How I Hack It – Party Edition

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Categories Parenting

There it is in your Inbox.  The once coveted, but now dreaded…


Oh how I used to enjoy seeing them.  I’d respond or decline, depending on, you know – life. And then if I was interested, I’d follow along with the responses to see who was coming, who could make a witty remark and who was bringing the jello mold.

Now?  I just think about all the logistics involved in attending.  I still love the opportunity to get out and see friends (if not actually speak to them), but man, this twin toddler thing makes partying TOUGH!  And I don’t even mean real partying.  I mean going to someone’s backyard and eating a hot dog and perhaps drinking a beer or (GASP!) two.

Here’s a play-by-play of a recent bbq.

0:00 – Upon arrival scan yard for potential safety issues.

0:01 – Wonder why Matthew is bleeding from the face.

0:02 – Quickly determine they are too numerous to count.

0:03 – Retreat to “greenhouse” (aka former pot growing emporium).  Decide gravel floor pieces are probably small enough not to choke the babies.

0:07 – Realize I was wrong about the gravel size.

0:15 – Head out to the “yard” (aka set of Little Shop of Horrors).

0:16 – Activate the Zone Defense with Will to protect kids from Rose Tree of Death and other menacing flora.

0:30-45 – Defensive shuffling drills to act as human wall between babies and grill.

0:46 – Drink 3 sips of much needed beer.  Consider purchasing one of these to at least ensure adequate alcohol consumption.

0:52 – Spend 30 seconds wondering if friend REALLY left me in charge of his 10 month old child without a word.  Conclude:  Yes.  Roll Eyes.

1:10 – Pawn 10 month old off onto hostess to dash after Sarah. Narrowly avoid solving one of life’s great mysteries:  What actually happens when babies eat lead paint?

1:21 – Cavalierly stick thumb down Sass’ diaper for a quick check.  (Could also read: “Stupidly stick thumb into giant mass of blueberry poo.”)

1:26 – Realize that the travel wipes are all dry.  Curse loudly.

1:37 – CAKE!

1:51 – Start making a move to leave.

2:35 – Actually drive away.

So, that’s how I party, twin-style!  I didn’t used to be like this.  I figured I would be the relaxed mom, not worrying about what kind of trouble my kids get in.  I don’t know if it’s that we’ve got twins, or if it’s just the mom gene or what, but I’m kind of a jerk about safety.  I even annoy myself sometimes, but I can’t seem to help it.

Does anyone else find they have trouble attending parties these days?  On the car ride home, once we catch our collective breath, Will and I always wonder, “Why did we just do that? We’re still hungry and thirsty and we didn’t talk to anyone!”  It’s kind of a drag, really.  I want to be able to enjoy these things, and I know the time will come, but for now, I’m feeling a bit whiny about it, I must admit. Please tell me I’m not alone!

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19 thoughts on “How I Hack It – Party Edition”

  1. Our first backyard party was a complete disaster. Our twins were 6 months old and we made the mistake of thinking they would nap in the car (they didn’t) and then nap some more once we got there in the pack’n’plays we brought (they didn’t) and figured they would be in good moods (they weren’t).
    However, the latest one was much better – they were about one month older (the month where they learned to sit up!) and we were smarter about our approach. Luckily, they were still very immobile. I have a feeling that next year’s BBQs will be so much trickier with the chasing and what-not. Sigh.
    .-= Nicole´s last blog ..Too many cooks? =-.

  2. I feel ya sister!!!

    I LOVE parties, the laughing, the drinking, the eating, the lounging, did I mention drinking?

    Now with the twins, it is impossible to do any of the above…well besides the laughing. The laughing I do as a coping mechanism not to cry.

    My two still are not walking, and they still enjoy putting everything in their mouths, so I too am obsessed with how safe the environment they are in is.

    It is much more work than fun to go to a party these days. But if we hang in there, we may be able to enjoy it again. That is if my children haven’t put me in a mental institution by then.
    .-= Erin´s last blog .. =-.

  3. Your not alone silly girl!! 😉 We just don’t go. And since the girls go to bed early, the whole evening is for me and hubby…we could have people over, but not. That’s really just more work for me!! So we grab a beer, and have our own party, just the 2 of us. At least this is how it will be until I don’t have to worry about who pooped, or where the damn sippy cups are.
    .-= Christina´s last blog ..Is summer over yet? =-.

  4. It’s definitely a twins thing. I watch my singleton-child friends with envy as they have 2 adults to watch one child so they each get a chance to relax and enjoy themselves while my husband and I each have a child and so there is really no downtime. There is also the exponential factor that is so hard to explain, but with the two, somehow they get into more than double the things/trouble, etc. than one would.

    Now that my boys are getting older (they are 4 1/2) it is getting so much easier. My husband and I are so amazed that we can now have a semblance of a conversation when we are at a gathering with the boys.

  5. Would it be gauche to bring along one of those play yards and fence the tykes in? (Assuming, of course, that you could get a few moments of peace with the little ones not clamoring to get out.)

    Spoken like a true *expectant* twin mom, I know.

  6. So far, with our 13 month old girls who practically are running now, we have found the best way to attend anything is to do 1:1. My huz takes one girl and I take the other and we are responsible for that child. It has made events doable for us and actually enjoyable.

  7. OMG – you’re a riot! It is in these situations where my husband & I look at each other with a sigh & say “This is our life…”

    I ABSOLUTELY get it. The triplets are 14 months old now. And NO, people, it is NOT easier!! They are willful little people who now WALK (or run) & still require more equipment than you can imagine. And so my husband & I have actually had the nerve to turn down some invites recently & some people just don’t get it.

    ‘But what if we helped you?’ “Do you really need to lug that whole corral thing with you?”

    And my favorite – –‘It’ll be relaxing…you need to get out.’

    HELLO?!!!! There is nothing relaxing about these outings!! It will get easier, I know. (Dear God, please!) But for now, I think we just have to have conviction about knowing what invites to turn down. And yes, by all means, crack open that bottle of wine with your partner when the kids are all tucked in. (I wonder what he’d think if he came home to find me in one of those beer helmets…)

  8. I was just saying this very thing to my husband the other day! Our twins are now 15 months old and they are running in two different directions – usually the beautiful pond/water feature at that BBQ – and it is SO NOT FUN for us! We can’t finish – or start – a conversation for that matter – without abandoning ship and dashing to save the child-in-danger! But it will get better – I’m sure….

  9. Haha. Yeah. At my uncle’s birthday party last weekend, there were snacks out on the coffee table AND two white sofas. White. Not patterned. White. Goodness.

    My favorite is parties at homes where other two year olds live. There are outdoor toys, a safe yard and lots of snacks.

  10. I agree. Partying with twins? Oxymoron, anyone?

    Even when my husband and I each take a baby, it’s still tough to eat, talk, jor just generally be in party mode because you are always on. There is no, ” You take her for a while, and then we’ll switch” thing that parents of a singleton enjoy. It’s tough.

    The only way I will even consider going to a party at this point is if it’s at the house of another toddler parent. At least the babyproofing has been done. Although, I am beginning to see that everyone has their own idea of safety precautions…

  11. Try adding anaphlaxis inducing allergies to the mix! I spend every event hoverign over my children to be sure they don’t ingest anthing with eggs or peanuts – which especially at BBQs is really difficult!! They are just under 2 and I know it’s only going to get harder before it gets easier. I think I’m going to have to get those little stickers that say, “Please Don’t Feed Me, I’m allergic to ___” ….oh the anxiety mounts as we are about to leave for a 10-day trip to 4 locations in 3 states…what were we thinking!!!

  12. OMG this is so true. I have had the exact same experience taking my boys to a b-day party at a friends house, and this friend HAD a toddler girl so I figured we would be ok. – wrong –
    Their toddler girl did not even think of touching the open cooler, the un-gated stairs, or the open bathroom door. She played nicely on the living room floor while my boys found every hazard within 10 minutes. After 15 minutes there, I hauled my boys out apologizing that we just couldn’t stay. Granted, I was there solo- as DH was working – so it was one on two.
    I will NOT take them to anyone’s home that is not reasonably toddler proof. Backyard BBQs are even worse because of the hot grill, the food out everywhere, drinks for the spilling, and toddler hazards just aren’t worth the effort of going.

  13. Absolutely. I used to get so annoyed at the singleton parents who actually got to consume food at a party and/or socialize. The get togthers or children’s parties have been no fun for us at all. We’re just starting to get to the point where I get to eat too.

  14. erin- you’re hilarious! i get it too. mine aren’t even quite “toddlers” yet, but still it’s hard to get any “adult conversation” in even on a play date where things ARE baby-proofed! Our girls go to bed at 7, so lately we’ve had the get togethers with friends at OUR house AFTER the babies go to bed… nice! :)
    .-= amy o´s last blog ..Let the Countdown Begin… =-.

  15. We have a family wedding next month. My husband is the emcee. I’ve decided we are not going to bring the girls to the dinner. I don’t want to have to feed, supervise, entertain, and quiet after a 2.5 year old, and 8-month old twins, only to have to leave right after eating if there’s any chance of getting the children in bed a reasonable hour. Nope, this is going to be a parents (and maybe the 2.5 year old) night out!

  16. This is one of the most accurate postings I have read!! I am glad that I am not the only one who experiences this. Sometimes my friends and family make me feel neurotic for not being able to sit down and have a conversation or eat a meal while visiting. I also run into the problem of people feeding my kids lots of junk foods behind my back – cake, ice cream, cookies, chocolate. Then the kids get sick in the car on the way home!!

    Twice a year we visit my out-of-state inlaws for a weekend. Their entire house is decorated white…furniture, carpets, etc.

    It does get better, though. My oldest is now 4 and it is not nearly as hard to go places with her as it is with her 2 year old twin brothers.

  17. The amount of trouble that twin 9 month olds can get into is so insane that our whole home is gated, bolted down, locked up, baby proof gadgeted or otherwise impossible for toddlers to get dangerously in trouble.

    Because of this, parents don’t mind bringing their singleton kids here.

    Because of the logistics of traveling with two diapered, unweanned and babyfood jar eating, sticking-everything in their mouths, not-walking but definitely cruising, moody because of teething, twice a day napping kids has made our friends mostly take pity on us. So a lot of the big social gatherings have been at our house. Heck, this started even a short time after they were born.

    I’d much rather clean up from an event than to try to take everything I need and still deal with the unhappiness of kids not on their own turf.

    For now, short outings in the stroller (or two single strollers depending on parent to child ratios) and visits to the houses of my best mom friend are all that’s on my register. Otherwise it’s babysitters or only one of us goes.
    .-= Janel´s last blog ..The Payoff =-.

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