Chuck In the Middle With You

Last week, something kind of awful happened.  Stella came home bearing 2 birthday party invitations – both to Chuck E. Cheese, both the same weekend.  One Saturday, one Sunday.  Yikes.  That’s a lot of Chuck.  That’s a lot of tempting pizza I cannot partake in, as I’m only on day 18 of another round of the Whole 30.  That’s not one but two gifts to buy, right as we are attempting to make right the installation of our new AC system that went in last week.

The Saturday invitation was for Stella’s BFF, the little girl she’s grown up with.  That’s a no-brainer.  We will attend that one cheerfully.  But the Sunday dose of Chuck?  That was for a random girl in her class that I don’t know well.  And to be a bit snarky, her mother didn’t RSVP for Stella’s party, nor did they show up.  I’ve reached a point where that’s a big throbbing nerve within the etiquette center of my brain.

Last year, we would have gone.  We had such a shitty year in school – her behavior was often so gnarly – that I jumped at any chance for her to get together with her peers away from the Harpy.  We went to every birthday party we were invited to – quite a few, since we’re still in the “you must invite every child to the party” phase of school.  But this year?  Not so much.

Y’all, it sounds stupid, but this was a huge epiphany.  We don’t have to go to every stinking birthday party.  I can relax.  Stella is ok.  She’s more than ok.  Granted, she still is rather immature compared to many of her peers.  She still acts a bit nutty at times.  Maybe it’s the ADHD.  I don’t know.  Regardless, while she may not have lots of friends, she has some.  And sometimes she just digs being on her own, and I can totally respect and understand that.  

I ask her every single day who she played with at recess.  Sometimes I get names.  One day Sarah was her best friend and they played tag.  Other days she’s played ball with a group of boys.  But much of the time, she says she just hangs out by herself.  When the worried  neurotic mom asks if that’s because no one would play with her and ohglobtheyhateherbecausesheactsweirdsometimes, she always replies that she just felt like doing her own thing.

And it’s ok.

It’s like a weight has come off of us, at least for now.  For starters, maybe there won’t be as many Chuck E Cheese parties in my future as I expected.  On a serious note, I have no doubt as she gets older and becomes more aware – as the era of “you  must invite every child” comes to an end and she starts hearing of parties and events that she was not included in, there will be tears.  Hell, I’ll probably cry more than she will.  But she’ll be ok.



About larva225

Working mom. Is there any other kind? Geologist. Nerd.
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9 Responses to Chuck In the Middle With You

  1. joey says:

    Yes, she’ll be fine. She’ll have her own little group or her bestie and she won’t care about what other people are doing, because sometimes she prefers the pleasure of her own company, anyway 🙂

  2. Anxious Mom says:

    I was gonna say, if you did both, you need to break your 30 day thing and have all the wine. Yeesh.

    LM used to play by himself most of the time at recess. He’s go on fossil hunts, bug hunts, look for different minerals or whatever, stuff most kids aren’t into. He was fine with it, but I was worried and got him to agree to play with other kids twice per week.

  3. My girl is 10 and is totally a loaner like me. I can’t be sure if she picked that up from me or if that is actually how she wants to be and its a coincidence that it’s like me. Parties make her nervous, she has only a few real friends and is already not invited to some parties. Take this for what it’s worth, but I’d side with her on this one and just follow her lead. There are times where it’s easier to not force an activity on them if only for the reason that we want them to do the activity. My frustration with her has subsided significantly now that I’ve made some concessions on what she wants to do and doesn’t want to do……sometimes.

    • larva225 says:

      Oh I get it! I’m a strong natural introvert, only usually having one or two close friends at any given time of my life. But I can remember a very awkward time when I was middle school aged, hearing about things that I was excluded from, and it still kind of hurt. You know how it is: you want to save your kid any pain.

      • I completely agree with wanting to save your child from any pain, but on the flip side, would you have been the person you are today without it? I know for a fact that the pain I felt growing up made the base I now lean on that much stronger. I’m still an introvert living in an extroverted world, the pain I experienced provided valuable lessons that allow me to handle uncomfortable and awkward situations now.

      • larva225 says:

        Totally agree. But I’m the meantime feeling things much more acutely when it’s your kid vs yourself – whether illness or social nonsense – is part of the parental rise, no!

      • I’m with you. My daughter is introverted as much, or even more, than me in some situations.

        On a lighter note, ditching the second party is a good idea because two days at Chuck’s more than doubles your chances of catching the noro virus.

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