I’ve mentioned here that my kids really want a pet and I don’t and my husband doesn’t either (though not as badly as I don’t), yet we feel guilty and like bad parents for this reason. Lately we’ve been seriously considering getting one again and my girlfriend called me, “Do NOT let them guilt you into getting a pet,” she said, “You’re not a bad mom for not having one. My cat that we’ve had forever pooped on the floor today – you don’t want a pet, seriously.”
I thought, God I love her. While we’re on the subject of letting me off the hook I tried, “Oh and J wants me to have a birthday party and invite his friends.”
“You have to do that. Get busy his birthday’s in a week,” she said.
“You’re not going to give me a break and tell me I’m a good mom even if I don’t like to have parties?” I begged.
“You heard me, order a cake and just get it done.”
Why do kids have to have birthday parties? Actually I don’t mind the concept, I’m just not much of a party organizer/thrower. My mother is – I never should have moved so far away from her.
So in a feeble attempt to kinda sorta get organized, I asked J what kind of cake he wanted and he said he wanted an “army” cake. At first I thought, an army cake? What will his friends’ parents think of me? And then I remembered it was their damn kids who introduced him to the concept of “army guys” in the first place, which is the reason I have a million soldiers (some of them wounded and such – really gross – whose idea was it to make that crap anyway?). On the other hand they do seem to learn some life lessons from playing with them. Little One had several guys all lined up and told me the story of what was happening. I said, “But Honey, why are the good guys the ones who are captured and the bad guys winning?”
He shrugged, “Well, that’s just the way it goes in army sometimes Mama.”
So it does.
J’s friends seem to know quite a bit about World War II, and I didn’t think much of it until one day he said that Germans are bad people. Wait a second, I said, the Germans are just people – it was the German army during a specific time that was bad. And then I got to explain that yes the Americans were “good guys” – that is, unless you happened to live in Nagasaki, in which case I imagine you wouldn’t think they were so good…
It’s rather quite complicated for a kids’ game.
Before my girlfriend hung up the phone she said, “You know, maybe you should get a dog. People really love their dogs and then they don’t mind how much work they are to take care of.”
“I dunno,” I said, “I love my kids so much I would chop off my own legs for them, but I begrudge all the work I have to do to take care of them like six times a day – minimum.”
“Oh yeah,” she said, “I forgot. Don’t get a dog.”
Just as I thought, how wonderful to have a friend who doesn’t hold your weaknesses against you, she said, “But I mean it, Blondie, have a birthday party.”