The things I worried about did not come to pass.
The house was reasonably in order – though we did change the sofa covers and at the last hour I removed all the coats from the adhoc closet in our hall that has been functioning as a clothes rack, toy cabinet and snack storage area (in sealed containers) – and albeit small, the two mums (or their kids) did not fall over in shock.
There was a small incident with a cockroach that made an appearance (!), thankfully (?) a bit after we had an a discussion about how most people seem to have a cockroach problem and how ours is due to renovations upstairs. Still, it was mortifying.
Moving on. The food turned out fine – the kids ate it, as much as kids can be expected to, and the mums liked it.
However. My child turned into a complete riot. He was so excited to have friends over + I made the mistake of letting him have a couple of Indian sweets that one of the mothers brought along and that might have contributed to his behaviour. Which involved shrieking, running, jumping uncontrollably, thereby inducing the other kids to do so as well and leaving us all dazed. This sounds like regular kid behaviour but it was at a pitch that was unsustainable.
In addition to not listening to me when I ordered him to calm the eff down (I did not say the eff part out loud), he also did a couple of unseemly things such as spitting a mouthful of pasta out into his plate because he encountered a herb he didn’t like.
My conclusion is that we need to work on his manners a tad and also be less tolerant of his penchant to do as he will which is getting out of control. He gets a pass because he has historically been a calm and easy child, but I think we might have reached a moment that requires intervention before the behaviour spirals further.
Mimi also did not acquit herself admirably because she joined in the rumpus wholeheartedly and also grabbed a couple of cookies brought by one mum, ate a bite, and them came and dumped them back in the box, not because they weren’t nice but because she just doesn’t have a sweet tooth.
I failed, because I did not try to control them until it was too late and they had already turned into little demons. Morever, one of the girls was saying a made-up word that Benji has been saying a lot, and I blithely took credit for the word saying it was meaningless but annoying, and then got later ticked off by V for a) making our kid the root of the annoying word b) doing so when we didn’t know if it was true because I had misunderstood V and thought he and Benji came up with the word, when V said Benji had probably learnt it from school.
So overall, I’ll give us a C. Minus.
In other niggles, the girl who I invited because her mum invited us and I felt bad, was a tad left out. The fact is that I don’t think she is a great friend of the two boys. I think her mum’s strategy is to throw her together with some kids and hope that they get along. More experienced mums, does this work? I’m 50-50 on this. My kid explicitly said he didn’t want her to come and I was dreading him actually voicing this on the day, but thankfully he was kept his rude thoughts to himself and even went into her car without a fuss. But it was clear she was sort of the third wheel and as a parent that would make me sad. Anyway, we are supposed to be going over to their house next week, unless the invite is pulled in the light of my child’s holy terror behaviour.
What did the mums talk about?
1) The two guest mums talked about the school their older children both go to.
2) They complained about things they don’t like in the kindergarten our kids go to. I contributed by mentioning the runny noses of some little ones and they took this more seriously than I did, resulting in me regretting mentioning it.
3) PhD programmes. Apparently, in some places, you pay for the number of courses you take as you go along. PhD mum went a little green when she heard I was being paid to do it. However, she did not know how little I am being paid. Still.
The talk was easy, but interrupted with kids screaming, thus very truncated and leaving one with a feeling of fragmentation and not having said exactly what one wanted to because one didn’t have the time to clarify anything.
In summation, this comic strip.