A few years ago, after Georgia was born, Andy and I made the decision that we were not throwing huge birthday parties every year for the girls. That would be three big kids parties a year and we just don't have the funds, or the patience, to deal with it. We figured we would just have parties on the "big" years. One, five, ten, thirteen, sixteen, eighteen. They can throw their own drunken all out crazy party for themselves at 21 in college, like the rest of us did. Besides, it would be so NOT cool to have your parents give you a 21st birthday party. Well, unless your parents are Angelina and Brad. This is not to say we don't celebrate the girls' birthdays every year though. We usually have a family and close friends gathering, with cake and a BBQ, but nothing like what I was planning for Lana this year. We invited all the kids in her pre-school class, as well as other friends and family we have in our lives. We were having a bounce house and a pinata, sandwiches and snacks, juice boxes and sangria. (Gotta have SOMETHING for the parents!) There were about 40 people coming. And then...then it rained, and then...then Andy's back went out TWO hours before the party. It's a good thing I've spent the past few years practicing keeping my shit together.
Let's start with the rain. We knew rain was fore casted. I had been looking at the weather report all week, but I kept hoping it would change or they were wrong. It's not like the weather people have that much to predict here in Southern California, so you'd figure when we do get weather they would be dead on, but not so much. Just the weekend before it was supposed to rain all day Saturday and Sunday. Saturday it poured, Sunday was sunny and gorgeous. I was hoping for that kind of mistake. But no, this time they were right. Thanks Dallas Raines! (Gotta love the meteorologist names.)
It wasn't raining when we woke up on Sunday, but it looked like it might at any moment. My only prayer was for it to hold off just until the afternoon, but as you might have guessed, prayers and luck were not with us. As the man from the jumper company pulled up in front of my house at 10:30, the rain started. I debated whether or not to have him put it up anyway, and just hope for a stop in the rain. As I stood out there talking to him though, I knew it was no good. The rain was coming down in big, fat, we are here to stay for a while! drops. Not the sprinkly, misty kind that might let up at some point. He was very nice about it and didn't make me keep it or pay him anyway. He totally understood. Plus we've used them a few times before for other parties we've had, so we're best buds now. (Burbank Jumpers and Party Rentals, for any of you close by.)
When I came back inside, after deciding against the bounce house, I found Sonya and Lana on the couch in tears. Great. Just what I had time for, consoling crying children. They wanted the bounce house! Why couldn't we get it?! I mentioned the rain, but they didn't seem to care. I mean, a wet bounce house! That's even MORE fun! What was I thinking sending it away?
Eventually, they calmed down when I told them I would call and have it come back if it stopped raining. There was a better chance of Angelina and Brad showing up at Lana's party. I resigned myself to the fact that it was just going to rain and I set up the party for inside. I took the rug out of Sonya's room, set up the little picnic table and her face paints. I put up the art easel, coloring book and crayons. This would be the designated art area. Lana and Georgia's room would just be a free for all play area. I was sure it would be a disaster of mess at the end, but there was nothing else to be done. Just for the record, we don't live in a huge house. It's about 1600 square feet and about 500 of that is our bedroom, which I was NOT about to let the kids run around in. Although, I briefly thought about setting up the bounce house in there.
Okay good, I figured out how to have the party despite the weather outside. Now there was the problem of my disabled husband laying on the bed in our room, unable to walk, let alone help get things ready.
Let me go backwards a minute. Earlier in the morning, before the unavoidable rain, Andy was putting something away in the attic. When he came back down, he mentioned that he might have tweaked his back. He has this reoccurring back problem, that came about a couple years ago. I told him to go take some Motrin and get on the Inversion Table right away, knowing how quickly this can go bad. He usually hangs upside down on the Inversion Table on a regular basis, which keeps his back problems at by. However, he's had a cold/sinus infection for a couple weeks and hanging upside down is not so great for his already stuffed up head. He took the Motrin, but before hanging upside down he needed to answer nature's call. Except that sitting after he tweaked his back, was apparently not the best thing for him. I was outside rinsing out a cooler and the next thing I know Lana is calling me, because Daddy hurt his back real bad. I found him in our bathroom leaning against the counter unable to move.
"This is bad, this is bad," he kept repeating.
We managed to get him over to the bed and laying down in a position that wasn't excruciating for him. It was 10am. The party started at 12:30. He was freaking out, and saying how bad the pain was, how he couldn't move and what was he going to do. I remained calm and collected on the outside saying,
"Let me think, we'll figure this out, don't worry about it. Just rest."
Except in my head I was thinking, "FuckfuckfuckfuckFUCK!!!" It's okay, the girls can't hear me say that word in my head.
He couldn't move, I had a ton of things to do at the house still since it was raining, not to mention the food that needed to be picked up! THE FOOD!! And the Balloons!! These were things he was supposed to do. How the hell was I going to get everything done completely on my own in a little over two hours, get myself ready and find a way to have Andy upright, in at least a little less pain, and party presentable?? This, my friends, is what being a mother is all about. Finding a way out of a shitty mess of a day and make sure it's your daughter's best birthday party ever, without saying what I thought in my head out loud. It wasn't easy, but I managed it.
You will have to come back for the rest of the story later on this week though. This one is getting a little long and we have to get to piano lessons.
To be continued....