I hate Murphy. I really do. Why did he have to come up with that stupid law, anyway? "Anything that can go wrong will."
I thought planning Connor's sixth birthday party would be easy. By now, I've planned enough birthday parties that I should have known better. Actually, it wasn't the planning that was so bad. It was the execution.
This time, I decided to actually bake a cake. All went well, until I forgot to set the timer on the oven. The smoke alarm sounded, and before I could do much to respond, I heard Connor on the phone. He demonstrated a new skill I'd not yet seen. He called 911.
Though I tried to intervene, the dispatcher told me it was their policy to at least send someone to check things out.
A few minutes later, three fire trucks came roaring up the road, sirens blazing. Must have been a slow day. Connor loved meeting the firemen. As for me? Well, I apologized profusely. Before the firemen left, they gave Connor a replica fire helmet, as a birthday gift. I sent my husband on an emergency mission to buy a birthday cake.
The guests arrived, and soon after, the entertainment. Sparkles the Clown ran into the house, honking his nose, and squirting his flower pin. Conner ran to his room, screaming and crying. "Make him go away! I don't like him!"
Mental note. Before hiring a clown for your son's birthday party, make sure he has seen a clown in real life, not just on TV or the internet.
I quickly paid Sparkles while pushing him out the front door. Then I coerced my son out of his room.
Next was "Pin the Tail on the Donkey."
Mental note. "Tape the Tail on the Donkey" is a much more appropriate game for six-year olds. My poor wall will never be the same.
I corralled the kids again. "Okay, everyone let's change into our swimming suits! Girls in this bathroom, and boys can go to Connor's room."
I felt a tug on my shirt. One of Connor's friends looked up at me.
"I forgot mine."
I bit my lip. The large, bolded headline on the invitations said "Bring your swimming suits for a water party!" I found an old pair of Connor's swimming trunks, hoping his friend could squeeze into them.
We all went outside. The cheap water slide sat on our hill, ready for the onslaught of six-year-olds.
Mental note. There is a reason the instructions say to use these things only on flat surfaces. And here I thought it was just because of sue-happy parents. One boy took a tumble. His mom, who can be a bit over-protective, was also attending the party. She decided it was bad enough to call 911. The ambulance came. So did the one of the three fire trucks from earlier that day. Now Connor also has a toy ambulance. Actually, all the kids do. Thankfully, the paramedics convinced the mom that there was nothing to worry about, and they stayed for the rest of the party.
I got out the cake. We started to sing. One of the girls insisted we stop singing after the first line. After asking what was wrong, she said, "Okay. You can start singing again," as though nothing strange had happened. Maybe she's a control freak. Perhaps she has a career in politics.
We started singing again. Connor started crying again and ran to his room. I always let him invite as many guests as he is old, and I suppose six kids, plus the parents who decided to stay, was a bit too much for Connor. He'll have five guests at his parties. Until he's thirty.
Connor emerged from his room (again) and we started eating the cake. One of the boys had an allergic reaction. His mom failed to mention he's allergic to red dye number 40. That's an allergy? Thankfully it was mild, and he also stayed for the rest of the party. His mom didn't even insist on calling 911. It's a good thing. They wouldn't have come. Our address would have forever been likened to "The Boy Who Cried Wolf."
Mental note. Always check the ingredient lists and ask about allergies.
I'm not sure how I survived, but I do know one thing. Next time I have a birthday party, 911 will be on standby.
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