance involving hip-shaking and spinning, I could not help but feel embarassed for them. There is not enough money in the world to make me don a mouse suit and shake my ass in a birthday line dance for a bunch of five year olds and their harassed parents. No indeed.
I also had to suffer through the birthday girl's grandmother with the Eastern European accent chattering relentlessly at me about who-knows-what. Every time she would pause, I would think I could escape, but then she'd grab my arm and go off again on a tangent about the price of cabbages or something. Then she dragged me around and announced to all of the other parents that I was "Asher's lovely mother that wouldn't eat the cake," and made several hundred introductions, and then they all had to talk to me about the price of cabbages or whatever, and I felt like a deer caught in headlights.
I am generally not comfortable around the parents of my kids' friends. I am always worried that my Brain to Mouth Filter will once again let me down and I will say something that, while utterly hilarious to me, will alienate all of them and then they won't want their kids to play with my kids anymore. I was choking down a fursuiter reference every time the dude in the mouse outfit came by, and it was physically painful after a while.
I was good, though, and smiled and nodded at the appropriate times and made clucking noises of commiseration when various parents complained about crap I don't care about, and smiled nicely whenever various children acted like complete assholes and their parents thought it was cute.
Anyway, that was my day in the 9th Circle of Hell.
And a good time was had by all.
(Man, I suck at ending posts. Someone needs to give me some pointers on ending posts in an insightful and profound manner.)
Ve Haf Vays of Making You