Saturday, May 07, 2005

birthday parties and my girl

Birthday parties Posted by Hello

My Annabelle lives for birthday parties. She loves everything about them. Cake, balloons, games, presents, 1-2 hours of fun filled excitement.

So yesterday we are talking to our neighbor (who Bella loves) Andres, and he tells us that his birthday is tomorrow, they will be eating on the deck/patio in our complex and we are invited. He tells us to show up between 2:30 and 3:00.

Annabelle is way excited. Not only is this a birthday party, it is ANDRES's birthday party. And it is her first Mexican birthday party (besides her own in March) The entire morning she asks "are they eating cake without me??" "is it Andres's party yet??" "can we go outside now??"

Around 2:15 I get dressed in semi-clean clothes (laundry day), dress the kiddos in play clothes, because I know we'll be going swimming as well but don't know if it is appropriate to show up in swim suits (what if they have family coming?)

As I walk back from the laundry room, I see Andres looking out the window...wearing a white tuxedo, complete with glossy white dress shoes. I look down at my jeans with the rip in the knee and the strawberry popcicle stain near the crotch, and think that i may be underdressed.
It only makes me a tad insecure, as I have nothing I can do about it. Not only is it laundry day, but I didn't bring a formal dress to Mexico. I scoop the kids up and head to the party.

They were wrong about the time, I show up and nobody is there. They are setting up the tables for a full meal. Andres is out of his tux and into his swim clothes, swimming with the one friend that is there. I feel bad for them, thinking that they are setting up this elaborate birthday feast and nobody is showing up. After about 15 minutes, I take Julian back home to Dustin and dress Bella to take her swimming. When we go back outside, the party has exploded. There must be 30 adults on the patio, 15 little Mexican boys in the pool, and more people knocking at the gate, waiting to get in. I put Bella in the jacuzzi, which doubles as a kiddie pool, and let her swim alone while watching the boys attack eachother with water guns.

They call us to eat, and the meal was so yummy. They had it catered. They give each adult a bottle of aromatic oil as a gift--an adult version of the "goody bag". They play spanish music over loud speakers that have been set up, and all the songs are about Mexico. I am sitting at the "kids table" with all 15 little boys and Bella. Just as well. They say that cake will be served in 30 minutes. After the next 30 adults show up, I start feeling extremely out of place, so I take Annabelle back to the pool. She starts yelling that her legs are hurting (she's been rolling in the grass and her legs itch) so I tell her to quickly get into the pool.

By now, all 15 boys are in the kiddie pool. Bella is the only girl. She slides into the pool, turns to a rather chubby boy and says, "i gotta get in here, cuz my legs are hurtin"

chubby boy gives her a blank stare.

I worry for about 2 seconds, how is she going to fit in. She can be shy at times. Instead, she turns into the pool bully. She has one spot in the pool that she likes to play in. Another boy is in that spot, so she says, "scoot over". The boy does not understand. She helps him by shoving him in the side. "Scoot over." He gets it and moves. By the time we leave, each boy knows a new english phrase, "Scoot over."

The boys are yelling and squirting eachother and splashing like maniacs and Bella is trying to enjoy a relaxing soak in the jacuzzi. She tells them "be quiet." They don't hear her. She says it louder. and louder. and works up to a shrill "BE QUIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!!!"

She bellies up to the edge of the pool, hangs on with her arms and starts splashing her legs. Harder and harder she splashes, running off 6 of the boys. The remaining boys, while continually wiping the water from their eyes, start yelling, "Nina! Nina" (girl, girl) They want her to stop splashing them. She splashes harder.

One rather rambunctious boy steps up and starts shooting her in the back with his water gun. She laughs, child's play, and continues to splash him. She accidentally kicks a smaller boy in the side of the head, says a quiet apology, and then gets an idea for a new game. Her goal? To kick more boys in the head.

The boy starts to shoot her again and Andres steps up. He starts to shoot the boy in the face with his water gun. He shouts in spanish to leave the girl alone. Annabelle laughs and kicks one more boy in the head before Dustin steps outside to announce that my parents are on the phone.

After the phone conversation, we go back outside for about another hour (it's pushing 6 pm) and they've still not served cake. I convince Annabelle to come back inside, and as I prepare dinner, put Julian to bed, and even Bella to bed around 9 pm, I still hear the boys yelling and "Viva Mexico" playing on the loud speaker for the 40th time. In the states, especially with children's birthday parties, we try to herd the children in and out within 2 hours, max. Quickly get them strung out on cake and punch and back home for the sugar rush to die down. In Mexico, if there's a party to be had, it is to be had for hours, if not days.

Which reminds me...the whole Cinco de Mayo thing. Yeah, they're celebrating it now. All weekend. The out of town guests are here again, sunbathing at my back door for Julian to drool all over. The parties and loud music were heard until the wee hours of the morning last night, and are sure to be heard again tonight. "Viva Mexico."


At 5/07/2005 10:53 PM, Blogger Valerie Dykstra said...

This is so sweet. I think you need to get back to Arkansas soon. Tata is sounding desperate and pitiful.

At 5/08/2005 11:08 PM, Blogger TA TA said...



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