Lynnette went to see Wicked with her friends last night. She and her college friends try to get together some time near Christmas for dinner or something similar. It’s gotten harder for them to do so, what with adulthood and all that. I am out more than Lynnette is. Sometimes it’s work, sometimes Brett comes back from Vegas and I need to give myself a hangover, sometimes it’s softball. When I am away, Lynnette and Madison have “girls’ nights out” without me. It usually involves doing something that females would find fun, but they usually eat some place I would have liked. That’s the part that really gets me. Anyway, since I knew Lynnette would be going out, I invited my parents and brothers and sister-in-law over for what I called a “tea party.”
Except it wasn’t really a tea party. When I first mentioned the idea to Madison last Sunday, her eyes lit up and she replied in her most excited of ways, “Yeah, yeah, yeah!” I had visions of what this “tea party” would become, but the work week kind of got in the way. There was a lot of Macbeth, yes, but there was also a lot of me going to sleep uncommonly early because my body was readjusting to my work schedule.
As I stood in the decorations aisle of Walmart yesterday afternoon after work, I realized that perhaps I would not have the time nor the budget to make our little soiree as magnificent as I had envisioned it in my head. I settled for Disney Princess Plates and a glow-in-the-dark wand for my princess.
I suppose the greatest flaw was the complete lack of tea at our event. I originally wanted to serve a bunch of finger foods, stuff you could eat with your hands, but the thought of my father having to plow through sixteen 2-inch-by-2-inch squares of grilled ham and cheese sandwich seemed absolutely preposterous. I made chicken katsu instead. I defrosted 12 pieces of chicken to cook and there was juuuuuuuuuust enough food for everyone – but that was only because Matty didn’t eat. He had to take a blood test this morning, so he couldn’t eat. I assume that had Matty been able to eat, he would have looked at the tray of chicken, patted his stomach twice, then dialed Pizza Hut on his phone. I can’t judge him because I would have been right there whispering “mushrooms!” into his free ear.
During the week, Madison amended my original tea party idea by tacking on a “ball dance.” Like her mother, Madison jumped at the opportunity to get dressed up. When I got out of the shower and emerged in the living room wearing just my boxers, Madison said (in a somewhat condescending tone, mind you) “Dad. You have to wear shirt and pants.” This was the dress code for the ball. She opted for this little dress which featured billions of pieces of glitter which have made their way onto various surfaces in my home. “There’s glitter all over the place,” Matty said, stretching out his hands, brushing his shirt. I would have reacted the same way, except I have fully adjusted to living in a female-dominant household.
In order to assuage Madison’s desire for a ball dance, I told her that she would have to the chance to dance with everyone who came to her party for one (very short) song. Luckily, Madison has a plastic toy that plays really low-quality versions of songs from Disney Movies – but only the choruses of those songs. It was perfect for members of my family who A) don’t like to dance, B) have difficulty moving as quickly as a 4-year old, C) just spent two hours on their feet making chicken katsu, or D) anyone who was not Tanya.
Madison danced with me first, then took turns with everyone else. Madison tried to pull off her little spins and dips with my dad, only she didn’t bother telling him whenever she was going for these tricks. I think he was terrified he would drop her so he finally just swept her up and danced with her that way. As you can see, she didn’t mind at all.
I like to think Madison’s Tea Party/Ball Dance/Katsu Fest was a success. She smiled a lot. She laughed a lot. She played with Tanya. A lot. You know what Mad? I had a great time. The only thing I haven’t quite figured out yet is how to give our few moments when mom isn’t around a cool nickname like “girls’ night out.” How about “Mad-Dad Day?” Or “Goobiversary?” Or “Goo-Daddy.com?” Okay, I’ll work on it.
Thanks to my mom and dad and Paul for participating in everything. Thank you, Tanya, for again playing with Mad, and again playing photographer. Thanks Matty, for not being able to eat or drink. This way I still have those three cans of Coke in the fridge.