The noise was deafening as we entered the room. Kids were running around, parents chasing them and the moment they grabbed them the kids would slip out of their grasp like a greased pig at the fair.
It was mass chaos.
I maneuvered my way through the throngs of people careful not to step any little munchkins that were in my path. Holding my own munchkin I could hear him yell out the names of his fellow classmates, his giggles and squeals of delight added to the roar in the room. He needed his carrot nose and it felt like I would never make it across the room.
Once there they dotted his nose with orange paint and he immediately rubbed his face into my shoulder, right on my new Ann Taylor sweater. “Awesome, “ I thought, as I again traversed the parent child minefield back to our chairs.
We could barely hear a word as the first group of babies and toddlers made their way to the stage and sang their songs. Flash bulbs popped and parents jostled like fierce paparazzi to capture the perfect photo.
Then it was our turn, and apprehension overwhelmed me, because in the past it has been our kid in tears. The oldest wasn’t meant for the stage.
My youngest however, loved it! Making faces and dancing to the song, and while he may not have sung one note of the their musical number, he still did great. With a tear in my eye I snapped shot after shot of his “performance.”
Then we fought the deafening crowd back out the door and home.
Less than 24 hours later we found ourselves in another mind-numbingly loud room with millions of kids and adults jockeying for position at the treat tables and games.
Overwhelmed by the crowd, E had a hard time finding his way. He wandered around not knowing where to go or what to do.
Finding some friends we decided the cake walk would be an excellent use of a ticket, and seriously who would miss a chance to win CAKE. The eldest sat outside the circle, observing, while his little brother and I danced around the circle. Plopping down into the winning chair once the music ended.
“I’m STARVING,” E declared and we made a pit stop for snacks. Once heavily sugared he seemed more at ease and we made our way around the school, playing games and winning “prizes” that will eventually be garbage can fodder.
But he was happy, proudly showing of his “prize”, a gnarly rubber finger with a bright red fingernail. That will be the first toy to conveniently disappear.
Once we returned to the comfort and quiet of our home and I had a chance grab a glass of wine and reflect on the events of the past couple of days.
I giggled to myself because before I had kids, my mind created an adorable sitcom version of what school functions and performances would be like. The happy child on the stage, the perfect outfits not covered in remnants of chocolate cookies and no one whining or crying.
And while my weekend didn’t quite resemble that adorable sitcom it was pretty awesome, even with the chocolate covered faces and creepy rubber fingers.